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Cinema

Frank Sidebottom The Home of the Retrospective

ON DVD & BLU-RAY

Black Joy (1977) starring Norman Beaton Blu Ray (Indicator)

This documentary-like look at a Guyanese immigrant learning the ropes of life in Brixton provides both a fascinating window back to a burgeoning ethnic community and a gritty but entertaining drama. Starring Norman Beaton, Trevor Thomas, Dawn Hope and Floella Benjamin.

Floella Benjamin and Norman Beaton in Black Joy

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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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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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The Virgin Soldiers (1969) starring Lynn Redgrave Blu Ray (Indicator)

Hywel Bennett plays a young British soldier on National Service in Singapore in 1951. While the threat of being killed in action hangs over him, he would clearly rather spend his time getting laid with Ms. Redgrave. A surprisingly effective mixture of ribald comedy and anti-war parable.

The Virgin Soldiers (1969)

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The Triple Echo (1972) dir: Michael Apted Blu Ray (Indicator)

This unconventional WWII drama features both Glenda Jackson and Oliver Reed falling for a cross-dressing Brian Deacon. An interesting if imperfect big screen debut for director Apted gets by mainly on the strengths of its three central performances.

The Triple Echo (1972)

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Blood Hunger: The Films of José Larraz Blu Ray (Arrow)

Amongst this three-film boxed set, Vampyres is the best: an underrated, low-budget horror gem with its own distinctive take on the vampire mythos. The other two films are less satisfying and feel more like bonus features for the bloodsucking main event.

Blood Hunger: The Films of José Larraz Blu Ray boxed set art

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Sink the Bismarck! (1960) dir: Lewis Gilbert Blu Ray (Eureka!)

This earnest, stiff-upper-lip WWII drama takes time to count the human cost of war. There's enough tactical tension here to make up for the fact that the battle sequences make extensive use of obvious miniatures. Kenneth More and Dana Wynter give fine performances.

Kenneth More in Sink the Bismarck!

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Psyche 59 (1964) starring Patricia Neal Blu Ray (Indicator)

This adaptation of a novel by Françoise des Ligneris makes for strange and uncomfortable viewing but doesn't really succeed as a psychological thriller. The performances are generally good, especially Patricia Neal, Samantha Eggar and Beatrix Lehmann.

Curd Jürgens and Patricia Neal in Psyche 59

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The Wrong Box (1966) dir: Bryan Forbes Blu Ray (Indicator)

An all-star cast including Michael Caine, Nanette Newman, Ralph Richardson, John Mills, Peter Cook, Dudley Moore and Peter Sellers give fine performances in this enjoyable black comedy, set in Victorian-era England. The ideal way to learn the meaning of the word 'tontine'.

Nanette Newman and Michael Caine in The Wrong Box

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Georgy Girl (1966) starring Lynn Redgrave Blu Ray (Indicator)

A visually average but personality-rich young woman finds love in this breezy and hilarious 1960s British New Wave comedy-drama. Some dated attitudes don't spoil the fun here. Also starring Alan Bates, James Mason and Charlotte Rampling.

Lynn Redgrave in Georgy Girl (1966)

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Erik the Conqueror directed by Mario Bava

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