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Woodfall: A Revolution in British Cinema

Celebrating the 60th anniversary of Woodfall Films, the revolutionary company that pioneered the British New Wave.

As the 1960s beckoned, a new mood swept through Britain. With anger mounting at an out-of-touch establishment, the era was reflected on screen by the rise of Woodfall Films. Founded in 1958 by director Tony Richardson, writer John Osborne and producer Harry Saltzman, the company pioneered the British new wave, defining an incendiary brand of social realism. Look Back in Anger (Tony Richardson, 1959), and Saturday Night and Sunday Morning (Karel Reisz, 1960) spot-lit working-class life with unheard-of honesty.

The same risk-taking spirit led the company to find a new generation of brilliant young actors, often from the regions, to star in their films, such as Albert Finney, Tom Courtenay and Rita Tushingham. The global blockbuster Tom Jones (Tony Richardson, 1963) expanded the Woodfall slate in an irreverent, colourful direction that helped define swinging London – further securing their extraordinary chapter in the history of British film. 

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Tom JonesTom Jones

Comedy1963121 minsDirector: Tony Richardson

Tony Richardson's raucous and innovative adaptation of Henry Fielding’s classic novel was the winner of four Academy Awards.

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Saturday Night and Sunday MorningSaturday Night and Sunday Morning

Drama196089 minsDirector: Karel Reisz

Albert Finney stars in the seminal film of the British New Wave and the 'angry young men' movement. A vivid portrait of a dissatisfied factory worker who embarks on an affair with an older, married woman.

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The Loneliness of the Long Distance RunnerThe Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner

Drama1962104 minsDirector: Tony Richardson

A British New Wave classic, a passionate, explosive tale of rebellion with then newcomer, Tom Courtenay as a sullen, disillusioned delinquent.

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A Taste of HoneyA Taste of Honey

Drama1961102 minsDirector: Tony Richardson

Rita Tushingham delivers a BAFTA-winning performance as a resilient Salford schoolgirl making her way in the world in this classic of 1960s British cinema.

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The EntertainerThe Entertainer

Drama1960103 minsDirector: Tony Richardson

Tony Richardson's brilliantly caustic portrait of an ageing music-hall veteran, played by Laurence Olivier.

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Girl with Green EyesGirl with Green Eyes

Drama196392 minsDirector: Desmond Davis

Rita Tushingham plays the shy, naive girl who catches the eye of Peter Finch's middle-aged writer, in this effervescent adaptation of Edna O’Brien's best-selling novel.

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Look Back in AngerLook Back in Anger

Drama1958100 minsDirector: Tony Richardson

Richard Burton’s portrayal of the archetypal ‘angry young man’ sparked a new wave of 'kitchen-sink' drama and cinematic social realism.