Summer of British Film

Summer of British Film

Today the BBC begins its summer-long season of over 100 British films, divided into seven themes (Thriller, Love & Romance, Social Realism, Costume Drama, Horror, War and Comedy), with seven acompanying documentaries. The selection of films is really quite imaginative – there’s a full list on the BBC site. If I can veer away from silents just for a bit, I strongly recommend Edmond Greville’s Noose (1948), showing this Sunday morning, a corking crime thriller set in Soho, with Nigel Patrick having the time of his life as a sharp-talking spiv; The Scarlet Thread (1950), with Kathleen Byron and Laurence Harvey, on August 3rd, just because I’ve never seen it and it looks intriguing; Victor Saville’s 1931 version of Hindle Wakes – not quite as good as the 1927 silent, but powerful stuff nonetheless, and oddly enough the rarer title these days – on August 10th (the BBC has a still for the 1951 version by mistake); and many many more – Obsession, Young and Innocent, Hell Drivers, I Know Where I’m Going!, Hungry Hill, This Sporting Life, That Hamilton Woman, A Night to Remember, Gregory’s Girl, Witchfinder General

There’s just the one silent, Anthony Asquith’s A Cottage on Dartmoor (1929). Needless to say, it’s being shown in the small hours, Monday morning July 30th at 1.30 am. To be honest, if I had to choose one British silent only to join such a parade, it wouldn’t be the sometimes ponderous A Cottage on Dartmoor, but it’s had some exposure of late, and so I guess it has a modest vogue about it. I’d have gone for the 1927 Hindle Wakes myself. Or The Informer. Or The Manxman. Or The Flag Lieutenant

One response

  1. The first documentary in the ‘British Film Forever’ series was pretty dismal. Tried to match the Channel 4 talking heads-with-clips-and-jokey-commentator formula and missed it by a mile. And some really poor-looking clips, especially Hitchcock’s THE LODGER, which looked like they’d picked up the grottiest 116mm print they could find. The only other silent, in this programme on crime thrillers, was the unlikely choice of Cecil Hepworth’s RESCUED BY ROVER (1905). They should have gone for ULTUS: THE MAN FROM THE DEAD…

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