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Hell Is a City
Punchy crime thriller with a realist streak as Stanley Baker pursues a fugitive through the streets of Manchester.
Police drama 1959 96 mins
Director: Val Guest
Stanley Baker stars as world weary DI Harry Martineau, taken to pounding the streets of Manchester in search of an escaped convict, while at the same time trying to avert his messy personal life from unravelling.
Produced by Hammer Films and directed by Val Guest, Hell is a City is an essential British crime film from the period, endowed with a fine cast of character actors from Donald Pleasance to Billie Whitelaw and Warren Mitchell. With its gritty characterisation of Martineau as a flawed and emotional man, and authentic location work that ranges from the mean streets of Manchester to the Yorkshire Moors, Hell is a City is a key work of British realism that also happens to be a gripping crime film.
Police drama 1959 113 mins Director: J. Lee Thompson
A young girl witnesses a murder, befriending the killer and shielding him from the police.
Green for Danger
Medical drama 1947 87 mins Director: Sidney Gilliat
A series of murders at a wartime hospital are probed by an eccentric policeman.
Comedy 1917 26 mins Silent Director: Charles Chaplin
The Little Tramp decides to start anew and train as a police officer; what could possibly go wrong when he’s posted on the beat in ‘Easy Street’.
High and Low
Crime 1963 143 mins Director: Akira Kurosawa
Akira Kurosawa’s procedural crime masterpiece, from Ed McBain’s gritty novel, follows an industrialist who faces an agonising choice as a result of a botched kidnapping by ruthless criminals.
Crime 1949 122 mins Director: Akira Kurosawa
Akira Kurosawa’s masterful mix of film noir and police thriller set on the sweltering mean streets of occupied Tokyo.
Working Class Heroes
Crime 1997 101 mins Director: 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.
Drama 1975 121 mins Director: 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.
It Always Rains on Sunday
Drama 1947 88 mins Director: Robert Hamer
Austerity noir: Ealing's downbeat but compelling East End thriller.
Burning an Illusion
Legal and Courtroom drama 1981 101 mins Director: Menelik Shabazz
Menelik Shabazz’s pioneering first feature traces the emotional and political growth of a young black couple in Thatcher’s London.
My Way Home
Drama 1978 72 mins Director: 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.
My Ain Folk
Drama 1973 55 mins Director: Bill Douglas
The second part of the revered Bill Douglas Trilogy follows Jamie as he ends up in a children’s home.
Featuring Stanley Baker
The Tell-Tale Heart
Drama 1953 21 mins Director: J.B. Williams
Stanley Baker enacts the classic Edgar Allan Poe story in this chilling short film, only recently rediscovered after being lost for 50 years.
Directed by Val Guest
The Day the Earth Caught Fire
Science Fiction 1961 100 mins Director: Val Guest
The BFI’s new HD remaster of the British sci-fi classic. A journalist discovers that the Earth has been knocked off its axis and is moving ever closer to the sun. Is the Earth doomed?
Fidelio, Alice's Journey
Drama 2014 97 mins Director: Lucie Borleteau
When Alice takes a job as a ship’s engineer her fidelity towards her shore-bound fiancé is tested when she discovers a former lover is the ship’s captain.
An Episode in the Life of Iron Picker
Drama 2012 71 mins Director: Danis Tanovic
Oscar-winning director Danis Tanovic recreates a politically explosive true story from Bosnia in innovative style, casting a real-life family to relive their desperate struggle to secure life-saving medical treatment.
When I Saw You
Drama 2012 94 mins Director: Annemarie Jacir
Following the Six-Day War in 1967, a young Palestinian refugee boy yearns to be reunited with his father and joins a band of freedom fighters.
Drama 2016 95 mins Director: Mitra Tabrizian
An Iranian exile in London, who is haunted by his past, gets involved in the conflicts of a total stranger and has to see it through until the end, in this mesmerising slow-burn thriller.
Documentary 2012 156 mins Director: Shivendra Singh Dungarpur
A tribute to film archivist and obsessive cinephile P.K. Nair, and his long, hard fight to preserve India's precious film heritage.
Drama 2016 104 mins Director: Jeppe Ronde
Hannah Murray (Game of Thrones) and Josh O'Connor (God's Own Country), star in this haunting mystery drama inspired by true events.