British Classics and British New Wave double-feature discs from Warner
Warner Home Video have announced the release of two British Classics on a double feature DVD for June 23rd 2003. For the retail price of £15.99 you will find The Blue Lamp (1950) and The Nanny (1955) on a single disc presented in their original 1.33:1 Aspect Ratios with Mono audio.
Also arriving on June 23rd are two more double feature DVDs from Warner. British New Wave Volume 1 features Darling (1965) and The L-Shaped Room (1962) on a single disc (1.33:1 Full Screen and 1.66:1 Widescreen respectively), while British New Wave Volume 2 features The Accident (1967) and The Family Way (1966) on a single disc (1.66:1 Widescreen and 1.33:1 Full Screen respectively). All films include Mono audio tracks. Retail on each double feature DVD is £15.99.
Here are the synopses as taken from the Press Releases...
The Blue Lamp (1950) - Appearing in one of his earliest leading roles, Dirk Bogarde is truly frightening as the clever killer on the run from justice in this tense Ealing studios crime drama. A strong performance by Jack Warner as PC George Dixon led to the character being adapted for the hugely successful TV series Dixon of Dock Green.
Two hoodlums, Riley (Bogarde) and Spud (Patrick Doonan) and a girl, Diana (Peggy Evans) hold up a cinema. During their escape a Scotland Yard officer (Warner) who is just about to retire from the force is killed, sparking a manhunt not only by the police but also by other crooks. A second robbery also goes wrong. In the course of his flight Riley strangles Diana to ensure her silence. The police finally track Riley down to a greyhound stadium where the police, the underworld gang operating there and the crowd all conspire to deliver Riley up to the law.
The Nanny (1955) - The screen-dominating Bette Davis is formidable in this powerful British psycho-thriller. There's no gore, there's little violence, but the tension builds throughout until the dramatic and unpredictable conclusion.
A devoted nanny (Davis) has her work cut out as she strives to hold together a dysfunctional family. Ten year old Joey (William Dix) has returned home from two years at a school for dysfunctional children, after having been implicated in the drowning of his sister. He's convinced that the Nanny is trying to kill him and that she was the one who killed his sister, but with a despotic father (James Villiers) who is often away on business plus a worry-ridden mother (Wendy Craig) who can't cope, there is no-one who will listen. What follows is an intense game of psychological cat-and-mouse, but if Joey's brattish behaviour goes too far, will the Nanny lose her patience?
Darling (1965) - Set in London at the height of the Swinging Sixties, John Schlesinger's direction captures the essence of the city like few other movies. Julie Christie's performance garnered a Best Actress Oscar, and both she and Dirk Bogarde had their performances recognised with BAFTA awards.
Christie stars as the immensely charming Darling, a young, attractive and vivacious model and socialite who is determined to become rich and famous. Although married, she falls hard for television interviewer Robert Gold (Bogarde), and their friendship blossoms into a full-blown affair that has each of them leaving their spouses in order to move in together. But Darling is far from done. Next she meets smooth Miles Brand (Laurence Harvey), who knows all the right people in the film industry. But Miles is merely another stepping-stone as Darling climbs in and out of bed on her way to the top, which is not quite what she expected.
The L-Shaped Room (1962) - An insight into the less glamorous aspects of London life, this Bryan Forbes directed film examines themes of abortion, sexuality, race and class. Leslie Caron received her second Best Actress Oscar nomination for her portrayal of the troubled Jane.
Newly arrived in London from France, Jane Fossett (Leslie Caron) is a girl who doesn't really know what she wants to do with her life. One thing is for certain though: she won't do anything because somebody else wants her to. Pregnant and alone having left her lover in France, she takes a room in a cheap London boarding house where she befriends the curious assortment of fellow lodgers. Among them is Toby (Tom Bell), an impassioned but failed writer and Mavis (Cicely Courtneidge), a middle-aged, matronly lesbian. When Jane reveals her pregnancy to a doctor, he assumes she wants an abortion or to get married; even Mavis proffers her a bottle of pills to end her pregnancy, all of which makes her determined to keep her child. But can she be so decisive about how to handle Toby's romantic interest?
The Accident (1967) - This complex, thought-provoking film, with a script from celebrated playwright Harold Pinter, concentrates on the feelings of an Oxford University professor as he looks back over his life and the tangle of personal relationships that led to the death of one of his students in a car crash.
Oxford dons Stephen (Dirk Bogarde) and Charley (Stanley Baker), both married, are smitten by the beauty of aloof, mysterious Austrian exchange student Anna (Jacqueline Sassard). Although she is engaged to fellow student William (Michael York) relationships become complicated when Stephen hosts a drunken lunch party. Stephen's wife Rosalind (Vivien Merchant) is pregnant, but he is still threatened by his perceived loss of masculinity in the repressed atmosphere of Oxford academia. Stephen is shocked to find Anna sneaking behind William's back to sleep with Charley, but Stephen then discovers that even he doesn't know the extent of his own desires.
The Family Way (1966) - Based on Bill Naughton's warm hearted play, The Family Way is a thought-provoking comedy which explores the emotional impact of the sixties sexual revolution on ordinary Lancashire folk, as well as the problems faced by newlyweds. The score was written by Paul McCartney while he was still a Beatle, and was his only solo work until they split in 1970.
Jenny (Hayley Mills) and Arthur Fitton (Hywel Bennett) are two sensitive youngsters who fail to consummate their recent marriage, following the vulgar ribaldry of their typically working class wedding. The situation is compunded by the couple having to live in the same house as his well-meaning but interfering parents, plus unwelcome speculation on his "performance" from the nosey neighbours. In a town that thrives on gossip, can their marriage stand the pressure? Considered highly controversial in 1966, it endures as a gentle comedy upon manners, morality and manhood.