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Forgotten Features

Mischievous mermaids, murderous minors and military mayhem are among the highlights of this collection of long hard-to-see titles.

We can thank the DVD revolution of the last 15-20 years for rescuing hundreds of British films from unwarranted obscurity. Factor in the growth of online distribution too, and you might be forgiven for imagining that the whole of British cinema is now available to view from the comfort of your living room. But the truth is that we're still just scratching the surface, and untold riches - from the silent era to the relatively recent past - still lie hidden from view.

This collection of Forgotten British Features is doing its bit to remedy that, with a fascinating and varied selection of unjustly neglected films, hand picked from the vaults by the BFI's expert curators and returned to the screen where they belong, to be discovered by a new generation - starting with you!

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Forgotten Features


View Mr. Topaze
Mr. Topaze
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Mr. Topaze 1961

Charming character comedy, unseen for decades, starring Peter Sellers as a school teacher corrupted by big business.

84 mins USA Director. Peter Sellers

View Wild West
Wild West
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Wild West 1992 15

Defying opposition from his conservative Pakistani family, Zaf Ayub dreams of becoming Southall's greatest gift to country & western.

85 mins United Kingdom Director. David Attwood

View Symptoms
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Symptoms 1974 15

The official British Palme d'Or entry at the 1974 Cannes Film Festival, Symptoms is a sophisticated modern gothic horror film exploring the themes of sexual repression and psychosis.

90 mins United Kingdom Director. José R. Larraz


View Akenfield
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Akenfield 1974 12

Peter Hall’s extraordinary, long-unseen work of sublime poetic realism traces three generations of one Suffolk family and their lives in the farming industry.

98 mins United Kingdom Director. Peter Hall

View A Month in the Country
A Month in the Country
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A Month in the Country 1987 PG

A young Colin Firth and Kenneth Branagh star as two tormented WWI veterans who strike up a friendship when they meet in a rural Yorkshire village.

96 mins United Kingdom Director. Pat O'Connor

View Extremes
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Extremes 1971 Not Rated

In-your-face 70s documentary exploring the lives of Hell's Angels, hippies, skinheads, rudeboys, mods and drug addicts.

82 mins United Kingdom Director. Michael Lytton, Anthony Klinger

View They Came to a City
They Came to a City
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They Came to a City 1944

Long-unavailable Utopian fantasy (or 'socialist propaganda'?) - a true oddity from the wartime Ealing Studios.

77 mins United Kingdom Director. Basil Dearden

View Lamb
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Lamb 1985 15

In one of Liam Neeson’s earliest starring roles, he plays an errant priest who kidnaps a vulnerable boy from an abusive Catholic school

110 mins United Kingdom Director. Colin Gregg

View The Reflecting Skin
The Reflecting Skin
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The Reflecting Skin 1990 15

Stunningly photographed drama about a young American boy caught up in the nightmare of a sinister rural community.

95 mins United Kingdom Director. Philip Ridley

View Giro City
Giro City
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Giro City 1982

Glenda Jackson and Jon Finch play Welsh investigative journalists covering the Troubles in Northern Ireland only to unearth censorship and corruption back home...

102 mins United Kingdom Director. Karl Francis

View The Optimists of Nine Elms
The Optimists of Nine Elms
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The Optimists of Nine Elms 1973

Peter Sellers is superb in a warm, wistful family drama, in which two Battersea kids forge an unlikely alliance with a faded music hall star.

110 mins United Kingdom Director. Anthony Simmons

View Ping Pong
Ping Pong
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Ping Pong 1986

A young lawyer has to execute the will of a Chinese man found dead in a phone box in a witty comic thriller - the first British-Chinese feature film.

100 mins United Kingdom Director. Leong Po-chih

View The Bad Lord Byron
The Bad Lord Byron
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The Bad Lord Byron 1949

Ambitious, eccentric and hugely entertaining biopic, with Dennis Price's 'wicked' poet-adventurer defending himself in a celestial court.

85 mins United Kingdom Director. David Macdonald

View A Window in London
A Window in London
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A Window in London 1939

Michael Redgrave's construction worker is embroiled in murder and intrigue in this lively British thriller, packed with pre-war London locations.

77 mins United Kingdom Director. Herbert Mason

View Traveller
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Traveller 1981

Reluctant newlywed travellers Angela and Michael try to smuggle goods across the border in this lyrical Irish road movie written by Neil Jordan.

80 mins Ireland Director. Joe Comerford

View Mr. Perrin and Mr. Traill
Mr. Perrin and Mr. Traill
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Mr. Perrin and Mr. Traill 1948

Two public school teachers clash over teaching methods and the love of a good woman in this absorbing Hugh Walpole adaptation.

92 mins United Kingdom Director. Lawrence Huntington

View Vroom
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Vroom 1988 15

Beeban Kidron’s first feature film follows Clive Owen, David Thewlis and Diana Quick as they take to the road in a bubblegum-pink Chevrolet.

89 mins United Kingdom Director. Beeban Kidron

View Law and Disorder
Law and Disorder
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Law and Disorder 1940

Alastair Sim is in splendid form as a staid, slightly seedy solicitor in this cheerfully patriotic war-time espionage comedy.

74 mins United Kingdom Director. David Macdonald

View The Great Barrier
The Great Barrier
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The Great Barrier 1937

Ambitious, stirring British Western that pits man against the elements in the battle to drive a railway through the Canadian Rockies

84 mins United Kingdom Director. Milton Rosmer

View Midnight Breaks
Midnight Breaks
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Midnight Breaks 1988

Big Audio Dynamite’s Don Letts made his acting debut in this gripping, gritty 1990 drama of dreads, drugs, and music business corruption.

102 mins United Kingdom Director. Laurens C. Postma

View The Silent Playground
The Silent Playground
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The Silent Playground 1963

A warning tale about the dangers of taking sweets from strangers.

75 mins United Kingdom Director. Stanley Goulder

View Blanche Fury
Blanche Fury
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Blanche Fury 1947 PG

Valerie Hobson stars as the scheming governess with designs on taking over the Fury estate, in this atmospheric Gothic melodrama

95 mins United Kingdom Director. Marc Allégret

View This Week of Grace
This Week of Grace
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This Week of Grace 1933

This merry jape set in an olde worlde castle is an exuberant star vehicle for Gracie Fields, with a mix of songs and comedy.

92 mins United Kingdom Director. Maurice Elvey

View Men Are Not Gods
Men Are Not Gods
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Men Are Not Gods 1936 U

A theatre critic's secretary is caught up in a love triangle involving the stars of a production of Othello.

90 mins United Kingdom Director. Walter Reisch

View The Boy and the Bridge
The Boy and the Bridge
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The Boy and the Bridge 1959

A child's-eye-view of one of the capital's most iconic landmarks, with stunning views of the Thames and its traffic.

91 mins United Kingdom Director. Kevin McClory

View A Private Enterprise
A Private Enterprise
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A Private Enterprise 1974

The trials and tribulations of Shiv, a South Asian entrepreneur trying to set up a business in industrial Birmingham

78 mins United Kingdom Director. Peter K. Smith

View The Triple Echo
The Triple Echo
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The Triple Echo 1972

Oliver Reed and Glenda Jackson star in the rarely seen drama about an AWOL soldier who disguises as a woman to avoid capture.

94 mins United Kingdom Director. Michael Apted

View Escape from Broadmoor
Escape from Broadmoor
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Escape from Broadmoor 1948

An escaped murderer faces the vengeful spirit of the woman he killed in this 'psychic mystery' British B-movie.

39 mins United Kingdom Director. John Gilling

View A Man about the House
A Man about the House
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A Man about the House 1947 PG

An atmospheric thriller about two sisters who fall for charms of a mysterious and charismatic caretaker, after they inherit a Neapolitan villa.

99 mins United Kingdom Director. Leslie Arliss

View Madness of the Heart
Madness of the Heart
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Madness of the Heart 1949 PG

The path to true love never runs smooth, but poor Margaret Lockwood gets more of a bumpy ride than anyone deserves in this post-war melodrama.

105 mins United Kingdom Director. Charles Bennett

View The Brothers
The Brothers
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The Brothers 1947 PG

A swirling Skye-set melodrama about the murderous grudge between two Scottish clans, aroused by the arrival of a newcomer to the isle.

98 mins United Kingdom Director. David Macdonald

View Helen of Four Gates
Helen of Four Gates
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Helen of Four Gates 1920

A tale of treachery, madness and thwarted love in this vivid rural melodrama set around Heptonstall in Yorkshire.

77 mins United Kingdom Director. Cecil M. Hepworth

View Secret Friends
Secret Friends
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Secret Friends 1991 15

Alan Bates stars as an illustrator whose life begins to unravel as fantasy and reality collide in Dennis Potter’s psychosexual drama.

97 mins United Kingdom Director. Dennis Potter

View Now Barabbas Was a Robber...
Now Barabbas Was a Robber...
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Now Barabbas Was a Robber... 1949

Prison drama focusing on the seamy side of life in post-war Britain.

87 mins United Kingdom Director. Gordon Parry

View The Private Life of Don Juan
The Private Life of Don Juan
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The Private Life of Don Juan 1934 U

Husbands lock up their wives when the renowned Romeo returns to Seville; but the man wooing the city’s ladies is not what he seems.

89 mins United Kingdom Director. Alexander Korda

View Cleo and John
Cleo and John
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Cleo and John 1982

Cleo Laine and Johnny Dankworth cook up red hot jazz together live on stage, chat about married life together, and recall lengthy musical careers.

51 mins United Kingdom Director. Vernon Lawrence

View Doublecross
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Doublecross 1955

Exciting British B-movie about a Cornish poacher who clashes with dangerous international spies.

71 mins United Kingdom Director. Anthony Squire

View Bless 'em All
Bless 'em All
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Bless 'em All 1948 U

AWOL for more than half a century, but now back on parade, this cheery army comedy is a showcase for variety star Hal Monty and a young Max Bygraves.

79 mins United Kingdom Director. Robert Jordan Hill

View Doombeach
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Doombeach 1989

A truant schoolboy sabotages the secretive power station he believes killed his friend. With Glenda Jackson.

85 mins United Kingdom Director. Colin Finbow

View What Every Woman Wants
What Every Woman Wants
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What Every Woman Wants 1954

The trials and tribulations of 1950s working class family life are engagingly evoked in this warm-hearted drama of urban England.

89 mins United Kingdom Director. Maurice Elvey

View Pop Pirates
Pop Pirates
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Pop Pirates 1984

Home taping almost kills music as a schoolboy band's dreams of talent show glory may be scuppered by video piracy.

58 mins United Kingdom Director. Jack Grossman

View Twice Branded
Twice Branded
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Twice Branded 1936

The great James Mason has a juicy early role in this dynamic vintage drama of false imprisonment, disgrace, deception and family intrigue.

68 mins United Kingdom Director. Maclean Rogers

View Miranda
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Miranda 1948

A man goes fishing and comes home with a most unusual catch in this comedy feature.

80 mins United Kingdom Director. Ken Annakin

View The Blockhouse
The Blockhouse
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The Blockhouse 1973 12

A rare serious performance by Peter Sellers drives this tale of eight men buried in a bunker for three years at the end of WWII.

92 mins USA Director. Clive Rees

View Captain Stirrick
Captain Stirrick
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Captain Stirrick 1982

Pickpockets, mad puppets, and murder – all from the 1840 press accounts of a real case that lead to the gallows – conceived as a musical by the Children’s Film Unit.

90 mins United Kingdom Director. Colin Finbow

View The Perfect Woman
The Perfect Woman
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The Perfect Woman 1949

In a bid to improve on nature, a scientist creates a robot female. But the experiment doesn't quite turn out as planned...

86 mins United Kingdom Director. Bernard Knowles

View Soursweet
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Soursweet 1988 15

Hong Kong newlyweds seek a fresh start in 60s Britain, but fall foul of the Triad underworld in this adaptation of Timothy Mo’s blackly comic novel.

110 mins United Kingdom Director. Mike Newell

View Blue Scar
Blue Scar
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Blue Scar 1949

A stirring tale of love, music, and coalmining in Abergwynfi, South Wales.

102 mins United Kingdom Director. Jill Craigie

View This Was a Woman
This Was a Woman
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This Was a Woman 1948

Frustration seethes beyond the trimmed lawns of suburbia in this post-war melodrama

104 mins United Kingdom Director. Tim Whelan

View Tell Tale Heart
Tell Tale Heart
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Tell Tale Heart 1934

A madman harbours murderous thoughts about an old relative with an evil eye in this chilling Edgar Allen Poe adaptation

49 mins United Kingdom Director. Brian Desmond Hurst

View The Long Dark Hall
The Long Dark Hall
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The Long Dark Hall 1951 12

This British noir delivers a disquieting story of obsession and manipulation, with Rex Harrison as a man accused of murdering his mistress.

86 mins United Kingdom Director. Reginald Beck, Anthony Bushell

View Another Sky
Another Sky
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Another Sky 1955

Two cultures collide in a beautifully photographed love story - an ode to Morocco, its music, its people and way of life.

83 mins United Kingdom Director. Gavin Lambert

View On Approval
On Approval
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On Approval 1944

Splendid lead performances and a well-crafted, witty script make this adaptation of the Frederick Lonsdale play a delight.

80 mins United Kingdom Director. Clive Brook

View The Gold Express
The Gold Express
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The Gold Express 1955 U

Claustrophobic train-set comedy-thriller with a gang of crooks intent on stealing a gold shipment on a Scotland to London express.

58 mins United Kingdom Director. Guy Fergusson

View The Nine Lives of Tomas Katz
The Nine Lives of Tomas Katz
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The Nine Lives of Tomas Katz 1999 15

An unusual comedy about a stranger who arrives on the eve of the millennium to erase London, mankind and existence.

88 mins Germany Director. Ben Hopkins

View Makin' It
Makin' It
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Makin' It 1970

Young women audition for a movie they know nothing about, and are tested and interrogated.

106 mins United Kingdom Director. Simon Hartog

View Tinker
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Tinker 1949 U

A strikingly-filmed tale of a young tinker boy who finds his true calling on a mining apprenticeship scheme in Easington, County Durham.

67 mins United Kingdom Director. Herbert Marshall

View Poppies of Flanders
Poppies of Flanders
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Poppies of Flanders 1927

Powerful wartime drama that sees rivals in love becoming comrades-in-arms in the trenches of the Western Front.

99 mins United Kingdom

View Mons
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Mons 1926

Arrival of the British Army in France

91 mins United Kingdom Director. Walter Summers

View Ypres
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Ypres 1925

Battle film made as a memorial to the dead of WWI, documenting events at Ypres using reconstructed and genuine footage.

63 mins United Kingdom

View Pink String and Sealing Wax
Pink String and Sealing Wax
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Pink String and Sealing Wax 1945 PG

Gordon Jackson stars in a seething tale of family conflict, murder and blackmail in Victorian Brighton.

89 mins United Kingdom Director. Robert Hamer

View The Green Cockatoo
The Green Cockatoo
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The Green Cockatoo 1940

From an original scenario by Graham Greene, this is a neat crime thriller about a girl (René Ray) who witnesses a murder, becomes a suspect herself, and gets mixed up with a sleazy Soho gangster (John Mills).

65 mins United Kingdom Director. William Cameron Menzies

View Mine Own Executioner
Mine Own Executioner
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Mine Own Executioner 1948 12

Burgess Meredith stars in this powerful psychological drama, as a psychiatrist struggling with his own inner demons who's enlisted to treat a traumatised WWII veteran.

108 mins United Kingdom Director. Anthony Kimmins

View Privates on Parade
Privates on Parade
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Privates on Parade 1982 15

Musical comedy with John Cleese. In Singapore, 1948, the Song and Dance Unit tour their 'Jungle Jamboree' review.

113 mins United Kingdom Director. Michael Blakemore

View The Sea Shall Not Have Them
The Sea Shall Not Have Them
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The Sea Shall Not Have Them 1955 U

After their aircraft is shot down, four military men cast adrift must struggle to survive in this gripping WWII drama.

92 mins United Kingdom Director. Lewis Gilbert

View Sons of the Sea
Sons of the Sea
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Sons of the Sea 1925

Two boys answer the call of the sea as Royal Navy recruits in this adventure of the seven seas.

72 mins United Kingdom

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