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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 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.
Odd Man Out
Crime 1947 116 mins Director: Carol Reed
Wounded during a robbery, a gunman attempts to escape police in Carol Reed's moody Irish thriller, starring James Mason.
The Ipcress File
Crime 1965 108 mins Director: 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.
The Man Who Knew Too Much
Thriller 1934 72 mins Director: Alfred Hitchcock
An English couple are drawn into espionage when their daughter is kidnapped.
Lodger: A Story of the London Fog
Crime 1926 91 mins Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Ivor Novello plays a strange lodger who may be behind a number of Jack the Ripper-style killings in Alfred Hitchcock’s silent thriller.
Thriller 1936 77 mins Director: Alfred Hitchcock
A cinema owner works with a ring of terrorists, with drastic effects on his wife and her brother, in Hitchcock’s London-set thriller.
The Lady Vanishes
Thriller 1938 96 mins Director: Alfred Hitchcock
An old woman disappears mysteriously on a busy train in Hitchcock’s delightful classic.
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?
Drama 2001 113 mins Director: Richard Kelly
Richard Kelly's astounding debut feature is a mix of stylish eighties veneer and existential horror starring Jake Gyllenhaal as the troubled teen who is haunted by a giant rabbit prophesying the apocalypse.
Battle of Soho
Documentary 2017 100 mins Director: Aro Korol
Take a journey through London's most notorious district, meeting residents and campaigners at the forefront of a battle to keep its eccentric, diverse spirit alive.
Lek and the Dogs
Animation & Artists Moving Image 2017 92 mins Director: Andrew Kötting
Andrew Kötting returns with an emotionally affecting and politically resonant multi-genre adaptation of Hattie Naylor’s play.
The Seventh Seal
Fantasy 1957 96 mins Director: Ingmar Bergman
Ingmar Bergman’s best-known film is a brilliant allegorical drama starring Max von Sydow as a knight trying to elude his own death.
The Square Circle
Drama 1996 108 mins Director: Amol Palekar
Amol Palekar’s groundbreaking film follows the journey of young woman who reinvents herself as a man after she's kidnapped and attacked.
Rocco and His Brothers
Drama 1960 179 mins Director: Luchino Visconti
Italian maestro Luchino Visconti’s epic drama follows a mother and her five sons who move from a small town to Milan, changing their lives forever.