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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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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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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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The Night of the Generals (1967) Blu Ray (Eureka!)

While somewhat flawed, this big-budget, star-studded tale of World War II intrigue is more interesting than its reputation suggests. It stars Peter O’Toole, Omar Sharif, Tom Courtenay, Donald Pleasance, Charles Gray and Christopher Plummer.

Peter O'Toole in The Night of the Generals

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Lilith (1964) starring Warren Beatty Blu Ray (Indicator)

Warren Beatty plays a psychologically damaged war veteran who gets involved with the sensual but schizophrenic title character (played by Jean Seberg), resulting in an inevitable tragedy. It's a beautifully metaphorical film but also overwhelmingly depressing.

Warren Beatty and Jean Seberg in Lilith

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The Snake Pit (1948) starring Olivia de Havilland Blu Ray (Indicator)

Olivia de Havilland gives a tour de force performance as a writer suffering from a mental breakdown in this disturbing drama based on Mary Jane Ward’s semi-autobiographical novel. It was directed by Anatole Litvak and also stars Mark Stevens and Leo Genn.

Olivia de Havilland in The Snake Pit

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The Song of Bernadette (1943) Blu Ray (Eureka!)

This religious drama offers enough sense of wonder and thoughtful debate to grip believers and skeptics alike. Then-newcomer Jennifer Jones delivers an unwavering, Oscar-winning performance, while Vincent Price makes for a memorable antagonist.

Jennifer Jones in The Song of Bernadette

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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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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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