"The longest unsponsored advertisement ever to reach cinema screens", reckoned producer Monja Danischewski. Maybe so, but Alexander Mackendrick's debut feature is much more than that. This comic account of a real-life event pitches a priggish English army captain against the remorseless guile of an islandful of thirsty Scots defending a cache of shipwrecked whisky, and helped make ‘Ealing Comedy’ one of British cinema’s most enduring brands. It's a film of boundless mischief, and it marked Mackendrick from the start as the most complex and subtle of Ealing's directors.
The SS Politician, whose real-life shipwreck (while carrying nearly 30,000 cases of finest malt) inspired Compton Bennett's source novel, went down off the coast of Eriskay in the Hebrides. The film itself was shot on Barra - a short but sometimes treacherous boat journey away - with many islanders among the extras.
Comedy 2020 95 mins Director: Roger Michell
Roger Michell's final feature film stars Jim Broadbent and Helen Mirren in an uplifting true story about an eccentric art heist.
Comedy 2021 102 mins Director: Thomas Daneskov
In this razor-sharp black comedy featuring Sofie Gråbøl (The Killing), Martin flees to the mountains in a desperate attempt to cure his midlife crisis.
Comedy 2021 100 mins Director: Hannes Þór Halldórsson
Two Icelandic cops forced to work together become more than just buddies in this enjoyably explosive send-up of action movies.
Comedy 2021 105 mins Director: Jacques Audiard
Jacques Audiard ventures into new territory with a vibrant take on love and Paris, as four characters cross amorous paths in the modern city.
Drama 2019 106 mins
Keira Knightley and Gugu Mbatha-Raw star in this inspirational story about the infamous 1970 Miss World contest.
Horror 2021 93 mins Director: Jim Cummings
Indie actor-director Jim Cummings returns after his breakout hit Thunder Road with a pacey down-the-rabbit-hole thriller about a Hollywood talent agent who becomes ensnared in a sinister world of sex, lies and murder.
Drama 1982 181 mins Director: Ingmar Bergman
Bergman’s magisterial and sumptuous portrait of a 20th-century Swedish family.
Comedy 2008 237 mins Director: Sion Sono
Japanese cinema's enfant terrible, Sion Sono, unleashes this demented, whirlwind tale of cults, love, violence and perversion.
Drama 2008 96 mins Director: Bernard Rose
Bernard Rose updates Tolstoy's tale about the corrupting power of sex and jealousy, with Danny Huston as the wealthy husband of a beautiful, famous pianist (Elisabeth Röhm).
Documentary 2018 73 mins Director: Sean McAllister
Acclaimed filmmaker Sean McAllister (A Syrian Love Story) returns to his hometown of Hull to profile local resident Steve Arnott, a struggling warehouse worker who harbours his own creative dream of breaking into hip-hop.
Drama 1961 122 mins Director: Michelangelo Antonioni
Michelangelo Antonioni's masterpiece stars Marcello Mastroianni and Jeanne Moreau as a couple re-examining their emotional bonds.
Comedy 1932 72 mins Director: James Whale
A group of weary travellers arrive at a spooky mansion with a madman on the loose, in this classic horror-comedy from James Whale (Bride of Frankenstein)
Featuring Finlay Currie
Thriller 1933 91 mins Director: Walter Forde
A star-studded international cast boards the Paris-Rome express for this lavish comedy-thriller from Gainsborough Pictures.
Thriller 1948 95 mins Director: John Paddy Carstairs
The Orient Express plays host to a plot involving adultery, espionage, robbery and murder in this fine British thriller.
War 1943 82 mins Director: Lawrence Huntington
Nazi agents are pitted against a gang of plucky Brits in this exciting comedy-thriller set in a country house where danger awaits a visiting VIP.
Featuring Basil Radford
War 1943 103 mins Director: Frank Launder
The finest example of British wartime fictional propaganda follows a group of women who take on factory work to support the war effort.
War 1946 100 mins Director: Basil Dearden
A realistic recreation of life as a prisoner of war in Germany lends credence to this moving account of wartime survival against the odds.
Directed by Alexander Mackendrick
Drama 1952 93 mins Director: Alexander Mackendrick
Alexander Mackendrick's drama about a deaf girl and her unstable family life is remarkably unsentimental while still packing an emotional punch.
Comedy 1954 92 mins Director: Alexander Mackendrick
A wily old tugboat skipper outfoxes a wealthy American businessman in Alexander Mackendrick's underrated Ealing comedy
Animation & Artists Moving Image 2000 84 mins Director: Peter Lord
Mel Gibson’s Rocky the rooster helps the chickens escape from fascistic farmers in Aardman Animations first foray into feature films.
Drama 2021 72 mins Director: Laura Wandel
The harsh world of playground politics is seen through the eyes of a seven-year-old girl in a gripping debut from Belgian writer-director Laura Wandel.
Drama 2021 95 mins Director: Alex Camilleri
Writer-director Alex Camilleri’s powerful neorealist drama is a rare home-grown Maltese production.
Anthology 2022 144 mins Director: Oliver Mason
The latest in Peccadillo’s critically acclaimed series features a fresh and exciting selection of the very best contemporary gay short films.
Drama 2021 109 mins Director: Jacqueline Lentzou
A highly anticipated debut feature from Jacqueline Lentzou about the glacial relationship between a father and his daughter.
Drama 2021 106 mins Director: Emmanuel Carrère
Juliette Binoche plays an undercover reporter investigating the conditions faced by France’s working women in this insightful, involving drama.