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 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 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.

  • 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...

  • 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.

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • One of the Missing

    A soldier, out on reconnaissance in the American Civil War, finds himself trapped - buried alive and alone under the rubble of a fallen wall - deep in enemy territory. Unable to move, he is overcome by a mad terror as he hallucinates and awaits his almost certain death. This potent short, based o...

  • Jew Süss

    Unlike the horrifically antisemitic 1940 Nazi propaganda film, Lothar Mendes’ adaptation of Lion Feuchtwanger’s book offers a fairly sympathetic depiction of a Jewish man (Conrad Veidt) who seeks political power in order to improve the plight of Germany’s Jewry. Despite some unpleasant stereotype...

  • Carry On Cleo

    Enslaved by the invading Roman army, Hengist Pod and Horsa are sent to Ancient Rome to be auctioned off ñ that is until they hatch a plan to escape. In their bid to free themselves from captivity Hengist finds himself confused for a gladiator and becomes drafted into Cleopatraís private guard. Me...

  • Zulu

    A gutsy tale of grace under pressure, Zulu celebrates true British grit in the hour of need. Stanley Baker and Michael Caine lead a depleted contingent of Welsh infantrymen in defending Rorke's Drift missionary station from the attack of 4,000 Zulu warriors. Released in the final months of the Br...

  • Aguirre, Wrath of God

    This early masterpiece from legendary German director Werner Herzog stars Klaus Kinski as a power-crazed explorer in sixteenth-century South America who leads a band of conquistadors through the Amazon in search of El Dorado.

  • The Eagle Has Landed

    A Nazi Strike Force plots to kidnap Winston Churchill while he is resting in a desolate Norfolk village. Colonel Radl (Duvall), Colonel Stenier (Caine) and Liam Devlin (Sutherland) are enlisted to carry out the operation, which if successful, would irrevocably alter the outcome of the war. Disgui...

  • Madame Bovary

    Claude Chabrol's elegant adaptation of Flaubert's classic, with Isabelle Huppert in superb form as his tragic heroine, Emma.

  • Downfall

    Oliver Hirschbiegel's acclaimed drama charts the final, bunker-bound days of Adolf Hitler, as Berlin and the Third Reich crumbles around him. While the film courted some controversy upon release, facing charges of humanising a monster, the film was nevetheless a huge box office success and still ...

  • The Baby of Macon

    In the 17th-century medieval court of Cosimo de Medici III, a group of players perform a production outlining an apparent virgin birth in the French town of Mâcon and the people who exploit this ‘miracle’ for their own gain. What follows is a damning indictment of corruption in all strata of...

  • Ran

    Akira Kurosawa’s visually spectacular epic transplants Shakespeare’s King Lear from Celtic Britain to feudal Japan. In its epic scope and expert execution, Ran can be seen as a culmination of the great Japanese director’s filmmaking career; a late triumph which he planned and refined over several...