Delve into the past and discover the London of days gone by! Housed together in this boxset are the forgotten gems of British Cinema. Each film opens a different window onto the history of the city, from the menace of the post-war period to the joie de vivre of the swinging sixties, taking the viewer on a nostalgic journey through the vibrant neighbourhoods of the East End, the seedy yet seductive streets of Soho, and the vital, lively docks of the river.
1952 POOL OF LONDON Dir. Basil Dearden Stars Bonar Colleano, Susan Shaw
Two sailors on shore leave get inadvertently caught up in a crime as murky as the great river itself. For one of them, Johnny, life is further complicated when he falls in love, with his passion for Pat, a local ticket seller, forming one of the first inter-racial relationships in British film.
1953 THE YELLOW BALLOON Dir. J. Lee-Thompson Stars Andrew Ray
A young boy is involved in an accident, and, guilt-ridden, falls prey to an unscrupulous criminal who wishes to exploit the child to his own ends. Playing out under the shadows of the recent war, The Yellow Balloon takes the viewer on a trip through the criminal underworld of London, culminating in a heart-stopping chase through the tunnels of the underground.
1963 SPARROWS CAN’T SING Dir. Joan Littlewood Stars James Booth, Barbara Windsor
There’s panic in Stepney; from the stalls in the street to the bar of the Red Lion the word goes out: tearaway Charlie Gooding is back from two years at sea, and on the way home to his old stamping grounds. When he discovers that his errant wife Maggie has moved in with the local bus conductor, he sets off to track her down – and win her back.
1963 THE SMALL WORLD OF SAMMY LEE Dir. Ken Hughes Stars Anthony Newley
The Small World of Sammy Lee is just around any corner in Soho. Peopled by the pimps, the punters, the brasses and the bookies, and scattered with Peepshows, just like the sleazy club where Sammy Lee comperes the strip-tease. Sammy Lee is worried. When you owe money to a bookie like Conner, you’re entitled to be worried. Particularly when his muscle men are coming in a few hours to collect in cash… or exact revenge.
1967 THE LONDON NOBODY KNOWS Dir. Norman Cohen Stars James Mason
Based on Geoffrey Fletcher’s book, The London Nobody Knows exposes the real London of the swinging sixties. With James Mason (North by Northwest) as our guide, we are led on a tour of the weird and wonderful pockets of London from abandoned music-halls to egg breaking factories. A unique piece of film history.
1969 LES BICYCLETTES DE BELSIZE Dir. Douglas Hickox Stars Judy Huxtable, Anthony May
An enchanting musical love story about a young man who falls for a model after seeing her picture and then takes to the streets on his bicycle to find her... Shot in North London in 1968, the film perfectly captures the fashions, verve and innocence of the time. An absolute gem.
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