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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

RECOMMENDED

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 The Orchard End Murder
The Orchard End Murder
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The Orchard End Murder 1986 18

An old house near a remote, rural railway station provides the setting for this grisly tale of terror set in 1960s England.

49 mins United Kingdom Director. Christian Marnham

BROWSE THE COLLECTION

View Akenfield
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 Long Shot
Long Shot
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HD

Long Shot 1978

Deadpan satire about a Scottish film producer trying to make his debut feature.

85 mins United Kingdom Director. Maurice Hatton

View Extremes
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
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 Dream Demon
Dream Demon
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Dream Demon 1988 18

A young woman becomes haunted by terrifying dreams, which soon begin to pull people around her into a nightmarish netherworld.

89 mins United Kingdom

View Paperhouse
Paperhouse
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Paperhouse 1989 15

Bernard Rose’s cult adult fantasy follows a young girl who discovers an increasingly dark and dangerous dream world.

92 mins United Kingdom Director. Bernard Rose

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 Death in High Heels
Death in High Heels
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Death in High Heels 1947

When one of the ladies at a posh couturier is poisoned, all the staff come under suspicion.

48 mins United Kingdom Director. Lionel Tomlinson

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
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 The God King
The God King
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The God King 1974

Epic tale set in 5th century Sri Lanka, following the battle for the throne between Kassapa and his father King Dhatusena.

99 mins United Kingdom Director. Lester James Peries

View Hero
Hero
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Hero 1982

In a medieval Scotland where sorcery still reigns, a young knight joins a band of warriors but becomes enmeshed in a power struggle with their leader.

92 mins United Kingdom Director. Barney Platts-Mills

View Vroom
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 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 The Golden Madonna
The Golden Madonna
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The Golden Madonna 1949 U

When she inherits an Italian palazzo, a young woman takes on more than she bargained for

88 mins United Kingdom Director. Ladislao Vajda

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 The Happiness of Three Women
The Happiness of Three Women
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The Happiness of Three Women 1954 U

The Wishing Well Inn in rural Wales is the bustling centre of love and intrigue in this charming romance starring Petula Clarke.

78 mins United Kingdom Director. Maurice Elvey

View Mantrap
Mantrap
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Mantrap 1953

Hammer thriller in which a wrongly imprisoned man escapes to find the real murderer.

79 mins United Kingdom Director. Terence Fisher

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 Solomon and Gaenor
Solomon and Gaenor
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Solomon and Gaenor 1998 15

The moving and passionate story of illicit love between a Welsh girl and a Jewish boy, set against a backdrop of industrial unrest in the Welsh Valleys of 1911.

104 mins Wales Director. Paul Morrison

View Conflict of Wings
Conflict of Wings
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Conflict of Wings 1954 U

When the RAF tries to take over an island for target practice, the locals rally to prevent them.

84 mins United Kingdom Director. John Eldridge

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 The Song of the Shirt
The Song of the Shirt
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The Song of the Shirt 1979

The plight of women in the 1840s London rag trade is explored and deconstructed in this multifaceted documentary

135 mins United Kingdom Director. Jonathan Curling, Sue Clayton

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 Bedelia
Bedelia
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Bedelia 1946

Britain’s top star Margaret Lockwood plays a devoted wife who is not quite what she seems.

90 mins United Kingdom Director. Lance Comfort

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
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 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 Doombeach
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 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 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 Black Bird Descending: Tense Alignment
Black Bird Descending: Tense Alignment
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Black Bird Descending: Tense Alignment 1977

A brilliantly constructed, melancholic ode to the passing of time by Malcolm Le Grice

105 mins United Kingdom Director. Malcolm Le Grice

View Soursweet
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 Another Time, Another Place
Another Time, Another Place
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Another Time, Another Place 1983 15

Michael Radford (Il Postino) directs this war-time drama set in Scotland. The passions of a young housewife are aroused by the arrival of an Italian POW.

102 mins United Kingdom Director. Michael Radford

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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HD

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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HD

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 Death in High Heels
Death in High Heels
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Death in High Heels 1947

When one of the ladies at a posh couturier is poisoned, all the staff come under suspicion.

48 mins United Kingdom Director. Lionel Tomlinson

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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HD

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
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
Mons
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Mons 1926

Arrival of the British Army in France

91 mins United Kingdom Director. Walter Summers

View Ypres
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

View Remembrance of Things Fast
Remembrance of Things Fast
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Remembrance of Things Fast 1993 18

John Maybury’s dark, queer state of the nation film starring Tilda Swinton and Rupert Everett

60 mins United Kingdom Director. John Maybury

View Mr. Drake's Duck
Mr. Drake's Duck
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Mr. Drake's Duck 1951

The Drakes' dream of making an old Sussex farm successful comes to a halt after one of their ducks lays a radioactive egg

85 mins USA Director. Val Guest

View Lady from the Sea
Lady from the Sea
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Lady from the Sea 1930 PG

Racy sea tale of unbridled passions with Ray Milland's Walmer lifeboatman caught in the vice-like grip of a sultry French vamp.

67 mins United Kingdom Director. Castleton Knight

View Justine
Justine
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Justine 1976

Stewart Mackinnon’s avant-garde adaptation of Marquis de Sade’s infamous erotic novel has been near impossible to see since 1976.

90 mins United Kingdom Director. Stewart Mackinnon

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