Secret Agent (1936): Alfred Hitchcock filmed Somerset Maugham's WWI spy story 'Ashenden' with his typical mix of ironic humour and suspenseful set pieces. Novelist Edgar Brodie (John Gielgud) has his death faked by British Intelligence. Giving him a new identity as Richard Ashenden they persuade him to undertake an espionage commission in Switzerland. Accompanied by beautiful Elsa Carrington (Madeleine Carroll) posing as his wife and the General (Peter Lorre) an insane professional killer Brodie/Ashenden becomes embroiled in murder intrigue and a pursuit through the Swiss Alps... The Farmer's Wife (1928): Samuel Sweetland (Jameson Thomas) is a condescending farmer who finds himself all alone. His wife has died and his daughter has just gotten married. To find a new spouse Sweetland and his housekeeper Minta (Lillian Hall-Davis) make a list of the women who live nearby assuming that any one of them would kill to be his bride. But farmer Sweetland is in for a big surprise--and his ego is in for a major bruising--until the lovelorn Sweetland can acknowledge that he is secretly admired by his housekeeper. Gordon Harker gives an amusing performance as the old farmhand in this faithful adaptation of a play by Eden Phillpotts. Rich And Strange (1931): Mixing silent film techniques with the new element of sound - only one-fifth of the film offers dialogue - Rich And Strange tells the charming story of Fred Hill (Henry Kendall) and his wife Emily (Joan Barry) a small-town British couple who inherit some money from a rich uncle and suddenly decide to take a world cruise. Both however find themselves out of their element and their attempts at extramarital adventures fail miserably. Their newfound sophistication having backfired the couple will have to try to return to good old England but their journey will be full of mishaps and unexpected disaster. Released under the title East Of Shanghai in the United States the film was based on the novel by Dale Collins and was a departure for Hitchcock in both style and tone. Juno And The Paycock (1930): Juno And The Paycock is set in Ireland chronicling the financial and emotional ups and downs of the Boyle clan. When the father learns that he is about to inherit a fortune he and his family go shopping with a vengeance and rack up some serious debts. Furthermore the promise of wealth also makes the Boyles very haughty and they even dump their working-class friends. However the Boyles find themselves in big trouble - financially and otherwise - when it is revealed that there is no inheritance after all. Juno And The Paycock was the first solo screenwriting credit for Alma Reville Hitchcock's wife and lifelong collaborator. The film was based on Sean O'Casey's hit play; it was released in the United States under the title The Shame Of Mary Boyle. The Lady Vanishes (1938): Intrigue and espionage and the effects on the lives and futures of passengers aboard a Trans-Continental Express emerge when a girl traveller (Margaret Lockwood) returning from a holiday strikes up an acquaintance with a middle-aged English governess who during the journey mysteriously disappears from her compartment. The girl seeking an explanation for the disappearance is accused of hallucinating and is nearly convinced that her new friend does not exist. However further enquiries made among the passengers reveal the curious behaviour of a group of foreign government agents who are also travelling as passengers... Classic Hitchcock!
Yet more antiques-related tomfoolery from Lovejoy Eric And Tinker! Episodes comprise: 1. The Price Of Fish 2. The Last Colony (Feature Length)
Legends Of The Fall: Colonel William Ludlow (Sir Anthony Hopkins) built a ranch in the remote foothills of the Montana Rockies where he brought up his three sons away from the carnage of the Indian wars. Alfred (Aidan Quinn) the eldest is dutiful and reserved Samuel (Henry Thomas) the beloved youngest is compassionate and idealistic while the middle brother Tristan (Brad Pitt) has a wild untameable spirit. Into this masculine world enters Susannah Finncannon (Julia Ormond) a beautiful intelligent woman who stirs a passion and rivalry in all three brothers that will change the course of their lives and shape their destinies forever. From the rugged prairie lands of 19th Century America to the trenches of World War I and the changing world beyond 'Legends of the Fall' is a sweeping star-studded epic - a passionate journey into the darkest secrets of love betrayal and the unbreakable bonds of blood. First Knight: Set in and around the city of Camelot First Knight is a sweeping epic about love honour betrayal and passion. Lancelot (Richard Gere) a nomadic rogue has no ties no enemies and no fear until that is he meets the beautiful Lady Guinevere of Leonesse (Julia Ormond). Guinevere has promised to marry King Arthur (Sean Connery) not only because his armies can protect her country but because she truly loves him. But her chance encounter with Lancelot as she prepares to enter Camelot stirs conflicting and powerful emotions within her. Arthur welcomes both into his city with open heart little foreseeing how his great capacity for love and trust opens the doors for his own betrayal... The Slipper And The Rose: In Euphrania live two unhappy people - a sad young girl called Cinderella (Gemma Craven) and a proud young prince (Richard Chamberlain) - trapped in two very different worlds. Following the death of her father poor Cinderella has been left in the care of her unfriendly step-mother (Margaret Lockwood) and her two spoilt step-sisters. Meanwhile the Prince of the land has come of age and the King (Michael Hordern) and the Queen want him to marry. His desperate parents hold a splendid ball and invite every noble girl in the land. Cinderella is shunned by her ugly sisters when they leave her behind and flounce off to the ball in their finery. Fortunately her Fairy Godmother (Annette Crosbie) intervenes transforming Cinderella and whisks her off to the ball - and so the love story blossoms in this exquistive movie with music by Richard and Robert Sherman.
France 1796: in the new Republic poverty is rife and crimes harshly punished. Jean Valjean is sentenced to five years at the gallery for stealing a loaf of bread. There the Inspector of Guards Javert takes an intense loathing to him - and every rebellion on Jean's part is met with strict punishment and a longer sentence. Jean eventually escapes. Five years later he is living a respectable life as a Mayor when fate intervenes and brings him face to face with his old enemy Javert. Victor Hugo's enduring classic is lavishly recreated and performed by an outstanding cast.
Frank Jones (Michael Caine) is an ordinary law abiding businessman. He served his country during the war and he is very proud of his son Bob (Nigel Havers) a Russian linguist and translator. Frank's world is shattered by the arrival of the police to tell him his son is dead. The plot thickens when the inquest verdict is 'Accidental Death'. Frank embarks on his own investigation into his son's death and discovers that there are no limits to what the government will do to protec
The third and final entry in Laurence Olivier's Shakespeare triptych, Richard III is an audacious portrait of a man determined to prove himself a villain. A pure master of the political stage, Richard deploys a barrage of odious, unscrupulous traps in an attempt to exercise complete control over his rivals. As the personification of evil impudence, Olivier portrays the Duke of Gloucester with such aplomb that he even lures the audience on to his side. This is true even as Richard engineers plots to murder his brother Clarence (John Gielgud), betray his cousin Buckingham (Ralph Richardson) and seduce his niece Lady Anne (Claire Bloom). From the play's famous opening lines ("Now is the winter of our discontent"), Olivier delivers every speech with truly Machiavellian splendour. As usual, his voice is a force of nature--a full-bodied coloratura at one moment, an earthy baritone cello a few beats later. As a director, Olivier fully realises but underplays the corners of the script that most directors would hinge their dramatisation on. But he can also play it large: Olivier's superb staging of the climactic battle rivals his work on Henry V. Though Richard is finally brought down by the whispered curses of Queen Margaret, the audience exits feeling that the journey has been both entertaining and complete. Regrettably, this would be Olivier's last Shakespeare film, as a planned adaptation of Macbeth was abandoned for financial reasons. Olivier justly received an Oscar nomination for his performance; and believe it or not, this film was the inspiration for the original Blackadder! --Kevin Mulhall
This film is an amalgam of Henry IV parts 1 & 2 and also Richard II Henry V and the Merry Wives of Windsor. It's based on Welles' play Five Kings an adaptation of four Shakespeare plays which he produced in 1939 and again in 1960. The film's narration spoken by Ralph Richardson is taken from the chronicler Raphael Holinshed. Orson Welles plays Sir John Falstaff alongside an incredible cast featuring Margaret Rutherford Jeanne Moreau and John Gielgud. Welles is uncompromising as the tragicomic Shakespearean character and many critics believe this is the greatest screen portrayal of Falstaff.
The Message:It is the 7th Century and in Mecca powerful leaders are in conflict with Mohammed who attacks the many injustices their way of life produces - slavery drunkenness and cruelty. Mohammed claims to have seen a vision of the Angel Gabriel and calls to the people of Mecca to worship one God only. After a revelation from God Mohammed agrees to take arms against Mecca and at the Wells of Bedr the inexperienced Moslem troops are victorious. However at the Battle of Uh
France 1796: in the Republic poverty is rife and crimes harshly punished. Jean Valjean (Richard Jordan) is sentenced to five years at the gallery for stealing a loaf of bread. There the Inspector of Guards Javert (Anthony Perkins) takes and intense loathing to him - and every rebellion on Jean's part is met with strict punishment and a longer sentence. Jean eventually escapes. Five years later he is living a respectable life as a Mayor when fate intervenes and brings him face to face with his old enemy Javert. Victor Hugo's enduring classic is lavishly recreated and performed by an outstanding cast.
Directed by Peter Hunt (On Her Majesty's Secret Service) featuring a score by Elmer Bernstein unique opening credits by Bond optical effects veteran Maurice Binder and gritty performances by Roger Moore and Ray Milland 'Gold' is a superb adaptation of Wilbur Smith's acclaimed novel concerning a group of greed-driven businessmen conspiring to flood a South African gold mine...
Sir Laurence Olivier is regarded as one of the greatest actors of the 20th Century. Olivier dazzled audiences with brilliant acting athleticism and elaborate costumes makeup and vocal techniques. He began acting as a child and went on to gain international movie stardom and a catalogue of prestigious awards. This collection celebrates the career of possibly the greatest acting talent Britain and the world has ever seen. Set Comprises: Richard III (1955) Henry V (1944) A
Two irrepressible legends of the British stage lend elegance wit and pathos to this touching and tender play about the fragility of the mind and the strength of the human spirit. Sir John Gielgud and Sir Ralph Richardson are among the small congregation of ageing residents whiling away a breezy afternoon on the lawn of a home for the mentall frail in rural Britain. As the day's end nears so does the realisation that although the hopes and dreams these once agile minds once harbured a
Based on a true story. 1876. The heir to the vast Tichborne fortune Sir Roger Tichborne presumed drowned at sea in 1866 is reportedly seen in Australia. His brother Alfred and the family servant Andrew Bogle arrive from England to investigate the matter. However Alfred's demise prompts the Tichbourne's to refuse funds for Andrew's return. Andrew desperately searches for a candidate to fill in for the missing heir and settles on local butcher Thomas Castro whom he coaches to succeed in such a scam. With the family divided in their belief that he is their missing kin the impostor is soon standing trial...
This film is about Galileo the 17th century Italian who laid the foundations for modern science. He made one of the world's first telescopes and discovered the moons of Jupiter he also supported Copernicus' theory that the Earth revolved around the Sun and suffered persecution at the hands of the Inquisition...
Eagle In A Cage
This collection features stirring and inspirational films urging the nation to fight on and to preserve our British heritage and way of life. Words For Battle (1941): Laurence Olivier reads extracts from great works by the likes of Milton Blake and Kipling illustrated by inspirational film of both a timeless pastoral Britain and a modern armed Britain poised for war. Lift Your Head Comrade (1942): A powerful propaganda piece looking at German and Austrian anti-fascists who have volunteered to service with the Pioneer Corps to help Britain in its war against Germany. (Script: Arthur Koestler) The New Britain (1940): This MOI production evokes the utopia that Britain could have become in the decades following the Great War if only German fascism had not raised its head. (Script: Grahame Greene) Worker And Warfront No.8 (1943): Stanley Holloway provides the voiceover in this animated warning about a worker too tough to get his wounds checked - and who then contracts blood poisoning. (Script: E.C. Bentley) Britain At Bay (1940): J.B. Priestley provides the commentary for a film produced immediately after the fall of France celebrating British values and reminding us that in the months ahead Britain stands alone and at bay in guarding 'the future of the civilised world'. Essential Jobs (1942): A fascinating film showing how all unglamorous jobs actually contribute to the war effort. (Script: V.S. Pritchett) Albert's Savings (1940): Stanley Holloway delivers an 'Albert'-style monologue as he persuades the nation to invest in Savings Certificates for the war effort. (Script: Edgar Marriott) A Diary For Timothy (1945): Michael Redgrave John Gielgud and Myra Hess contribute to Humphrey Jennings' impressionistic portrait of a Britain finally poised to celebrate the end of the war. (Script: E.M. Forster) New Towns For Old (1942): An MOI film looking at urban regeneration in the fictional industrial town of 'Smokedale'. (Script: Dylan Thomas)
'The British Are Coming!' Britain's finest athletes have begun their quest for glory in the 1924 Olympic Games. Success brings honour to their nation. For two runners, the honour at stake is personal... and their challenge one from within. Winner of four 1981 Academy Awards including Best Picture, 'Chariots Of Fire' is the inspiring, true story of Harold Abrahams, Eric Liddell and the team that brought Britain one of its greatest sports victories. Ben Cross, Ian Charleson, Nigel...
Against The Wall: It was a time of protest and war. The whole world was in turmoil and nowhere more so than behind the bleak grey walls of America's toughest prison - the monument to misery and violence they called Attica. This is a terrifying story of courage and conviction amid the chaos and horror of America's bloodiest ever prison uprising directed by the acclaimed John Frankenheimer. With both guards and inmates caged like animals Attica was a timebomb just waiting to explode. In this pressure-cooker of brutality a strange bond of humanity was forged between a young rookie officer and the Black Panther leader of revolt. But their passionate belief in a human rights respect and dignity were about to be engulfed in the hatred prejudice and revenge......and the world never be the same again. Tiger Warsaw: Deeply moving story set in the steel town of Sharon Pennsylvania. Chuck Tiger Warsaw brought shame and sorrow to his family when he shot his father in a quarrel. The following 15 years he spent self-destructing dealing and taking drugs and giving his child up for adoption. Chuck returns to his hometown in a last-ditch attempt to put his shattered life back together. But his father now a semi-invalid and his sister Paula refuse to forgive him. Only his mother is glad to see him but she is torn between her love for her son and her duty as a wife. Split Decisions: The story of a fighting Irish family whose patriarch Dan has ambitious plans for his younger son Eddie to be in the Olympic Boxing Team. The Whistle Blower: Frank Jones is an ordinary law abiding businessman but his world is shattered by the arrival of the police to tell him his son is dead. The father embarks on his own investigation into his son's death and discovers that there are no limits to what the government will do to protect its secret activities. Darrow: Some people called him Lawyer for the Damned...but Clarence Darrow was simply a man who in time of justice had the courage to stand alone. The name Clarence Darrow is permanently linked to the tremendous strides in the American legal system from the late 19th century through the early decades of the twentieth century. This complex and charismatic onetime farm boy's history-making legal defences of the Pullman Rainroad Strike the Leopold/Loeb Murder Trial and the Scopes Monkey Trial have earned him the status of an authentic American hero.
David Lynch creator of Twin Peaks and acclaimed director of 'Eraserhead' 'Blue Velvet' and 'Wild At Heart' directs this bizarre but true story of courage and human dignity. John Hurt gives the performance of a lifetime as John Merrick the worst freak known to Victorian medical science a man whose body is hideously distorted into a grotesque parody of an elephant. Rescued from a travelling freak show by Sir Frederick Treves Merrick gradually reveals himself to be a strangely sweet and gentle man remarkably unembittered by the degradation and torment he suffered at the circus. Beautifully shot by Freddie Francis and with an excellent supporting cast including Sir John Gielgud Anne Bancroft and Dame Wendy Hiller The Elephant Man is a compelling moving and enchanting story. The film was nominated for eight Oscars including Best Picture Best Director and Best Actor.
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