The Small Back Room details the travails of a troubled research scientist and military bomb-disposal expert Sammy Rice, who, while struggling with a complex relationship with secretary girlfriend Susan, is hired by the government to advise on a dangerous new German weapon.
This film is not currently playing on MUBI but 30 other great films are. See what's now showing
In a Lonely Place for Brits, so convincing in its portrayal of a wounded man who lashes out at the people who love him that its treatment can freely use clichés without feeling held back by them. All this, plus a climax to rival The Wages of Fear in how skillfully it augments mortal threat with human angst. The Archers' most overlooked film. 5 stars.
How cool to do a stripped down simple drama after the tour-de-force Red Shoes? This one is a grower. First viewing I thought, nice drama but nothing to write home about. Have to be in the right mood for this one I think. Helps to be hopelessly in love with Kathleen Byron too...
A horrendous mess of a postwar cheapie that poaches from various sources to eye-gougingly boring effect. The 'disarming the Thermos flask' climax was hilarious. But hey, it's got a Criterion edition right? Auteur-infatuated apologetics seems to be their thing. Maybe this is somehow tolerable if you're not British/a rabid Anglophile... One dim ray of light was Jack Hawkins playing against type as a bit of a bastard.
Marred only somewhat by the fantasy sequences, this is an othewise crisp and tight character drama played with considerable precision by Farrar and Byron (both overlooked by British cinema). The speed and crackle with which the two spar has an unsually contemporary feel about it.