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Cinema

Frank Sidebottom The Home of the Retrospective

ON DVD & BLU-RAY

Scum (1979) starring Ray Winstone Blu Ray (Indicator)

Get ready to fill your socks with billiard balls in readiness for Alan Clarke's harrowing depiction of the dog-eat-dog world of the now-abolished British borstal system. Its depiction of institutionalised violence remains just as hard-hitting today as it was back then.

Ray Winstone in Scum

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The Lonely Passion of Judith Hearne (1987) Blu Ray (Indicator)

Director Jack Clayton's adaptation of Brian Moore's novel makes for a bleak and haunting tale of loneliness, alcoholism and the ghosts of the past. Great performances by Bob Hoskins, Ian McNiece and, most of all, Maggie Smith.

The Lonely Passion of Judith Hearne (1987)

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Def-Con 4 (1985) dir: Paul Donovan Blu Ray (Arrow)

This low-budget apocalyptic Canadian sci-fi adventure starts out ok but then plummets down to Earth (in more ways than one) and becomes a dull Mad Max clone. It stars Lenore Zann, Maury Chaykin, Kate Lynch and Tim Choate.

Kate Lynch in Def-Con 4

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Under Fire (1983) starring Nick Nolte Blu Ray (Eureka!)

This gripping entry in the 1980s journalist-amid-political-instability cycle is marred slightly by its love triangle aspect. Nonetheless, it still works well as a depiction of the chaos and devastation of guerrilla warfare and features fine performances by Nick Nolte, Gene Hackman and Ed Harris.

Nick Nolte in Under Fire

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The Andromeda Strain (1971) Blu Ray (Arrow)

Director Robert Wise's adaptation of Michael Crichton's breakout novel is a chillingly effective slow-burner about an alien disease imperilling humankind. Arthur Hill, David Wayne, James Olson and Kate Reid head up an unusually star-free cast.

Arthur Hill and James Olson in The Andromeda Strain

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Bellman & True (1987) starring Bernard Hill Blu Ray (Indicator)

This forgotten heist thriller, produced by HandMade Films, offers plenty to make it worthy of rediscovery. It's exciting and occasionally humorous but doesn't lose sight of its human dimension in the relationship between a tainted father and a son who adores him despite his faults.

Bellman & True (1987)

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Who? (1974) starring Elliott Gould Blu Ray (Indicator)

This Cold War-era tale of a cyborg scientist who is passed across the Iron Curtain has some interesting ideas and good acting but falls short in terms of overall execution. It stars Elliott Gould, Trevor Howard and Joseph Bova in a silly metal mask.

Who? starring Joseph Bova and Elliott Gould

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The Woman in the Window (1944) Blu Ray (Eureka!)

Fritz Lang's classic film noir thriller is excruciatingly tense and tightly-constructed. The ending is something of a bone of contention but there's still plenty for everyone to enjoy up until that point, be it Lang's stylish direction or the sultry Joan Bennett.

Joan Bennett is The Woman in the Window

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No Orchids for Miss Blandish (1948) Blu Ray (Indicator)

This adaptation of James Hadley Chase's novel of the same name was controversial in its day but can now be seen for what it is: a bad pastiche of Hollywood film noir and gangster movies, albeit with some good visual design. Starring Jack La Rue, Lindon Travers and a pre-Carry On Sid James.

No Orchids for Miss Blandish (1948)

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Track 29 (1988) dir: Nicolas Roeg Blu Ray (Indicator)

Gary Oldman plays a mysterious Englishman who pops up on Theresa Russell's doorstep, claiming to be her son whom she abandoned at birth. Nic Roeg's surreal psychological comedy-drama is a real love-it-or-hate-it affair. It also stars Christopher Lloyd and Colleen Camp.

Gary Oldman in Track 29 (1988)

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More DVDs and Blu Rays

CLICK HERE for a guide to the best independent DVD / Blu Ray companies in the UK.

CINEMA

ARTICLES

Vampyres directed by José Larraz

RETRO

Erik the Conqueror directed by Mario Bava

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