Saturday 17 May 2014

Great British Films - and one not so great.

Royal Mail released a set of stamps celebrating Great British Films.
Go Britain! Our record is somewhat patchy on films. The golden age was a long time ago. More recently we do the technical design, special effects and sound for movies. But we do still make a fair number of films.
However let's see what RM chose from the last 70 years of British Cinema to make the top 6.

1. A Matter of Life and Death - 1946. David Niven is superb in this wartime/US-UK relationship-love death and the afterlife film. It still regulary features on Film 4 so you can catch it on freeview. It holds up very very well for its age and is a film critics fav as well as being a good entertaining film. Spooky music too. 8.1* rating on Imdb.

2.Lawrence of Arabia -1962.  Brilliant- epic- powerful and ..erm..long. Still a masterpiece. Great acting and great panoramas. Can make a case for a top 6 place. Masterful desert sound track. 8.4* rating

3. 2001-A Space Odyssey. - 1968. Not a favourite of mine. Except for the ape start. But it is a compelling and innovative movie- Iconic. Deserves its place in the top 6. And the music? Brilliant. 8.3* rating

4. Chariots of Fire - 1981; pretty much the film that revived the British Film Industry from the 'Confessions of a ' and 'Carry on' era. I like the start with Gielgud. A film about Edwardian's running. still a great movie and fantastic soundtrack. 7.3*

5. Secrets and Lies.- 1996 Not really my cup of tea. But the quality of the acting and direction is evident. And a very British style, Mike Leigh, production. 8* rating.

6  And .. Bend it like Beckham 2002...Bend it like Beckham ? You What! A feel good sportsromcom ? This isn't in the same league as the other movies. Its just a .. very ordinary film. Not classic at all. Ok, it made a lot of money. It was a very successful film, especially overseas. made some $100,000,000 which is terrific. But its still a nothing film. 6.7* rating

Looks suspiciously like the PC police had a say.

I can think of 10 British films more deserving than this. 20 even - Without looking up on lists.- Great British actor Michael Caine himself has 6 or 7 that are better than this. 
Sleuth {8.1*}. Ipcress file{7.4*}. Zulu {7.8*}. Educating Rita{7.2*}. Italian job{7.4*}. Get Carter {7.6*}..

And as the list is 1946-2002 then there are plenty of better candidates. Long Good Friday.{7.7*} East is East {6.9*}. the Third man {8.4*}. Shallow Grave {7.4*} ..

And your choices of British Cinema in the comments.


Dick the Prick said...

Gandhi was awesome. Branagh's Henry V is pretty much unsurpassable.

Malcolm Tucker said...

No Monty Python? Life of Brian should get an honourable any film list.

Steven_L said...

Dr No? or the much better You Only Live Twice?

Lock Stock? Snatch?

I think 'Bend it Like Beckham' is the only one of those I've seen!

MyFilmCriticName said...

Long Good Friday.

Dead Mans Shoes.

Anything with Peter Sellers.

Wicker Man. (the original)

etc..etc..etc... always gonna be subjective and thus contentious though, innit?

Bill Quango MP said...


..always gonna be subjective and thus contentious though, innit?

Except we can all agree that 'Bend it like Beckham' shouldn't be there!

Just did a little list looking. Lists of great British/top 100 films/ best movies of the millennium etc, BILB appears on none of them.

Dick the Prick said...

I'm not even sure Knightely can act; she's not Sophia Coppola bad but more David Hasselhoff 5 faces level.

Demetrius said...

Surely "Carry On Cleo"? Sinister dexter. sinister, dexter....

Electro-Kevin said...

Snatch, The Hill, American Beauty (Sam Mendez is British anyway)

DJK said...

If we're talking about British films, rather than films made in Britain, or by British born or naturalized directors, then how about:
Carry On Doctor
I Know Where I'm Going
The Cruel Sea (or perhaps The Dambusters)
The Third Man
Saturday Night & Sunday Morning
Sunday Bloody Sunday (1971)
I might include Secrets and Lies.

Nick Drew said...

Kind Hearts & Coronets

Gregory's Girl (opening caption alone heralds a great talent)

Agree with Malcolm on 'Brian', Demetrius on 'Cleo': & 'Khyber', too

hmm - all comedies. So: 'If'; 'Becket' (technically Anglo-US); 'Long Good Friday'; and of course BQ's right about 'Carter'