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Cinema of Britain: Best British Films

by Amadeus Magnus
Cinema of Britain: Best British Films by Amadeus Magnus
I’ve decided to make that list after watching BFI and Time Out 100 British Films lists (totally 631 films and it doesn’t end). It’s very personally but the same time very useful after nearly 6000 films. Here’s the list in chronologically order: Silents: Early short films Blackfriars Bridge (1896, Robert W. Paul) The Big Swallow (1901, James Williamson) The Little Match Seller (1902, James Williamson) Silents: 1920s Hindle Wakes (1927, Maurice Elvey) The Lodger (1927, Alfred Hitchcock) Underground (1928, Anthony Asquith) Piccadilly (1929, Ewald André Dupon) 1930s The Private Life of Henry VIII. (1933, Alexander Korda) The 39 Steps (1935,… Read more

I’ve decided to make that list after watching BFI and Time Out 100 British Films lists (totally 631 films and it doesn’t end). It’s very personally but the same time very useful after nearly 6000 films. Here’s the list in chronologically order:

Silents: Early short films

Blackfriars Bridge (1896, Robert W. Paul)
The Big Swallow (1901, James Williamson)
The Little Match Seller (1902, James Williamson)

Silents: 1920s

Hindle Wakes (1927, Maurice Elvey)
The Lodger (1927, Alfred Hitchcock)
Underground (1928, Anthony Asquith)
Piccadilly (1929, Ewald André Dupon)

1930s


The Private Life of Henry VIII. (1933, Alexander Korda)
The 39 Steps (1935, Alfred Hitchcock)
Young and Innocent (1937, Alfred Hitchcock)
The Divorce of Lady X (1938, Tim Whelan)
Pygmalion (1938, Anthony Asquith, Leslie Howard)
Wuthering Heights (1939, William Wyler) (not British, but it’s British!)

1940s




The Thief of Bagdad (1940, Ludwig Berger, Michael Powell, Tim Whelan)
49th Parallel (1941, Michael Powell & Emeric Pressburger)
Brief Encounter (1945, David Lean)
Dead of Night (1945, Alberto Cavalcanti, Charles Crichton, Basil Dearden, Robert Hamer)
Great Expectations (1946, David Lean)
A Matter of Life and Death (1946, Michael Powell & Emeric Pressburger)
Black Narcissus (1947, Michael Powell & Emeric Pressburger)
Brighton Rock (1947, John Boulting)
The Fallen Idol (1948, Carol Reed)
Hamlet (1948, Laurence Olivier)
The Red Shoes (1948, Michael Powell & Emeric Pressburger)
Kind Hearts and Coronets (1949, Robert Hamer)
The Third Man (1949, Carol Reed)
Whisky Galore! (1949, Alexander Mackendrick)

1950s



Night and the City (1950, Jules Dassin)
The African Queen (1951, John Huston)
Happy Go Lovely (1951, H. Bruce Humberstone)
The Lavender Hill Mob (1951, Charles Crichton)
The Man in the White Suit (1951, Alexander Mackendrick)
The Quiet Man (1952, John Ford)
The Captain’s Paradise (1953, Anthony Kimmins)
Genevieve (1953, Henry Cornelius)
The Million Pound Note (1954, Ronald Neame)
The Ladykillers (1955, Alexander Mackendrick)
Blonde Sinner (1956, J. Lee Thompson)
The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957, David Lean)
The Curse of Frankenstein (1957, Terence Fisher)
A King in New York (1957, Charlie Chaplin)
Night of the Demon (1957, Jacques Tourneur)
Indiscreet (1958, Stanley Donen)
The Hound of the Baskervilles (1959, Terence Fisher)
Room at the Top (1959, Jack Clayton)

1960s


The Millionairess (1960, Anthony Asquith)
Peeping Tom (1960, Michael Powell)
Saturday Night and Sunday Morning (1960, Karel Reisz)
School for Scoundrels (1960, Robert Hamer)
Village of the Damned (1960, Wolf Rilla)
The Guns of Navarone (1961, J. Lee Thompson)
The Innocents (1961, Jack Clayton)
A Taste of Honey (1961, Tony Richardson)
Lolita (1962, Stanley Kubrick)
Billy Liar (1963, John Schlesinger)
From Russia with Love (1963, Terence Young)
The Haunting (1963, Robert Wise)
The Servant (1963, Joseph Losey)
Becket (1964, Peter Glenville)
Dr. Strangelove (1964, Stanley Kubrick)
Goldfinger (1964, Guy Hamilton)
The Masque of the Red Death (1964, Roger Corman)
Séance on a Wet Afternoon (1964, Bryan Forbes)
A Shot in the Dark (1964, Blake Edwards)
Woman of Straw (1964, Basil Dearden)
Zulu (1964, Cy Endfield)
The Collector (1965, William Wyler)
The Hill (1965, Sidney Lumet)
The Ipcress File (1965, Sidney J. Furie)
Repulsion (1965, Roman Polanski)
Alfie (1966, Lewis Gilbert)
Blow-Up (1966, Michelangelo Antonioni)
Born Free (1966, James Hill)
Funeral in Berlin (1966, Guy Hamilton)
A Man for All Seasons (1966, Fred Zinnemann)
Bedazzled (1967, Stanley Donen)
To Sir, with Love (1967, James Clavell)
2001: A Space Odyssey (1968, Stanley Kubrick)
If…. (1968, Lindsay Anderson)
The Lion in Winter (1968, Anthony Harvey)
The Italian Job (1969, Peter Collinson)
On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969, Peter R. Hunt)

1970s

The Go-Between (1970, Joseph Losey)
The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes (1970, Billy Wilder)
Ryan’s Daughter (1970, David Lean)
The Vampire Lovers (1970, Roy Ward Baker)
10 Rillington Place (1971, Richard Fleischer)
A Clockwork Orange (1971, Stanley Kubrick)
Dr Jekyll & Sister Hyde (1971, Roy Ward Baker)
The House That Dripped Blood (1971, Peter Duffell)
Frenzy (1972, Alfred Hitchcock)
Sleuth (1972, Joseph L. Mankiewicz)
Tales from the Crypt (1972, Freddie Francis)
The Day of the Jackal (1973, Fred Zinnemann)
Don’t Look Now (1973, Nicolas Roeg)
The Wicker Man (1973, Robin Hardy)
The Golden Voyage of Sinbad (1974, Gordon Hessler)
Murder on the Orient Express (1974, Sidney Lumet)
Barry Lyndon (1975, Stanley Kubrick)
The Man Who Would Be King (1975, John Huston)
The Return of the Pink Panther (1975, Blake Edwards)
Tommy (1975, Ken Russell)
The Omen (1976, Richard Donner)
The Pink Panther Strikes Again (1976, Blake Edwards)
The Boys from Brazil (1978, Franklin J. Schaffner)
Death on the Nile (1978, John Guillermin)
Revenge of the Pink Panther (1978, Blake Edwards)
Alien (1979, Ridley Scott)
Life of Brian (1979, Terry Jones)
Scum (1979, Alan Clarke)

1980s

The Elephant Man (1980, David Lynch)
The Shining (1980, Stanley Kubrick)
Chariots of Fire (1981, Hugh Hudson)
An American Werewolf in London (1981, John Landis)
Excalibur (1981, John Boorman)
Gandhi (1982, Richard Attenborough)
Educating Rita (1983, Lewis Gilbert)
Local Hero (1983, Bill Forsyth)
The Meaning of Life (1983, Terry Jones, Terry Gilliam)
Brazil (1985, Terry Gilliam)
A View to a Kill (1985, John Glen)
Mona Lisa (1986, Neil Jordan)
The Living Daylights (1987, John Glen)
Withnail & I (1987, Bruce Robinson)
A Fish Called Wanda (1988, Charles Crichton)
Hellbound: Hellraiser II (1988, Tony Randel)
Without a Clue (1988, Thom Eberhardt)
Licence to Kill (1989, John Glen)

1990s






The Witches (1990, Nicolas Roeg)
The Commitments (1991, Alan Parker)
The Crying Game (1992, Neil Jordan)
Howards End (1992, James Ivory)
In the Name of the Father (1993, Jim Sheridan)
Much Ado About Nothing (1993, Kenneth Branagh)
Naked (1993, Mike Leigh)
The Remains of the Day (1993, James Ivory)
The Snapper (1993, Stephen Frears)
Backbeat (1994, Iain Softley)
Four Weddings and a Funeral (1994, Mike Newell)
Immortal Beloved (1994, Bernard Rose)
Shallow Grave (1994, Danny Boyle)
War of the Buttons (1994, John Roberts)
GoldenEye (1995, Martin Campbell)
Jack & Sarah (1995, Tim Sullivan)
Carla’s Song (1996, Ken Loach)
Emma (1996, Douglas McGrath)
Secrets & Lies (1996, Mike Leigh)
Trainspotting (1996, Danny Boyle)
Fierce Creatures (1997, Fred Schepisi, Robert Young)
The Full Monty (1997, Peter Cattaneo)
Photographing Fairies (1997, Nick Willing)
The Wings of the Dove (1997, Iain Softley)
Elizabeth (1998, Shekhar Kapur)
Following (1998, Christopher Nolan)
The General (1998, John Boorman)
Gods and Monsters (1998, Bill Condon)
Little Voice (1998, Mark Herman)
Shakespeare in Love (1998, John Madden)
Sliding Doors (1998, Peter Howitt)
Waking Ned Devine (1998, Kirk Jones)
Eyes Wide Shut (1999, Stanley Kubrick)
Mansfield Park (1999, Patricia Rozema)
The Straight Story (1999, David Lynch)

2000s


Chicken Run (2000, Peter Lord, Nick Park)
Quills (2000, Philip Kaufman)
Shadow of the Vampire (2000, E. Elias Merhige)
When Brendan Met Trudy (2000, Kieron J. Walsh)
Bridget Jones’s Diary (2001, Sharon Maguire)
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (2001, Chris Columbus)
Sexy Beast (2001, Jonathan Glazer)
28 Days Later (2002, Danny Boyle)
All or Nothing (2002, Mike Leigh)
The Count of Monte Cristo (2002, Kevin Reynolds)
In America (2002, Jim Sheridan)*
The Magdalene Sisters (2002, Peter Mullan)
Undertaking Betty (2002, Nick Hurran)
Wilbur Wants to Kill Himself (2002, Lone Scherfig)
Intermission (2003, John Crowley)
Dead Man’s Shoes (2004, Shane Meadows)
The Merchant of Venice (2004, Michael Radford)
Perfect Strangers (2004, Robin Shepperd)
Rory O’Shea Was Here (2004, Damien O’Donnell)
The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (2005, Andrew Adamson)
The Constant Gardener (2005, Fernando Meirelles)
The Curse of the Were-Rabbit (2005, Steve Box, Nick Park)
The Descent (2005, Neil Marshall)
The Girl in the Café (2005, David Yates)
Pierrepoint: The Last Hangman (2005, Adrian Shergold)
Pride & Prejudice (2005, Joe Wright)
Tristram Shandy: A Cock and Bull Story (2005, Michael Winterbottom)
Casino Royale (2006, Martin Campbell)
The Prestige (2006, Christopher Nolan)
This is England (2006, Shane Meadows)
V for Vendetta (2006, James McTeigue)
Once (2007, John Carney)
Happy-Go-Lucky (2008, Mike Leigh)
In Bruges (2008, Martin McDonagh)
Kisses (2008, Lance Daly)
Man on Wire (2008, James Marsh)
Slumdog Millionaire (2008, Danny Boyle)
Bronson (2009, Nicolas Winding Refn)
Exam (2009, Stuart Hazeldine)
Moon (2009, Duncan Jones)
Ondine (2009, Neil Jordan)
Pirate Radio (2009, Richard Curtis)
Sherlock Holmes (2009, Guy Ritchie)

2010s



Another Year (2010, Mike Leigh)
Kick-Ass (2010, Matthew Vaughn)
Senna (2010, Asif Kapadia)
Submarine (2010, Richard Ayoade)
Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows (2011, Guy Ritchie)
Byzantium (2012, Neil Jordan)
Seven Psychopaths (2012, Martin McDonagh)
Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa (2013, Declan Lowney)
Locke (2013, Steven Knight)
Only Lovers Left Alive (2013, Jim Jarmusch)
Starred Up (2013, David Mackenzie)
Frank (2014, Leonard Abrahamson)
The Trip to Italy (2014, Michael Winterbottom)
Kingsman: The Secret Service (2014, Matthew Vaughn)
X+Y (2014, Morgan Matthews)
Mr. Holmes (2015, Bill Condon)
Sing Street (2016, John Carney)

Studios

Hammer Films: The Curse of Frankenstein (1957), The Hound of the Baskervilles (1959), The Vampire Lovers (1970), Dr Jekyll & Sister Hyde (1971)
Ealing Films: Dead of Night (1945), Kind Hearts and Coronets (1949), Whisky Galore! (1949), The Lavender Hill Mob (1951),
The Man in the White Suit (1951), The Ladykillers (1955), School for Scoundrels (1960)

Bond Films

From Russia with Love, 1963; Goldfinger, 1964; On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, 1969; A View to a Kill, 1985;
The Living Daylights, 1987; Licence to Kill, 1989; GoldenEye, 1995; Casino Royale, 2006.

Directors

Stanley Kubrick: 7
(Lolita, 1962; Dr. Strangelove, 1964; 2001, 1968; A Clockwork Orange, 1971; Barry Lyndon, 1975; The Shining, 1980; Eyes Wide Shut, 1999)

Michael Powell: 6 (4 with Emeric Pressburger)
(The Thief of Bagdad, 1940; 49th Parallel, 1941; A Matter of Life and Death, 1946; Black Narcissus, 1947; The Red Shoes, 1948; Peeping Tom, 1960)

Mike Leigh: 5
(Naked, 1993; Secrets & Lies, 1996; All or Nothing, 2002; Happy-Go-Lucky, 2008; Another Year, 2010)

Alfred Hitchcock: 4
(The Lodger, 1927; The 39 Steps, 1935; Young and Innocent, 1937; Frenzy, 1972)

Neil Jordan: 4
(Mona Lisa, 1986; The Crying Game, 1992; Ondine, 2009; Byzantium, 2012)

Danny Boyle: 4
(Shallow Grave, 1994; Trainspotting, 1996; 28 Days Later, 2002; Slumdog Millionaire, 2008)

Blake Edwards: 4
(A Shot in the Dark, 1964; The Return of the Pink Panther, 1975; The Pink Panther Strikes Again, 1976; Revenge of the Pink Panther, 1978)

David Lean: 4
(Brief Encounter, 1945; Great Expectations, 1946; The Bridge on the River Kwai, 1957; Ryan’s Daughter, 1970)

P.S.: Don’t forget to visit my other list: Cinema of Ireland: Best Irish Films (1947)

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