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The Day the Earth Caught Fire
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?
Science Fiction 1961 100 mins
Director: Val Guest
When the USA and Russia simultaneously test atomic bombs, the earth is knocked off its axis and set on a collision course with the sun. Peter Stenning (Edward Judd), a washed-up Daily Express reporter, breaks the story and sets about investigating the government cover-up. This new HD remaster by the BFI National Archive is exclusively available on BFI Player ahead of its DVD/Blu-ray release.
With strong performances (Leo McKern is a stand-out), a vivid depiction of the world of newspaper journalism, and extensive location shooting on the streets of London, Val Guest delivers one of the best British sci-fi films.
It Happened Here
Science Fiction 1965 101 mins Director: Kevin Brownlow
Kevin Brownlow and Andrew Mollo's legendary, independently produced speculative fiction, imagining the Nazi occupation of Britain.
Tetsuo: The Iron Man
Fantasy 1988 67 mins Director: Shinya Tsukamoto
Shinya Tsukamoto's wild cyberpunk tale of a businessman's agonising transformation into a walking scrap heap is a jaggedly dehumanised vision of the future.
The Tenth Victim
Fantasy 1965 89 mins Director: Elio Petri
Long before The Hunger Games, Marcello Mastroianni and Ursula Andress battled it out in a televised assassination game, in Elio Petri’s cult sci-fi.
Woman in the Moon
Science Fiction 1929 170 mins Silent Director: Fritz Lang
Fritz Lang’s second silent sci-fi classic after Metropolis is a space exploration saga about scheming scientists searching for gold on the moon.
Quatermass and the Pit
Horror 1967 94 mins Director: Roy Ward Baker
One of Britain’s finest sci-fi films, based on Nigel Kneale’s masterful script, about the discovery of ancient alien craft beneath central London.
Science Fiction 2006 115 mins Director: Bong Joon-ho
Bong Joon-ho's barnstorming yet highly original monster movie follows an eccentric family's attempts to rescue the daughter snatched by a huge amphibious creature.
Lodger: A Story of the London Fog
Crime 1926 91 mins Silent 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.
The Phantom of the Opera (1925)
Period drama 1925 91 mins Silent Director: Rupert Julian
'Man of a thousand faces' Lon Chaney stars in the first version of Gaston Leroux's oft-filmed novel.
By Our Selves
Animation & Artists Moving Image 2015 80 mins Director: Andrew Kötting
The latest psycho-geographical excursion from Andrew Kötting and Iain Sinclair
For Those in Peril
Drama 2013 92 mins Director: Paul Wright
An intense and mysterious drama about the lone survivor of a strange fishing accident who’s outcast and persecuted by his fellow villagers.
Distant Voices, Still Lives
Biopic 1988 81 mins Director: 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.
Within Our Gates
Drama 1919 74 mins Silent Director: Oscar Micheaux
Oscar Micheaux’s startling silent classic – the earliest surviving feature from an African-American director – presents a fascinating black counterpoint to Griffith’s Birth of a Nation.
Directed by Val Guest
Hell Is a City
Police drama 1959 96 mins Director: Val Guest
Punchy crime thriller with a realist streak as Stanley Baker pursues a fugitive through the streets of Manchester.
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.