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British Classics

The best and brightest of British cinema, from established classics to new favourites, this collection of landmark British films includes timeless masterpieces, bold social commentary and biting satire.

  • The Ladykillers

    Masquerading as a string quintet, a gang of thieves plot to rob a bank, whilst renting an unknowing old woman's spare room as a hideaway. The Ladykillers features a deliciously devious Alec Guinness as the brains behind the group, alongside Herbert Lom in his first comedic role, and an appearance...

  • Brighton Rock

    Richard Attenborough is unforgettable as ‘Pinkie’, the brutal gangster who seduces and grooms a simple waitress, Rose (Carol Marsh) in the belief that she could incriminate him in a murder.

  • The Third Man

    One of the greatest British films, Carol Reed's classic very consciously emphasises its time and place - post-war Vienna - yet its resonant themes around loss of innocence and a fall from grace render it timeless. Joseph Cotten plays the writer searching the Austrian capital for his missing frien...

  • Hobson's Choice

    The eldest daughter of a bullish shoemaker decides to set up a rival business with her father's best boot-hand, whom she also intends to marry. Charles Laughton and John Mills play off each other brilliantly as the bullish shop owner and gentle but confident boot-hand in this clever romantic come...

  • Kind Hearts and Coronets

    Dennis Price plays Louis, a young man snubbed by his aristocratic family as a result of his mother's marriage. When she's killed, Louis becomes determined to inherit the family title, and won't let anything or anyone stop him. With an unforgettable performance by Alec Guinness as all eight remain...

  • The Servant

    Despite Harold Pinter's fear that Joseph Losey would turn his play into 'a completely homosexual picture', The Servant stands as one of the great critiques of British social and sexual mores. As power relationships between the classes fuel a sexual subtext about dominance and submission which goe...

  • Billy Liar

    The era of the British New Wave came of age with John Schlesinger’s comedy, one of the enduring films from the movement that crucially combines humour and literary pedigree with its ‘kitchen sink’ realism.

  • Burning an Illusion

    Menelik Shabazz’s pioneering first feature, shot around the communities of Notting Hill and Ladbroke Grove, marked a coming of age for black British cinema. A love story that traces the emotional and political growth of a young black couple in Thatcher's London, it was the first British film to ...

  • Whisky Galore!

    "The longest unsponsored advertisement ever to reach cinema screens", reckoned producer Monja Danischewski. Maybe so, but Alexander Mackendrick's debut feature is much more than that. This comic account of a real-life event pitches a priggish English army captain against the remorseless guile of ...

  • Went the Day Well?

    In the middle of World War II Cavalcanti provocatively imagined a postwar England in which the failure of the threatened German invasion could be safely seen in flashback, thanks to the resourceful villagers of Bramley End. Once the ostensibly British troops in their village are revealed as Nazis...

  • The Man in the White Suit

    A young scientist invents an unbreakable fabric that dispels dirt. Soon, he finds himself being hunted by both textile moguls and trade unionists, both determined to keep his invention from reaching the public. Alec Guinness shines in this inspired Ealing comedy, one of the most cherished entries...

  • The Sound Barrier

    Asked by director David Lean to write a script about the development of new high speed jet aircraft, esteemed playwright Terence Rattigan (The Browning Version) was reluctant. But a visit to Farnborough Air Display and meeting test pilots fired his imagination. The result, about the troubled rela...

  • Evil under the Sun

    Peter Ustinov stars as Agatha Christie's immortal detective, Hercule Poirot, in this star-studded murder-mystery. Poirot is tying up some loose ends on a shimmeringly beautiful Adriatic island when he's dragged into the case of an actress' strangling. In typical Christie style, everyone on the be...

  • The Lion in Winter

    Christmas 1183. An elderly King Henry the Second (Peter O'Toole) is torn over naming his successor. He wants the young Prince John (Nigel Terry), one of his three sons, to take over, however, his wife Queen Eleanor of Aquitaine (Katherine Hepburn) wants another of his sons, Prince Richard the Lio...

  • I'm All Right Jack

    After securing a job at his uncle's arms factory Stanley Windrush gets caught up in a dispute between the factory bosses and its trade union official. The Boulting Brothers' classic comedy brims with brilliant performances, including Ian Carmichael as the lovable Stanley and Dennis Price and Rich...

  • The Wicker Man

    After receiving an anonymous tip, a policeman ( Edward Woodward ) travels to the Scottish island of Summerisle to search for a missing girl. When he arrives, the Islanders, most of whom seem to be practising pagans, claim to have never seen or heard of the young girl. The mystery leads to our pro...

  • Henry VIII and His Six Wives

    With his reign coming to an end, a dying Henry VIII looks back on his life and the six marriages that would go on to define him. The film looks back with the King, following his life from his marriage to a Spanish princess to the foundation of Protestantism, to the beheadings and divorces that wo...

  • Ice Cold in Alex

    Captain Anson (John Mills), a fledgeling alcoholic, and Tom Pugh (Harry Andrews) are ordered to escort two nurses across the North African desert. Encountering German troops, treacherous terrain, as well as an enigmatic man, Ice Cold in Alex is a British war film packed with adventure.

  • Passport to Pimlico

    In post-war Britain following the detonation of an unexploded bomb the inhabitants of a London street discover riches and artefacts. These documents state that they are citizens of the medieval kingdom of Burgundy. When the government attempts to claim the fortune, the citizens of Burgundy declar...

  • An Inspector Calls

    It is 1912, and the shadow of war looms over a wealthy family. As they celebrate their eldest daughter's engagement in their lavish Yorkshire manor, they're interrupted by an ominous police detective who is investigating a young woman's suicide, and what role each of them played in her death.

  • Pressure

    Hailed as Britain's first black feature film, Pressure is a hard-hitting, honest document of the plight of disenchanted British-born black youths. Set in 1970s London, it tells the story of Tony, a bright school-leaver, son of West Indian immigrants, who finds himself torn between his parents' ch...

  • The Lavender Hill Mob

    Affable bank worker Henry Holland plots to steal £1million from the Bank of England. He enlists the help of his friend, a small businessman, as the two scheme to smuggle the money out of the country. This light-hearted Ealing comedy sees Alec Guinness and Stan Holloway star as the charming pair o...

  • Carry On Nurse

    With a colonel constantly causing annoyance, a bumbling nurse, a budding romance between a patient and nurse, and a man obsessed with having his bunion removed, Haven Hospital's new Matron (Hattie Jacques) has a lot of hard work ahead. As she goes on ruling with an iron fist, Oliver Reckitt (Kenn...

  • The Magic Box

    With a star-studded cast, The Magic Box follows the marvellous and magical life of William Friese-Greene (Robert Donat) as he works tirelessly to develop ever more innovative technological gadgets for capturing the moving image. This engaging biopic celebrates the medium of cinema joyously, looki...