In February 2011 Time Out surveyed 150 film industry experts to produce its list of "The 100 best British films." Nicolas Roeg's Don't Look Now topped the list.An updated list was published in May 2021, retaining the same rankings but adding four films ( The Souvenir , Scum , God's Own Country , and Dunkirk ) in place of Listen to Britain , Penda's Fen , I'm All Right Jack , and School for Scoundrels .
|1||Don't Look Now||1973||Nicolas Roeg|
|2||The Third Man||1949||Carol Reed|
|3||Distant Voices, Still Lives||1988||Terence Davies|
|5||The Red Shoes||1948||Powell and Pressburger|
|6||A Matter of Life and Death||1946||Powell and Pressburger|
|7||Performance||1970|| Nicolas Roeg |
|8||Kind Hearts and Coronets||1949||Robert Hamer|
The United Kingdom has had a significant film industry for over a century. While film production reached an all-time high in 1936, the "golden age" of British cinema is usually thought to have occurred in the 1940s, during which the directors David Lean, Michael Powell, and Carol Reed produced their most critically acclaimed works. Many British actors have accrued critical success and worldwide recognition, such as Audrey Hepburn, Olivia de Havilland, Vivien Leigh, Glynis Johns, Maggie Smith, Roger Moore, Michael Caine, Sean Connery, Joan Collins, Judi Dench, Julie Andrews, Daniel Day-Lewis, Gary Oldman, Emma Thompson, Hugh Grant and Kate Winslet. Some of the films with the largest ever box office returns have been made in the United Kingdom, including the third and sixth highest-grossing film franchises.
Seven Samurai is a 1954 Japanese epic samurai film co-written, edited, and directed by Akira Kurosawa. Taking place in 1586 in the Sengoku period of Japanese history, it follows the story of a village of desperate farmers who seek to hire rōnin to combat bandits who will return after the harvest to steal their crops.
Black Narcissus is a 1947 British psychological drama film written, produced, and directed by Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger, and starring Deborah Kerr, Sabu, David Farrar, and Flora Robson, and featuring Esmond Knight, Jean Simmons, and Kathleen Byron. The title refers to the Caron perfume Narcisse Noir.
The Red Shoes is a 1948 British drama film written, directed, and produced by Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger. It follows Victoria Page, a ballerina who joins the world-renowned Ballet Lermontov, owned and operated by Boris Lermontov, who tests her dedication to the ballet by making her choose between her career and her romance with composer Julian Craster.
Nicolas Jack Roeg was an English film director and cinematographer, best known for directing Performance (1970), Walkabout (1971), Don't Look Now (1973), The Man Who Fell to Earth (1976), Bad Timing (1980), and The Witches (1990).
Michael Latham Powell was an English filmmaker, celebrated for his partnership with Emeric Pressburger. Through their production company The Archers, they together wrote, produced and directed a series of classic British films, notably The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp (1943), A Canterbury Tale (1944), I Know Where I'm Going! (1945), A Matter of Life and Death, Black Narcissus (1947), The Red Shoes (1948), and The Tales of Hoffmann (1951). His controversial 1960 film Peeping Tom, today considered a classic, and a contender as the first "slasher", was so vilified on first release that his career was seriously damaged.
Emeric Pressburger was a Hungarian-British screenwriter, film director, and producer. He is best known for his series of film collaborations with Michael Powell, in a collaboration partnership known as the Archers, and produced a series of films, including 49th Parallel (1941), The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp (1943), A Matter of Life and Death, Black Narcissus (1947), The Red Shoes (1948), and The Tales of Hoffmann (1951). He has been played on screen by Alec Westwood in the award-winning short film Òran na h-Eala (2022) which explores Moira Shearer's life-changing decision to appear in The Red Shoes.
A Matter of Life and Death is a 1946 British fantasy-romance film set in England during World War II.
I Know Where I'm Going! is a 1945 romance film by the British-based filmmakers Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger. It stars Wendy Hiller and Roger Livesey, and features Pamela Brown and Finlay Currie.
The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp is a 1943 British romantic drama war film written, produced and directed by the British film making team of Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger. It stars Roger Livesey, Deborah Kerr and Anton Walbrook. The title derives from the satirical Colonel Blimp comic strip by David Low, but the story itself is original. One film critic has described it as "England's greatest film ever" and it is renowned for its sophistication and directorial brilliance as well as for its script, the performances of its large cast and for its pioneering Technicolor cinematography. Among its distinguished company of actors, particular praise has been reserved for Livesey, Walbrook and Kerr.
The British film-making partnership of Michael Powell (1905–1990) and Emeric Pressburger (1902–1988)—together often known as The Archers, the name of their production company—made a series of influential films in the 1940s and 1950s. Their collaborations—24 films between 1939 and 1972—were mainly derived from original stories by Pressburger with the script written by both Pressburger and Powell. Powell did most of the directing while Pressburger did most of the work of the producer and also assisted with the editing, especially the way the music was used. Unusually, the pair shared a writer-director-producer credit for most of their films. The best-known of these are The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp (1943), A Canterbury Tale (1944), I Know Where I'm Going! (1945), A Matter of Life and Death (1946), Black Narcissus (1947), The Red Shoes (1948), and The Tales of Hoffmann (1951).
49th Parallel is a 1941 British and Canadian war drama film. It was the third film made by the British filmmaking team of Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger. It was released in the United States as The Invaders. The British Ministry of Information approached Michael Powell to make a propaganda film for them, suggesting he make "a film about mine-sweeping". Instead, Powell decided to make a film to help sway opinion in the then-neutral United States. Said Powell, "I hoped it might scare the pants off the Americans" and thus bring them into the war. Screenwriter Emeric Pressburger remarked, "Goebbels considered himself an expert on propaganda, but I thought I'd show him a thing or two". Powell persuaded the British and Canadian governments and started location filming in 1940, but by the time the film appeared, in March 1942, the United States, which had been trying to stay out of the war in Europe, had been drawn into taking sides against Germany.
The Tales of Hoffmann is a 1951 British Technicolor comic opera film written, produced and directed by the team of Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger working under the umbrella of their production company The Archers. It is an adaptation of Jacques Offenbach's 1881 opera The Tales of Hoffmann, itself based on three short stories by E. T. A. Hoffmann.
Don't Look Now is a 1973 English-language film in the thriller genre directed by Nicolas Roeg, adapted from the 1971 short story by Daphne du Maurier. Julie Christie and Donald Sutherland portray Laura and John Baxter, a married couple who travel to Venice following the recent accidental death of their daughter, after John accepts a commission to restore a church. They encounter two sisters, one of whom claims to be clairvoyant and informs them that their daughter is trying to contact them and warn them of danger. John at first dismisses their claims, but starts to experience mysterious sightings himself.
In 1999, the British Film Institute surveyed 1,000 people from the world of British film and television to produce a list of the greatest British films of the 20th century. Voters were asked to choose up to 100 films that were "culturally British".
Performance is a 1970 British crime drama film directed by Donald Cammell and Nicolas Roeg, written by Cammell and photographed by Roeg. The film stars James Fox as a violent and ambitious London gangster who, after killing an old friend, goes into hiding at the home of a reclusive rock star.
Insignificance is a 1985 British alternate history drama film directed by Nicolas Roeg, and starring Gary Busey, Michael Emil, Theresa Russell, Tony Curtis, and Will Sampson. Adapted by Terry Johnson from his 1982 play of the same name, the film follows four famous characters who converge in a New York City hotel one night in 1954: Joe DiMaggio, Albert Einstein, Marilyn Monroe, and Joseph McCarthy—billed as The Ballplayer, The Professor, The Actress and The Senator, respectively.
The Man Who Fell to Earth is a 1976 British science fantasy drama film directed by Nicolas Roeg and adapted by Paul Mayersberg. Based on Walter Tevis's 1963 novel of the same name, the film follows an extraterrestrial who crash lands on Earth seeking a way to ship water to his planet, which is suffering from a severe drought, but finds himself at the mercy of human vices and corruption. It stars David Bowie, Candy Clark, Buck Henry, and Rip Torn. It was produced by Michael Deeley and Barry Spikings. The same novel was later adapted as a television film in 1987. A 2022 television series with the same name serves as a continuation of the film 45 years later, including featuring Newton as a character and showing archival footage from the film.
Miracle in Soho is a 1957 British drama film directed by Julian Amyes and starring John Gregson, Belinda Lee and Cyril Cusack. The film depicts the lives of the inhabitants of a small street in Soho and the romance between a local road-builder and the daughter of Italian immigrants.
Charles Orme was a British film producer. He worked regularly with Powell & Pressburger, Ralph Thomas, Basil Dearden and John Boorman. He has over 50 credits on a number of classics including The 39 Steps (1959), Khartoum (1966), Deliverance (1972), The Man with the Golden Gun (1974) and The Omen (1976). He was an original member of the multiple-award-winning Powell & Pressburger production team known as The Archers. He was a production assistant, production manager and assistant director on many of their classic productions, including The Red Shoes (1948), The Small Back Room (1949), Gone to Earth (1950) and The Elusive Pimpernel (1950), The Tales of Hoffmann (1951), Oh... Rosalinda!! (1955), The Battle of the River Plate (1956) and Ill Met by Moonlight (1957).