Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon

The Small Back Room

The Criterion Collection

DVD

4.4 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews

Additional DVD options Edition Discs
Price
New from Used from
DVD
1
$13.81 $24.10
DVD
1
$59.98 $22.00
DVD
(Aug 19, 2008)
The Criterion Collection
1
$89.47 $59.68

Unlimited Streaming with Amazon Prime
Unlimited Streaming with Amazon Prime Start your 30-day free trial to stream thousands of movies & TV shows included with Prime. Start your free trial

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

After the lavish Technicolor spectacle of The Red Shoes, British filmmakers Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger retreated into the inward, shadowy recesses of this moody, crackling character study. Based on the acclaimed novel by Nigel Balchin, The Small Back Room details the professional and personal travails of troubled, alcoholic research scientist and military bomb-disposal expert Sammy Rice (David Farrar), who, while struggling with a complex relationship with secretary-girlfriend Susan (Kathleen Byron), is hired by the government to advise on a dangerous new German weapon. Frank and intimate, deftly mixing suspense and romance, The Small Back Room is an atmospheric, post World War II gem.

SPECIAL EDITION FEATURES:
New, restored high-definition digital transfer,
Audio commentary featuring film scholar Charles Barr,
New video interview with cinematographer Chris Challis,
Excerpts from Michael Powell's audio dictations for his autobiography.
PLUS: A new essay by film scholar Nick James.

Amazon.com

In their career, the Archers--Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger--made films both epic and intimate. The Small Back Room falls into the latter category. The interiors in this black-and-white picture, after a trio in Technicolor, are close and dimly lit, but rustic exteriors (including Stonehenge) and a surrealistic set piece add welcome flair. In 1943, Londoner Sammy Rice (David Farrar, quite good), a master at defusing incendiary devices, works for the Ministry of Defense. Whiskey helps to relieve the discomfort of a leg injury caused, presumably, by a mission gone wrong. As he tells girlfriend Susan (Kathleen Byron, softer than in Black Narcissus), who serves as secretary for the back-room boys, "It leaves me not caring whether it hurts or not." In order to decode Germany’s new booby-trapped bomb, the military enlists his expertise, but Rice's drinking problem makes him a liability. Noir, suspense, and documentary-style realism converge to create a sympathetic portrait of one man's struggle with shame and inadequacy, providing a link between Brief Encounter and The Lost Weekend. As critic Raymond Durgnat suggests, it isn’t "a 'story one follows', but a sensibility in which one bathes." This shadowy room may not be the best place to begin with the Archers, but it's a fine place with which to end. The Criterion Collection edition adds erudite commentary from author Charles Barr, an essay from Sight & Sound editor Nick James, an interview with cinematographer Chris Challis, and dictation excerpts from Powell's memoir, Million Dollar Movie. --Kathleen C. Fennessy

See all Editorial Reviews

Special features

None.

Product details

  • Actors: David Farrar, Kathleen Byron, Jack Hawkins, Leslie Banks, Henry Caine
  • Directors: Michael Powell, Emeric Pressburger
  • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Black & White, Dolby, Full Screen, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    Unrated
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Criterion Collection
  • DVD Release Date: August 19, 2008
  • Run Time: 107 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews
  • ASIN: B0019X400I
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #101,535 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Would you like to tell us about a lower price?
    If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support?

  • Learn more about "The Small Back Room (The Criterion Collection)" on IMDb

Customer reviews

Top customer reviews

Format: DVD|Verified Purchase
0Comment| 3 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on July 15, 2007
Format: DVD|Verified Purchase
0Comment| 17 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on January 10, 2012
Format: DVD|Verified Purchase
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on October 28, 2013
Format: DVD|Verified Purchase
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on August 28, 2016
Format: DVD|Verified Purchase
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on March 15, 2010
Format: VHS Tape|Verified Purchase
0Comment| 6 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on December 9, 2011
Format: DVD|Verified Purchase
0Comment| One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse

Most recent customer reviews


Pages with related products. See and discover other items: upholstery tools and supplies