Young Britain

British youth culture has always been iconic, be it through fashion, music, or cinema. From subculture classics to illustrations of social change, this collection brings together the best of young Britain on screen.

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  • I'm British But...

    Before she hit the big time with Bend it Like Beckham, Gurinder Chadha made this fascinating documentary on what it meant to be a young British Asian in the 1980s. The young people interviewed are from across the UK; the common thread is that they see it as home, but their differing views about w...

  • 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...

  • Sweet Sixteen

    The second of Ken Loach and screenwriter Paul Laverty's run of Scotland-set films, Sweet Sixteen is set on a bleak estate in the former shipbuilding town of Greenock. Newcomer Martin Compston puts in a powerful performance as the teenager Liam who turns to drug-dealing in an effort to escape from...

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Some People

    Cult musical drama about a leather-jacketed rocker who forms a Shadows-style guitar band under the tutelage of a hip youth club leader, incurring the wrath of his old biker gang buddies. This unlikely mixture of juvenile delinquency flick and promotional film for the Duke of Edinburgh Award schem...

  • The Raging Moon

    In this sensitive and ground-breaking drama, Malcolm McDowell plays a passionate young man who has developed a degenerative disease. In despair he decamps to a home for disabled people where he meets a woman with polio (Nanette Newman) who instils him with hope, leading to a passionate relationship.

  • 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...

  • Hue and Cry

    The bomb-torn streets of postwar London are the stage for a ripping boys'-own adventure in this buoyant classic, the first of the great 'Ealing comedies'. When schoolboy dreamer Joe discovers that robbers are planning their crimes using secret codes in a children's comic, the police are unconvinc...

  • The Magnet

    In his first starring role, an 11-year-old James Fox (then known as William) plays Johnny, an over-imaginative child who tricks a younger boy out of his prized magnet. Troubled by his conscience, he gives the magnet away - but the guilt isn't so easy to lose.

  • The Belles of St. Trinian's

    When it is announced that term is about to begin at St. Trinian's, townspeople board up their shops, and policemen panic, for St. Trinian's is a school like no other. Presided over by headmistress Miss Fritton, the unorthodox free expression she preaches leads to her students being uninhibited. W...

  • Happiest Days of Your Life

    When a mistake at the Ministry of Education sends the girls of St. Swithin's to board with the boys of Nutbourne College, it causes mayhem for both headmasters. The two must, however, join forces, in order to conceal the mistake from parents and governors. The Happiest Days Of Your Life is a mast...

  • Children

    The opening film in Terence Davies' powerful Liverpool-set Trilogy introduces Robert Tucker as a withdrawn young boy, bullied at school and terrorised by a violent father. His strict Catholic upbringing hinders his sexual awakening and as a young man he's still living at home with his mother. A v...

  • Madonna and Child

    The second instalment of Terence Davies' masterful Trilogy finds Robert Tucker in middle age, with the clash of religion and sexuality taking its toll. A depressed loner who takes the ferry across the Mersey to work as an office clerk, Robert is haunted by nightmares of his own death and tormente...

  • Death and Transfiguration

    The anguished finale of the Terence Davies Trilogy opens with the death of Robert Tucker’s beloved mother, jumping forward in time to show an elderly Robert bedridden in hospital (an astonishing appearance by Steptoe and Son’s Wilfrid Brambell). Fragments of his past - a school nativity play, mal...

  • My Ain Folk

    The second instalment of Bill Douglas’ revered Trilogy. Though life becomes ever harder for Jamie, so that he eventually ends up in a none-too-comforting children’s home, the bold, uncompromising assurance of Douglas’ very personal brand of realism ensures that the film effortlessly avoids the pi...

  • My Childhood

    Set in 1945, the first part of Bill Douglas’ poetic and profoundly stirring autobiographical triptych revisits his impoverished childhood, living with his grandmother and half-brother in the Scottish mining village of Newcraighall.

  • My Way Home

    Concluding his acclaimed Trilogy, Bill Douglas’ autobiographical film follows young Jamie as he leaves home to live with his paternal grandmother, only to be conscripted into the RAF. Ironically, military service in Egypt brings a sense of freedom and friendship unimaginable in his earlier years....

  • The Salvage Gang

    When four children try to raise money to replace a broken saw, their schemes take them on an unexpected journey through the capital. Beautifully photographed, The Salvage Gang by acclaimed director John Krish (I Think They Call Him John) is an affectionate tour of bomb-damaged London, featuring a...

  • Terry on the Fence

    When 11-year-old Terry runs away from home he only intends to put the wind up his parents. But a gang of older bullies, led by the tough Les, soon draw him into their daunting world of break-ins and stolen goods.

  • That'll Be the Day

    In 1959 two friends take different paths when finishing school; one looks to achieve academic success, and the other becomes a drifter, working on funfairs, before realising his true calling: rock 'n' roll. Starring David Essex as the fairground worker with rockstar dreams, That'll Be The Day is ...

  • Jemima + Johnny

    The friendship of a young white boy and a black girl reaches out across the generations in this uplifting mid-60s short, directed by South African-born actor and anti-Apartheid activist Lionel Ngakane. Against a background media narrative suggesting ever-worsening racial tensions, Jemima + Johnny...

  • Speak Like a Child

    Three teenagers forge a firm friendship while living in a children's home on the remote Northumbrian coast. Linked by a mutual sexual bond, they are involved in a terrible, life-changing incident that forever ties them together. Based on some of writer Danny Padmore's childhood experiences, Speak...

  • G.G. Passion

    A rare chance to see an extremely elusive short; one of a handful of films directed by celebrated photographer David Bailey. This singular take on the mania of the swinging sixties - from one of its key protagonists - follows an ageing pop singer as he is hounded by mysterious assassins.
    The re...