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Period & History

Breathing new life into history, this collection contains all of the drama, passion, and delightful costumes that one would come to expect with premium British period cinema.

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  • 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...

  • 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...

  • The Cruel Sea

    Adapted from Nicholas Monsarrat's acclaimed novel, The Cruel Sea follows a Corvette, the Compass Rose, and its crew as they fight German U-Boats in an attempt to protect convoys throughout World War 2. A stark, honest, and emotionally fueled portrayal of wartime, The Cruel Sea is unusual in its f...

  • Stage Beauty

    Lively period drama set in 17th century London, based on the play by Jeffrey Hatcher and directed by Richard Eyre. Billy Crudup stars as Ned Kynaston, the brightest star in Restoration theatre. Since women are forbidden to appear on stage, the beautiful, brazen Ned is able to shine in all the gre...

  • Salome's Last Dance

    It is 1892, and Oscar Wilde (Nickolas Grace) is enjoying the company of his lover, Bosey, and other young men in a brothel. While he does so, workers put on an elaborate production of Wilde's banned play, Salome. In the play, King Herod begs his stepdaughter to dance for him, however, her mother ...

  • Last September

    Residing over their declining Irish estate, an elderly couple (Maggie Smith and Michael Gambon) entertain a number of guests. Their niece (Keeley Hawes) enjoys flirtatious adventures with the invitees, including a British soldier (David Tennant). However, when a final guest arrives and begins to ...

  • The Three Musketeers

    D'Artagnan (Michael York), a young swordsman, arrives in Paris with one dream: becoming a Musketeer. He meets and quarrels with Athos (Oliver Reed), Porthos (Frank Finlay), and Aramis (Richard Chamberlain), three Musketeers, who invite him to join them in fighting the evil Cardinal Richelieu (Cha...

  • Justine

    The directorial debut of illustrator and producer Stewart Mackinnon, Justine is a near-lost example of British avant-garde cinema of the 1970s. Produced by the BFI Production Board in 1976, it has been out of circulation for the entire 40 years since.

  • The Rainbow

    Ken Russell returns to the author of one of his greatest triumphs, D.H Lawrence, for a prequel to Women in Love that showcases the singular director’s flair for romantic flamboyance and erotic power. Ursula (Sammi Davis) finds herself falling for her swimming and gym teacher Winifred (Amanda Dona...

  • The Winslow Boy

    Exemplary adaptation of the Terence Rattigan play, ostensibly about a naval cadet accused of stealing a postal order but predominantly concerned with the liberty of the individual. Savouring every word of Rattigan's immaculate dialogue, Robert Donat excels as defense counsel Sir Robert Morton, ou...

  • Anchoress

    Chris Newby’s poetic debut feature addresses the gulf between patriarchal power and female ritual and rebellion against the backdrop of a remote Medieval village.

  • Colditz Story

    After escaping from other camps, allied prisoners from all nations were taken to the medieval castle of Colditz, where the guards outnumbered the prisoners. However, when the allied troops decide to pool their ideas together, numerous inventive escape plans are hatched. Starring John Mills and Er...

  • Elenya

    In Wales during World War Two, a German airman crash-lands in a wood and is found by 12-year-old Elenya. She decides to keep him a secret and does so for as long as she can until finally the village learns the truth, with tragic consequences.

  • 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...

  • The Song of the Shirt

    The plight of women in the 1840s London rag trade is explored and deconstructed. Informed by experimental film practice and evoking a serialised Victorian novel, this unusual film investigates the effects of protectionist ‘philanthropy' in the sweatshop-style London clothes trade using contempor...

  • The Dead

    Hollywood legend John Huston's extraordinary career culminated in a return to his ancestral homeland for this elegiac 1987 adaptation of James Joyce’s short story. This warm reverie of old Dublin, and the Irish heritage Huston treasured, was directed from his wheelchair, with the 80-year-old vete...

  • Murder in the Cathedral

    George Hoellering's powerful adaptation of TS Eliot's classic verse drama is a stark and highly atypical example of British historical cinema. Little-seen despite winning a top prize at the Venice Film Festival, the film recounts - entirely in verse - the clash between King Henry II and Archbisho...

  • Ascendancy

    Set in Ireland in 1920, Ascendancy is a powerful meditation on English guilt over the tormented history of Northern Ireland. Connie (Julie Covington) is an English aristocrat driven to despair over the horrors of war, including both the residual effects of the Great War and a new wave of violence...

  • 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...

  • The Four Musketeers

    A sequel to the 1973 adaptation of The Three Musketeers, The Four Musketeers covers the second half of Dumas' classic novel. Cardinal Richelieu (Charlton Heston) has another evil plot, this time ordering the kidnap of Constance de Bonancieux (Racquel Welch), dressmaker of the Queen of France. The...

  • Jekyll & Hyde

    Henry Jekyll (Michael Caine) is a melancholy man. His wife died of pneumonia, and he seeks the comfort of his sister-in-law, despite her father's refusal. Jekyll throws himself into his work, developing a personality-splitting drug that allows him to wreak brutish havoc as his alter-ego, Hyde. Ho...

  • Gothic

    Lord Byron (Gabriel Byrne) promises his guests a night of horror only a mad poet can deliver and after partaking in hallucinogens, the guests tell ghost stories while exploring the dark corridors of his home - and of their minds. If any director is suited to retelling the wild night that conjured...

  • Solomon Kane

    Fantasy action adventure set in the 17th century, based on the character created by pulp fiction writer Robert E Howard. After an encounter with Satanic demon The Reaper while fighting in Africa, Kane (James Purefoy) embarks on a quest for redemption to save his soul from being damned eternally t...

  • A Hitch in Time

    Patrick Troughton (riffing wonderfully on his prior incarnation as Doctor Who) plays a time-hopping inventor who’s disturbed by a couple of curious kids. He decides to send them back through the ages for themselves, but when his machinery begins to malfunction his charges wonder if they’ll ever m...