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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High Treason (sound version)High Treason (sound version)

Science Fiction192968 mins

Extravagantly-mounted futuristic sci-fi, now with added sound, although still with the world's two power blocs at loggerheads.

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High Treason (silent version)High Treason (silent version)

Science Fiction192975 minsSilent

A terrorist plot plays out on a backdrop of towering skyscrapers, bullet-railways and silver lamé in this vintage vision of London's future.

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The TunnelThe Tunnel

Science Fiction193693 mins

The construction of a transatlantic tunnel linking Britain and America hits trouble in an entertaining slice of speculative fiction.

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The Private Life of Don JuanThe Private Life of Don Juan

Comedy193487 mins

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.

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A Message from MarsA Message from Mars

Science Fiction191360 mins Location: London

Britain's first full-length science fiction feature has been restored by the BFI National Archive and given a new score by composer Matthew Herbert, commissioned by the BFI and the BBC.

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Hedd WynHedd Wyn

War1992115 mins Location: Trawsfynydd

The stirring story of poet Ellis Evans-Hedd Wyn, the Welsh poet posthumously awarded the Eisteddfod chair at Birkenhead in 1917 after failing to return from 1st World War trenches.

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Adventure in the HopfieldsAdventure in the Hopfields

Children's195459 mins Location: Goudhurst

Child actor Mandy Miller shines in this children's adventure set in the traditional hop picking season in Kent.

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Good-Time GirlGood-Time Girl

Drama194892 mins Location: Islington

Find out what happens when a good girl goes bad in this controversial post-war Brit noir thriller starring Jean Kent.

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Tom Brown's SchooldaysTom Brown's Schooldays

Period drama191675 minsSilent

The adventures of the spirited Tom Brown at Rugby School in the 1830s.

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Hobson's ChoiceHobson's Choice

Comedy192080 minsSilent

The first film adaptation of Harold Brighouse's Salford-set play, humorously depicting the travails of a dipsomaniac cobbler.

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Documentary197654 mins Location: Kirkby

Pete Postlethwaite, Bill Nighy and Julie Walters appear in this film about a four-year struggle to set up a worker’s cooperative.

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Bad Lord ByronBad Lord Byron

Biopic194983 mins

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

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Madness of the HeartMadness of the Heart

Melodrama194990 mins

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.

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The Faithful HeartThe Faithful Heart

Romance193280 mins

20 years after saying goodbye to a young waitress and embarking on a war-bound ship, a naval officer discovers he has an adult daughter.

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Eagle RockEagle Rock

Children's196562 mins Location: Lake District National Park

A teenage boy breaks all the rules of rock climbing to reach the top of an off-limits Lake District mountain.

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Pasand Apni ApniPasand Apni Apni

Comedy1969112 mins Location: London

Bollywood-on-Thames: East meets West in a tale of two loves in 70s London

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The Woman from ChinaThe Woman from China

Action and Adventure193176 minsSilent

A young woman is persuaded to help a Chinese businessman to kidnap a naval officer in this fun and outrageous British thriller.

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Britannia of BillingsgateBritannia of Billingsgate

Comedy193378 mins Location: Southwark Park

A star is born in this effervescent musical comedy that moves between Billingsgate Fish Market and the glamour of the film world.

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The Perfect WomanThe Perfect Woman

Comedy194987 mins

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

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Kate Plus TenKate Plus Ten

Crime193880 mins

Laughs and thrills come thick and fast in this Edgar Wallace comedy-thriller with a hair-raising car versus train chase.

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The Weaker SexThe Weaker Sex

War194885 mins

Following one family from 1944 onwards, this film tells the story of the women who worked to keep the home fires burning. An affecting tribute to the vital role women played ensuring that husbands, sons and daughters had something to come home to.

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The Passing of the Third Floor BackThe Passing of the Third Floor Back

Drama193690 mins

The diverse tenants of a London boarding house find their lives transformed by a mysterious and kindly stranger.

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The Vicar of WakefieldThe Vicar of Wakefield

Period drama191698 minsSilent

Leads and locations shine in this feature adaptation of Oliver Goldsmith's popular novel, a tale to soften hard hearts

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The Gold ExpressThe Gold Express

Crime195558 mins

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

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The Great BarrierThe Great Barrier

Western193781 mins

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

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The Ghost TrainThe Ghost Train

Comedy193139 mins

Surviving footage of the first sound version of Arnold Ridley's famous railway station comedy thriller

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Mr. Perrin and Mr. TraillMr. Perrin and Mr. Traill

Drama194892 mins

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

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Comedy194880 mins

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

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Escape from BroadmoorEscape from Broadmoor

Thriller194839 mins Location: Hampstead

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

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The Warrior StrainThe Warrior Strain

War192052 minsSilent

Young Lord Billy sniffs out sneaky German marauders in this flag-waving war drama - thrills for British boys, 1919-style.

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The SommeThe Somme

War1927109 minsSilent Location: Hounslow

Dramatic reconstruction of the Somme

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How Kitchener Was BetrayedHow Kitchener Was Betrayed

War192113 minsSilent

Dramatisation of the popular conspiracy theory surrounding the mid-WWI death of Lord Kitchener.

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Irish and Proud of ItIrish and Proud of It

Crime193672 mins Location: Derry / Londonderry

Kidnapping, mobsters and moonshine! Is this a story is set in a country, which exists only in the minds of those who have never been to Ireland?

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The Best ManThe Best Man

Drama198683 mins Location: Derry / Londonderry

The bar flies prepare for the big day with betting, boozing and banter. But will best man Billy break more than his ma’s heart before the wedding?

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Devil's RockDevil's Rock

Musical193851 mins Location: Bangor

Will new open-air microphone technology give Richard Hayward the chance to silence his critics? Watch as Cushendun and Bangor steal the show.

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The VolunteerThe Volunteer

War194442 mins Location: Denham

Entertaining and evocative Fleet Air Arm drama-doc propaganda piece, written and directed by Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger.

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The Great GameThe Great Game

Sport193175 mins

Reserve player overcomes the odds to win the heart of a fair lady... and the FA Cup final in this early footie feature.

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Comedy194068 mins Location: Highbury

This morale-boosting variety extravaganza – filled with radio personality Carroll Levis' discoveries - is like a wartime Britain's Got Talent.

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Trapped by the London SharksTrapped by the London Sharks

Comedy191683 minsSilent

Nefarious nightclub hosts blackmail a drunkard into fleecing their customers

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On the Banks of Allan WaterOn the Banks of Allan Water

Drama191649 minsSilent

The course of true love certainly doesn't run smooth in this unlikely Scottish drama from the Clarendon Film Company.

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Rogues of LondonRogues of London

Drama191551 minsSilent

Charismatic silent star Fred Paul is cast against type as a real rotter preying on innocents in the big city, in an enjoyably lurid London melodrama.

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Bless 'em AllBless 'em All

Comedy194871 mins

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.

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Comin' Thro' The RyeComin' Thro' The Rye

Biopic194756 mins Location: Burns Cott

A brisk and rousing biopic of Robert Burns, punctuated by songs and poems based on his famous works.

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A Man's AffairA Man's Affair

Romance194965 mins

A holiday romance between a miner and a secretary blossoms in Ramsgate

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Helen of Four GatesHelen of Four Gates

Drama192078 minsSilent Location: Heptonstall

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

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Love Story of Ann Thomas the Maid of Cefn YdfaLove Story of Ann Thomas the Maid of Cefn Ydfa

Romance191434 minsSilent Location: Cefn Ydfa

Lovingly rendered version of a traditional Welsh folk tale of thwarted romance, set in 17th-century Cefn Ydfa.

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Drama191354 minsSilent

Johnston Forbes-Roberston gives his famous performance of Hamlet in this ambitious early Shakespeare feature

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A Bid for FortuneA Bid for Fortune

Drama191784 minsSilent

Master criminal Dr Nikola seeks a Chinese curio that promises eternal life and world domination

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East Is EastEast Is East

Drama191771 minsSilent

Charming tale of East End lovers divided by a not so lucky windfall, with beautiful scenes in the Kent hop fields.

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Masks and FacesMasks and Faces

Historical drama191792 minsSilent

A strong cast of British stage luminaries enriches this tale of heartache and betrayal in 18th century London society

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Men of Two WorldsMen of Two Worlds

Drama1946107 mins Location: Pinewood Film Studios

Handsomely presented drama about a man caught between his privileged Western education and traditional African roots.

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My Old DutchMy Old Dutch

Drama193484 mins

Moving family drama of the life of a working-class Hackney couple over 40 years, inspired by the famous music hall song

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The Last AdventurersThe Last Adventurers

Drama193775 mins Location: Grimsby

Drama and romance by the North Sea in this tale of family dispute

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Jane ShoreJane Shore

Historical drama191579 minsSilent

Early attempt at medieval epic with impressive locations

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Green Grow the RushesGreen Grow the Rushes

Comedy195178 mins Location: New Romney

Brandy-smuggling locals resist government interference in this Ealing-esque comedy, filmed on Romney Marsh

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Mysteries of LondonMysteries of London

Crime191549 minsSilent Location: London

Romantic melodrama about a woman who loses both her parents and innocently falls in with a bad crowd.

More Forgotten Features in our Rentals collection.