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CertificationU Our Rating

This is the Shakespearean opus containing many a familiar line, "Once more into the breach dear friends..." amongst them, and spoken by an absolutely outstanding cast. A must to watch, even if it's not on your school syllabus! find out more...

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Love him or loathe him, there's no denying Olivier's huge stage presence, and never more so than in his stunning portrayal of Othello. Whether his grandiose performance in John Dexter's National Theatre production translates well to the screen is quite another matter. A film of a theatrical production. find out more...

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A triumph of artistic imagination and resourcefulness over limited budget since this was shot, in Morocco and Italy, on a shoestring; when an actor didn't turn up he used a stand-in and changed the camera angle, when the costumes didn't show up, he filmed in a Turkish bath! This is the Bard filmed with love and enthusiasm, but never with reverence. The visual imagery is matched to the words, they hit sensory overload together. Also this is a credit to celluloid restoration, the film was mislaid find out more...

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Richard's military skills have helped to put his older brother Edward on the throne of England, but jealousy and resentment cause Richard to seek the crown for himself, and he conceives a lengthy and carefully calculated plan using deception, manipulation, and outright murder to achieve his goal. His plotting soon has tumultuous consequences, both for himself and for England. find out more...

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At the turn of the 20th century, the film industry sought to elevate its lowbrow status by imitating the theatre. While cinemas decked themselves out like theatres, filmmakers signed up stage stars and turned to the classics. Shakespeare provided the greatest challenge, especially since many of the films made before the First World War were only one or two reels long. Plays included on this compilation are The Tempest (1908), King Lear (1910), A Midsummer Night's Dream (1909), Twelfth Night (191 find out more...

CertificationPG Our Rating

A tense re-working of Hamlet, adapted from a novel by Ed McBain, is a biting exposť of the corruption and politics of greed at the heart of Japanese business. Beautifully photographed in ravishing black and white Tohoscope, this is the original Japanese version never before released in Europe. find out more...

CertificationPG Our Rating

One of the world's greatest filmmakers, Kurosawa, adapts Shakespeare's Macbeth to 16th Century Japan - the loss in language being more than compensated for by the misty and forbidding locations and the clever incursions of Japanese culture. find out more...

CertificationPG Our Rating

When a Woman Ascends the Stairs might be Japanese filmmaker Mikio Naruse's finest hour, a delicate, devastating study of a woman, Keiko, played heartbreakingly by Hideko Takamine, who works as a bar hostess in Tokyo's very modern post-war Ginza district. Sly, resourceful, but trapped, Keiko comes to embody the conflicts and struggles of a woman trying to establish her independence in a male-dominated society. A profoundly moving masterpiece. find out more...