Armchair Theatre was ITV's flagship drama anthology series. Initially screened between 1956 and 1973, it was hugely popular, with viewing figures occasionally reaching twenty million, and became a byword for quality in televised drama.Pioneering, immensely influential and sometimes challenging in its content, the series consistently drew upon a wide range of talent. Armchair Theatre became a showcase for the post-war generation of British writers who sought to place sensitive social topics - in particular the British class system - under the microscope. Throughout, the series featured a number of powerful, award-winning plays, and its lasting influence was a testament to producer Sydney Newman's passionate belief in television's potential to bring high-quality drama to the viewing public. This collection brings together a further eight plays, initially broadcast between 1970 and 1974. Featuring scripts by Donald Churchill (Spooner's Patch), P.J. Hammond (Sapphire and Steel) and Roger Marshall, whose play ties into an episode of his most memorable series Public Eye, the programmes include accomplished performances from, among others, John Thaw, Anton Rodgers, Kenneth Haigh, Bill Maynard, Susannah York, Gordon Jackson and Warren Clarke.
Based on John le CarrÃ©'s first novel, Call for the Dead (which introduced spymaster George Smiley), The Deadly Affair sees an ageing British secret agent (James Mason) set out to uncover the truth behind a government employee's apparent suicide. Eschewing the glamour of the era's Bond thrillers, Lumet's chilling and intelligent take on the spy drama presents a palpable and darkly sinister picture of Cold War intrigue. The exemplary cast also includes Maximilian Schell, Harriet Andersson, Harry Andrews, Roy Kinnear and Lynn Redgrave. Extras High Definition remaster Original mono audio Audio commentary with film historians Michael Brooke and Johnny Mains The National Film Theatre Lecture with James Mason (1967, 48 mins): archival audio recording of an interview conducted by Leslie Hardcastle The Guardian Lecture with Sidney Lumet (1983, 89 mins): archival audio recording of an interview conducted by Derek Malcolm at the National Film Theatre, London A Different Kind of Spy: Paul Dehn's Deadly Affair (2017, 17 mins): writer David Kipen discusses the life and work of screenwriter Paul Dehn Take One and Move On (2017, 5 mins): camera operator Brian West on The Deadly Affair Lumet's London (2017, 4 mins): the London locations of The Deadly Affair explored Original theatrical trailer Image gallery: on-set and promotional photography New English subtitles for the deaf and hard-of-hearing
Still the most expensive movie ever made, Cleopatra nearly bankrupted 20th Century Fox. It also scandalised the world with the very public affair of its two major stars, Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton. But Joseph L Mankiewicz's 1963 epic deserves to be remembered for more than its off-screen troubles. An extravagantly elaborate production, the sets and costumes alone are awe-inspiring; Mankiewicz's own literate screenplay draws heavily on the classics and Shakespeare; while the supporting cast, led by Rex Harrison as Caesar and Roddy McDowall as his nephew (and future emperor) Octavian, are all first-rate thespians and generally put in more convincing performances than either of the two leads. Mankiewicz's original intention was to make two three-hour films: the first being Caesar and Cleopatra, the second Antony and Cleopatra. But before the films completion, and following a boardroom coup worthy of Ancient Rome itself, legendary mogul Darryl F Zanuck took back control of Fox and insisted that Cleopatra be cut to a more economical length. A heartbroken Mankiewicz was forced to trim his six-hour vision down to four. This was the "roadshow" version shown at the films premiere and now restored here for the first time. Then following adverse criticism and pressure from cinema chains Zanuck demanded more cuts, and the final released version ran a mere three hours--half the original length. Capitalising on the feverish publicity surrounding Burton and Taylor, the shortened version played up both their on- and off-screen romance. This longer four-hour roadshow version allows for a broader view of the film, adding some depth to the politics and manipulation of the characters. But the directors original six-hour edit has been lost. Perhaps one day it will be rediscovered in the vaults and Mankiewiczs much-maligned movie will finally be seen the way it was meant to be. Until then, Cleopatra remains an epic curiosity rather than the complete spectacle it should be. On the DVD: this handsome three-disc set spreads the restored four-hour print of the movie across two discs. The anamorphic widescreen print looks quite magnificent and Alex Norths wondrous score comes up like new in Dolby 5.1 sound. Theres a patchy and only intermittently revealing commentary from Chris Mankiewicz, Tom Mankiewicz, Martin Landau and Jack Brodsky. Much better is the comprehensive two-hour documentary that occupies disc three, which tells in hair-raising detail the extraordinary story of a film production that became totally out of control. This is accompanied by some short archival material, but the documentary alone is a compelling reason to acquire this set. --Mark Walker
Joan Collins stars as Fontaine, a night club owner in both of these steamy 70's erotic dramas. The Stud: ontaine (Dame Joan Collins) is the London wife of Benjamin (Walter Gotell), a wealthy Arab businessman. She spends his money on her nightclub, The Hobo , and partying. She hires a handsome manager, Tony (Oliver Tobias), to run her club, but it is understood that his job security is dependent on his satisfying her nymphomaniacal demands. The Bitch: The owner of a trendy disco starts having problems with the men in her life and the Mafia, which is trying to move in on her place.
British intelligence officer is sent to investigate an anonymous letter sent to the foreign secretary accusing a key officer of communist affiliation. When the officer commits suicide the investigator suspects murder and presses his inquiry. The culprit is finally exposed in a surprise climax.
Eric Morecambe and Ernie Wise star in this hilarious spoof comedy thriller. The two entertainers become embroiled in a 1940's murder mystery when they take Eric's niece under their wing after she arrives at the stage door at the end of one of their shows. Lysette Anthony plays the leading lady as Eric Morecambe's niece in this funny and affectionate send-up of some of the great thriller writers from Edgar Wallace and Raymond Chandler to Agatha Christie.
Robin Hood (Connery) is an old man when he returns with his best friend Little John to England after the Crusades. Maid Marian (Hepburn) has entered a nunnery King Richard is a raving lunatic his Brother John a moron and the age of great adventure has seemed to have passed Robin by. But when The Sheriff of Nottingham (Shaw) once again threatens Sherwood Robin gathers his faithful men and band of peasants to fight oppression in this high-spirited adventure in which Robin Hood and Maid Marian rediscover their love...
Kenneth Haigh, Nanette Newman and Harry Andrews give compelling performances in this hard-hitting 1973 film tracing the progress of Joe Lampton, the aggressively ambitious protagonist of John Braine's Room at the Top. Offering a grittier treatment than the 1959 film adaptation and the subsequent television series which sequelised Braine's classic novel, Man at the Top is featured here in a brand-new transfer from original film elements in its as-exhibited theatrical aspect ratio. Northerner ...
Another successful collaboration between British screen sweetheart Anna Neagle and her director-producer husband Herbert Wilcox My Teenage Daughter stars Neagle as a woman who widowed during the War struggles to keep her infatuated seventeen-year-old daughter out of trouble; Sylvia Syms is the rebellious young woman whose heart defiantly rules her head. Boasting a first-class supporting cast this 1956 drama is featured here in a brand-new transfer from the original film elements in its as-exhibited theatrical aspect ratio. Magazine editor Valerie Carr lives in London with her two daughters – Jan aged seventeen and Poppet thirteen. When Jan is invited to a party at the Savoy she meets dashing young Tony Ward Black – mad about jive owner of a Bentley and supposedly running through a legacy. Attracted to the daring young man she rejects Mark a young farmer who is in love with her. But it soon becomes apparent to everyone but Jan that neither Tony’s fortune – nor even his name – may be his own and her association with him will lead her into delinquency and danger... Special Features: Image Gallery Original Script PDF
An intense, compelling series from the early '70s, Man at the Top stars Kenneth Haigh in the continuing story of Joe Lampton, the aggressively ambitious anti-hero of John Braine's bestselling novel Room at the Top. Haigh won a BAFTA nomination for his portrayal of Lampton, and a strong supporting cast includes Zena Walker, Paul Eddington, George Sewell and Colin Welland. This set contains both series and the hit film sequel from Hammer Films. Thirteen years on from his marriage to the pregnant Susan, Joe is now a father of two with a stockbroker-belt home and a career in management consultancy. As tenacious and pushy as ever, his attentions rarely remain fixed; with plenty of candidates eagerly forming the 'other woman' queue, Joe will seize any opportunity, be it personal or professional, to further his climb to the top in the world of big business and beyond...
The eagerly awaited sequel to The Stud sees pleasure-seeking divorcee, Fontaine Khaled (Joan Collins) meeting diamond-smuggling crook Nico Cantafoa (Antonio Cantafora) who is in debt to the Mob. When Nico charms Fontaine and user her to unwittingly courier stolen diamonds, it doesn t take Fontaine long to realise that she has again involved in another sexually-charged but ill-starred relationship. Set against the backdrop of Fontaine s nightclub Hobo, money and sex become the ultimate power of The Bitch...
Man At The Top (3 Discs)
Kenneth Haigh, Nanette Newman and Harry Andrews give memorable performances in this hard-hitting film which traces the progress of Joe Lampton, the aggressively ambitious protagonist of John Braine's Room at the Top. Offering a grittier treatment than both the 1959 film adaptation and the early '70s television series that followed, Man at the Top is featured here in a brand-new High Definition remaster from original film elements in its as-exhibited theatrical aspect ratio. Northerner Joe Lampton becomes involved with Lord Ackerman, the powerful chairman of a pharmaceutical concern, his beautiful wife Alex and daughter Robin. But trouble starts when Joe is made Managing Director of one of Ackerman's companies and makes a shocking discovery: his predecessor committed suicide. Special Features: Fullscreen version Music suite of Roy Budd's original score Theatrical trailer Image galler
This box set features the entire fifth series of the classic British Television drama Inspector Morse. Episodes comprise: 1. Second Time Around: Morse becomes concerned when an ex-Deputy Police Commissioner is murdered. He also discovers that there exists a connection between a missing chapter from the murdered man's memoirs and himself... 2. Fat Chance: A woman deacon dies in suspicious circumstances and Morse is called in... 3. Who Killed Harry Field?:
Eric Morecambe and Ernie Wise star in this hilarious spoof comedy thriller. The two entertainers become embroiled in a 1940's murder mystery when they take Eric's niece under their wing, after she arrives at the stage door at the end of one of their shows. Lysette Anthony plays the leading lady as Eric Morecambe's niece, in this funny and affectionate send-up of some of the great thriller writers, from Edgar Wallace and Raymond Chandler to Agatha Christie.
This second series in Granada's compelling crime anthology looks at some of Britain's most notorious murder trials, in which both male and female defendants stood accused of the murder of women. Introduced by Robert Morley, seven hour-long dramas reconstruct sensational trials which shocked Britain, offering in-depth analyses of individuals' motives and methods.The cases include those of bigamist George Joseph Smith, convicted of the murder of three of his wives; Neville Heath, the sex attacker whose savage crimes attracted international coverage; Ethel Le Neve, the mistress of Dr. Crippen, whose role in the murder of Crippen's wife remains mysterious; and the concurrent trials of Ronald True and Henry Jacoby, murderers from opposite ends of the social spectrum whose subsequent treatment sparked anger and controversy. Hannah Gordon, Christopher Cazenove, Ian Charleson, Michael Jayston, Kenneth Haigh, Gayle Hunnicutt and Phyllis Calvert feature among the star-studded casts.
Possibly the most alluring mysterious and powerful woman of all time Cleopatra (Elizabeth Taylor) changed the course of history when two of the most powerful men in Rome fell in love with her. Rex Harrison is Julius Caesar who wins the Egyptian throne for Cleopatra marries her and provides her with a child Caesarean. Upon returning to his native country Caesar is crowned Dictator of Rome but his desperate desire for even greater power causes a worried Roman Senate to fatally conspire against him on the Ides of March.
Man at the Top originally screened in the early '70s continues to chart the progress of Joe Lampton the aggressively ambitious anti-hero of John Braine's best-selling novel Room at the Top its award-winning film adaptation of 1958 and 1965 sequel Life at the Top. Kenneth Haigh's portrayal of Joe Lampton earned him a BAFTA nomination while accomplished film and stage actress Zena Walker is Joe's long-suffering wife Susan; a strong supporting cast includes Paul Eddington and Colin Welland with guest appearances by Stephanie Beacham and George Sewell. This release contains the complete second series available for the first time anywhere. Although Joe Lampton has returned to Susan several beautiful women are eagerly forming the 'other woman' queue. And Joe still believing the quickest way to a chairman is through the chairman's wife is as determined and manipulative as ever on his continuing climb to the top; overcoming adversity once again this series finds him seizing the opportunity to get the better of his father-in-law and finally setting his sights on a political career - bringing all his ruthless charm and tenacity to the fight for votes.
Eagle In A Cage
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