Subscription

Working Class Heroes

 A collection of films lit up by the charisma  of working-class stars; a celebration of fine actors and remarkable leading roles.

In Britain (for a time at least) film stars came from comprehensives and council houses. The story begins in the socially mobile 1960s as young working-class talent exploded through music, fashion and film. Through the 80s and 90s a new mood saw a series of inventive British films built around working-class faces, while 21st-century British cinema spotlit the junction of race and class. This season brings together the bold, powerful and provocative films that can  be made when working-class stars have the chance to shine.

Read moreClose
Under the Skin
Under the Skin
Subscribe to watch

Under the Skin

Melodrama199779 minsDirector: Carine Adler

Carine Adler’s sexy and dark debut, starring Samantha Morton in her first major feature film role.

The Ipcress File
The Ipcress File
Subscribe to watch

The Ipcress File

Crime1965108 minsDirector: Sidney J. Furie

The coolest spy of all – Michael Caine’s Harry Palmer – makes his brilliant big screen debut in this landmark British spy thriller.

Prick Up Your Ears
Prick Up Your Ears
Subscribe to watch

Prick Up Your Ears

Biopic1987110 minsDirector: Stephen Frears

A celebration of outrageous British playwright Joe Orton’s irreverent and charismatic talent, starring Gary Oldman and Alfred Molina.

Second Coming
Second Coming
Subscribe to watch

Second Coming

Drama2014105 minsDirector: Debbie Tucker Green

What if an immaculate conception took place in a South London household? Idris Elba stars in a subtle, thought-provoking and original family drama.

Red Road
Red Road
Subscribe to watch

Red Road

Thriller2006110 minsDirector: Andrea Arnold

Andrea Arnold’s highly acclaimed film, winner of top prizes at Cannes and the BFI London Film Festival, is a haunting drama about a woman confronting past demons.

The Arbor
The Arbor
Subscribe to watch

The Arbor

Biopic201090 minsDirector: Clio Barnard

Clio Barnard's film about Bradford playwright Andrea Dunbar mixes reconstruction, interviews (performed by actors) and scenes from the plays.

Billy Liar
Billy Liar
Subscribe to watch

Billy Liar

Comedy196398 minsSilentDirector: John Schlesinger

Tom Courtenay is the clerk whose overactive fantasies compensate for a dull provincial life, in this classic film from the British New Wave.

This Sporting Life
This Sporting Life
Subscribe to watch

This Sporting Life

Sport1963129 minsDirector: Lindsay Anderson

Lindsay Anderson’s fantastic first feature masterfully dissects the brutal life struggles of a rough-edged rugby footballer on and off the field.

Electricity
Electricity
Subscribe to watch

Electricity

Drama201496 minsDirector: Bryn Higgins

Agyness Deyn stars in a powerful story seen through the eyes of a young woman whose epilepsy brings extraordinary hallucinations.

Better Things
Better Things
Subscribe to watch

Better Things

Drama200790 minsDirector: Duane Hopkins

Duane Hopkins’ stunning debut tells a sombre story with startling beauty, as it follows the stories of various addicts in a West Midlands town.

Bypass
Bypass
Subscribe to watch

Bypass

Drama2014105 minsDirector: Duane Hopkins

Duane Hopkins’ follow up to Better Things is a striking, poetic drama about a young man on the edge.

Kelly + Victor
Kelly + Victor
Subscribe to watch

Kelly + Victor

Drama201290 minsDirector: Kieran Evans

In modern Liverpool, a couple meet and begin a transgressive, sexually charged affair set against a background of crime and encroaching danger.

Brand: A Second Coming
Brand:  A Second Coming
Subscribe to watch

Brand: A Second Coming

Documentary2015105 minsDirector: Ondi Timoner

Russell Brand ponders his political awakening and messianic tendencies in Ondi Timoner’s perceptive and very funny documentary.

Shell
Shell
Subscribe to watch

Shell

Drama201287 minsDirector: Scott Graham

In a remote part of Scotland, teenager Shell develops an intense relationship with her reclusive father.

The Goob
The Goob
Subscribe to watch

The Goob

Drama201484 minsDirector: Guy Myhill

A teen seeks meaning as an East Anglian summer and a violent outsider threaten to overwhelm.

Bullet Boy
Bullet Boy
Subscribe to watch

Bullet Boy

Drama200486 minsDirector: Saul Dibb

Ashley Walters impresses in the hard-hitting Hackney drama that’s still one of the best of Britain’s black urban crime films.

My Brother the Devil
My Brother the Devil
Subscribe to watch

My Brother the Devil

Drama2012107 minsDirector: Sally El Hosaini

Sally El Hosaini's feature debut tells of the love and disenchantment of two British-Egyptian brothers. Gangs, drugs and sexuality come between them

Pressure
Pressure
Subscribe to watch

Pressure

Drama1975121 minsDirector: Horace Ové

Hailed as Britain's first black feature film, Pressure is a hard-hitting, honest document of the plight of disenchanted black youths in 1970s London.

The Moon over the Alley
The Moon over the Alley
Subscribe to watch

The Moon over the Alley

Musical1977108 minsDirector: Joseph Despins

The Moon Over the Alley is a bizarre and compelling musical exploring the problems of multicultural Notting Hill residents in the early 1970s.

Duffer
Duffer
Subscribe to watch

Duffer

Drama197175 mins

A bizarre study of obsession focusing on a teenage boy who is torn between the charms of a fleshly female prostitute and the sadism of an older man.

Bronco Bullfrog
Bronco Bullfrog
Subscribe to watch

Bronco Bullfrog

Drama196987 minsDirector: Barney Platts-Mills

A fascinating record of 1960s suedehead youth culture which is largely improvised by a non-professional cast of teenagers from east London

Theorem
Theorem
Subscribe to watch

Theorem

Drama196898 minsDirector: Pier Paolo Pasolini

Pasolini’s classic about a handsome, enigmatic stranger (Terence Stamp) who arrives at a bourgeois household and seduces an entire family.

Deep End
Deep End
Subscribe to watch

Deep End

Drama197092 minsDirector: Jerzy Skolimowski

A darkly comic and compelling coming of age story set during a time of social change.

Distant Voices, Still Lives
Distant Voices, Still Lives
Subscribe to watch

Distant Voices, Still Lives

Biopic198881 minsDirector: Terence Davies

Terence Davies' debut feature is a remarkable evocation of working-class family life in the 40s and 50s and a visionary exploration of memory.

Children
Children
Subscribe to watch

Children

Drama197646 minsDirector: Terence Davies

The first part of Terence Davies' formidable Trilogy explores the effects of violence on a Liverpool schoolboy, told in a series of flashbacks.

Madonna and Child
Madonna and Child
Subscribe to watch

Madonna and Child

Drama198028 minsDirector: Terence Davies

Autobiography as art: the centrepiece of Terence Davies' devastating Liverpool-set Trilogy focuses on his fictional alter-ego in middle age.

Death and Transfiguration
Death and Transfiguration
Subscribe to watch

Death and Transfiguration

Drama198326 minsDirector: Terence Davies

The Terence Davies Trilogy reaches its astonishing climax as tortured Liverpool clerk Robert Tucker prepares to meet his maker.

My Childhood
My Childhood
Subscribe to watch

My Childhood

Drama197246 minsDirector: Bill Douglas

The first part of Bill Douglas’ poetic and profoundly stirring autobiographical trilogy, about an eight-year-old boy growing up in a Scottish mining village in 1945.

My Ain Folk
My Ain Folk
Subscribe to watch

My Ain Folk

Drama197355 minsDirector: Bill Douglas

The second part of the revered Bill Douglas Trilogy follows Jamie as he ends up in a children’s home.

My Way Home
My Way Home
Subscribe to watch

My Way Home

Drama197872 minsDirector: Bill Douglas

Concluding his acclaimed Trilogy, Bill Douglas’ autobiographical film follows young Jamie as he’s conscripted in the RAF and finally feels at home.

Burning an Illusion
Burning an Illusion
Subscribe to watch

Burning an Illusion

Legal and Courtroom drama1981101 minsDirector: Menelik Shabazz

Menelik Shabazz’s pioneering first feature traces the emotional and political growth of a young black couple in Thatcher’s London.

It Always Rains on Sunday
It Always Rains on Sunday
Subscribe to watch

It Always Rains on Sunday

Drama194788 minsDirector: Robert Hamer

Austerity noir: Ealing's downbeat but compelling East End thriller.

Hell Is a City
Hell Is a City
Subscribe to watch

Hell Is a City

Police drama195996 minsDirector: Val Guest

Punchy crime thriller with a realist streak as Stanley Baker pursues a fugitive through the streets of Manchester.

Face
Face
Subscribe to watch

Face

Crime1997101 minsDirector: Antonia Bird

Robert Carlyle and Ray Winstone are members of a criminal gang that tears itself apart after a heist goes wrong, in Antonia Bird’s stylish thriller.

Subscribe to watch

Enjoy over 500 subscription-only classic and cult films from across the decades.  Free for 14 days, then £4.99 a month - cancel any time

Poor Cow

More from Working Class Heroes in our Rentals collection.