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Vintage Classics


War films tend to focus on the battle. The heroic victory and the courageous feats of bravery. The spirit of defiance. Of determination. They’re often little more than propaganda. Or, on the flipside, the unspeakable evil which makes humans do the most terrible things. It’s rare for a picture to concentrate on the aftermath. The …

While feckless politicians may invoke the Second World War to whip up self-serving nationalistic fervour, only a moron would want to replicate the spirit of being bombed every night. Countries like to look back at (victorious) conflicts through rose-tinted glasses. Britain is one of the worst offenders. Most films about the period paint a romantic …

Pearly and Valerie

There was a time when Peter Sellers was one of the most famous actors in the world. He’d risen to prominence in the UK for The Goon Show but it was his role as Inspector Clouseau in The Pink Panther films which brought him international recognition. Then there’s his performance in Dr. Strangelove, which is …

Master and servant?

While Dirk Bogarde was one of the greatest British actors of his generation, he’s probably best remembered for starring in the ‘Doctor’ film series. During the 1950s, after completing his war service, the Londoner first came to prominence as a matinée idol. However, it was his later work which brought him the most critical acclaim. …

Watson and Holmes

There have been many portrayals of Sherlock Holmes on stage, TV, radio and on the big screen. Indeed, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s creation remains one of the most popular and recognisable figures in popular British culture. Some of the most memorable performances as the great sleugh have come from Basil Rathbone, Jeremy Brett and Benedict …

Sean Connery and Yvonne Romain

Sean Connery has been one of the most iconic faces of British cinema for decades. The passionate Scotsman started picking up film roles in the late 1950s but it wasn’t until he played James Bond in 1962 that he made a major breakthrough. It’s a role which made him a star, a household name and …

The 1980s was undoubtedly one of the greatest periods for Scottish cinema. Thanks largely to the genius of Bill Forsyth, who was responsible for Gregory’s Girl, Comfort & Joy, Housekeeping and Local Hero, much of the best British cinema during the decade came from north of the border. There was a youthful naivety and fresh-faced …

I think it’s fair to say that some actors, especially female ones, find their talent is sometimes overshadowed by (a press obsession with) their looks. Julie Christie was an icon of the swinging sixties. Whilst her ability was recognised with a number of awards, including an Oscar for Darling, she never really shook-off her status …

Stanley Baker was hardly what you’d call a typical leading man in post-war British cinema. Unlike his peers, who were almost always handsome and debonair, the former electrician’s apprentice cut a rough and ready figure. In many ways a brooding brute of a man, he carved out a niche for himself in the likes of …

During World War II, the British set up the Special Operations Executive. This secretive organisation was established with the purpose of carrying out espionage, reconnaissance and sabotage in occupied Europe. Odette Sansom was a French-born British agent who was persuaded to join the SOE. She was awarded the George Cross for her contribution to the …