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Sapphire A beautiful female college student is found dead in a public park; the police soon discover that her murder may have been racially motivated. Basil Dearden’s bold, direct police procedural, starring Nigel Patrick as the detective in charge of the investigation, is a devastating look at the way bigotry crosses class divides, and a snapshot of late-fifties England’s increasingly interracial culture.
1959 · 92 minutes · Color · Monaural · 1.66:1 aspect ratio
The League of Gentlemen Jack Hawkins wittily embodies a colonel, bitter about being forced into retirement, who ropes a cadre of corrupt former British army men into aiding him in a one-million-pound bank robbery—a risky, multitiered plan that also involves infiltrating a military compound. A delightful cast of British all-stars, including Richard Attenborough, Bryan Forbes, and Roger Livesey, brings to life this precisely calibrated caper, which was immensely popular and influenced countless Hollywood heist films.
1960 · 116 minutes · Black & White · Monaural · 1.66:1 aspect ratio
Victim An extraordinary performance by Dirk Bogarde grounds this intense, sobering indictment of early-sixties social intolerance and sexual puritanism. Bogarde plays Melville Farr, a married barrister who is one of a large group of closeted London men who become targets of a blackmailer. Basil Dearden’s unmistakably political taboo buster was one of the first films to address homophobia head-on, a cry of protest against British laws forbidding homosexuality.
1961 · 100 minutes · Black & White · Monaural · 1.66:1 aspect ratio
All Night Long Othello is translated to the world of sixties London jazz clubs in Basil Dearden’s smoky and sensational All Night Long. Over the course of one eventful evening, during the anniversary celebration of the musical and romantic partners Aurelius Rex (Paul Harris), a band leader, and Delia Lane (Marti Stevens), a singer, Johnny Cousin (Patrick McGoohan), racked by ambition and jealousy, attempts to tear the interracial couple apart. This daring psychodrama is also remarkable for its on-screen appearances by such jazz legends as Charles Mingus, Dave Brubeck, and Tubby Hayes.
1962 · 91 minutes · Black & White · Monaural · 1.66:1 aspect ratio
Victim: Dearden takes a cue from Hitchcock's Strangers on a Train in this tale of homophobia, blackmail, and desperation. Dirk Bogarde gives an unforgettable performance as a respected barrister who gets caught up in a scandal that threatens to unravel the British judicial system--and, maybe worse, its status quo.
The League of Gentlemen: This seminal caper film influenced dozens of later movies like Ocean's Eleven and even the Beatles' Help! Jack Hawkins stars, along with Richard Attenborough (a favorite of Dearden's), Roger Livesey, and Bryan Forbes--though the shaping character in Gentlemen is the War--and how it shaped each man for the thrilling task at hand.
Sapphire: The only film of the four shot in color, Sapphire still carries deep elements of film noir in its mystery and affect. Nigel Patrick plays the world-weary inspector investigating the murder of a young college student--a murder that may have been racially motivated.
All Night Long: Dearden retells Othello against the backdrop of the London jazz scene of the late '50s and early '60s. The cast is headed by Patrick McGoohan and a spunky Richard Attenborough, but the true stars of All Night Long are the jazz musicians who play themselves, and who jam together during the entire film. Jazz fans will love seeing Charles Mingus, Dave Brubeck, and many others mill around as characters in an increasingly tense tale that can only end in tragedy.
Basil Dearden's London Underground is a fascinating piece of film history for fans of British film, film noir, and all mid-century filmmaking. --A.T. Hurley
Also, fun to see Patrick McGoohan playing a villain.
This is a very good mystery, with a couple of clever red-herrings, which will keep you guessing right up until the identity of the main culprit is revealed.
What I enjoyed about this film is its structure but how it was bold in showing racism from normal individuals to even one of the primary police inspectors.
I particularly enjoyed Victim, which gave a look at homosexuality in Britain in the 50s and early 60s. Dirk Bogarde heads up a great cast of familiar faces. Read morePublished 12 months ago by wallace thompson
Entertaining and enlightening for cinema enthusiasts. Progressive film-making during a generally conservative decade. Give these movies a chance. Read morePublished 13 months ago by John Anthony in Boston
Basil Deaden was way before his time in tackling these subject lines. Homosexuality, racism, jealousy and envy. I have been looking for a copy of Sapphire for years. Loved it. Read morePublished 15 months ago by Jacqueline K Martin
This package contains four late 1950s and early 1960s movies by British director Basil Dearden.
One of these movies is excellent, two are very good and one is a... Read more
Wonderful. This is clearly a Social Commentary film and gives a point of view on the treatment of skin color, "passing", white and black femininity, and some of the... Read morePublished 19 months ago by Jo C.
British director Basil Dearden was one of the better underrated British directors. He did a lot
of "message" movies that were very enlightening and very timely. Read more