Tea and Larceny: Classic British Crime Films

9/2/09 to 9/26/09

“Crime is everywhere, and the British cinema has long made hay of it with a series of moody and violent melodramas” (The New Yorker). Join us for a trip down deliciously dark cinematic alleys, unearthing obscure tales of murder and mayhem and uncovering the menace behind English manners.

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  • Night and the City, September 5

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Past Films

  • No Orchids for Miss Blandish

    • Saturday, September 26 8:30 pm

    St. John L. Clowes (U.K., 1948). An heiress falls for the leader of a crime syndicate in this Z-grade gangster noir. “The most sickening exhibition of brutality, perversion, sex, and sadism ever to be shown on a cinema screen.”-Monthly Film Bulletin (102 mins)

  • The Long Haul

    • Sunday, September 20 5:00 pm

    Ken Hughes (U.K., 1957). Racketeering is the principal cargo in this well-tuned tale starring Victor Mature as a trucker in trouble. (88 mins)

  • Brighton Rock

    • Saturday, September 19 8:30 pm

    John Boulting (U.K., 1947). Richard Attenborough stars as a teenage psychopath leading a gang of toughs in Britain's seedy Brighton Rock resort. Written by Graham Greene. “The best film to capture Greene's seedy world of evil, sin, and betrayal.”-The Observer (92 mins)

  • She Played with Fire

    • Friday, September 18 6:30 pm

    Sidney Gilliat (U.K., 1957). This rarely seen gem from the great Launder-Gilliat writing-directing team brings a touch of British Gothic to a complicated mystery of forgery, insurance fraud, and worse. (95 mins)

  • The October Man

    • Saturday, September 12 6:30 pm

    Roy Ward Baker (U.K., 1947). Eric Ambler provided the sardonic script for this murder mystery–cum–psychological melodrama. John Mills stars as an innocent man whose own self-doubt makes him a suspect. (110 mins)

  • So Evil My Love

    • Friday, September 11 8:40 pm

    Lewis Allen (U.K., 1948). Straitlaced widow Ann Todd falls for compelling con artist Ray Milland in this period melodrama of larceny, blackmail, and murder. (112 mins)

  • The Snorkel

    • Thursday, September 10 6:30 pm

    Guy Green (U.K., 1958). A debonair villain turns a piece of scuba-diving equipment into an unusual instrument of murder in this clever chiller from the Hammer studios. (90 mins)

  • Noose

    • Thursday, September 10 8:20 pm

    Edmond T. Greville (U.K., 1948). A brassy Yankee reporter and her ex-commando fiancé take on British mobsters who are cornering the postwar black market. “Boldly stylized direction gives this grippingly black yet bleakly funny thriller an almost Wellesian edge.”-Time Out (95 mins)

  • Hell Drivers

    • Sunday, September 6 7:00 pm

    Cy Endfield (U.K., 1957). The trucking business is a microcosm of capitalist exploitation in this full-throttle thriller featuring Stanley Baker, Patrick McGoohan, and a young Sean Connery. “An unjustly neglected nail-biter.”-Time Out (108 mins)

  • Night and the City

    • Saturday, September 5 8:25 pm

    Jules Dassin (U.K., 1950). Richard Widmark brilliantly plays a club tout and compulsive striver in this underworld classic that “turns all of London into a giant expressionist trap.”-Village Voice (95 mins)

  • It Always Rains on Sunday

    • Saturday, September 5 6:30 pm

    Robert Hamer (U.K., 1947). See September 4. (92 mins)

  • It Always Rains on Sunday

    • Friday, September 4 8:30 pm

    Robert Hamer (U.K., 1947). An escaped convict seeks refuge in London's dreary East End in this fatalistic Ealing Studios noir, from the director of Dead of Night and Kind Hearts and Coronets. “A masterpiece . . . a brilliantly written choral work.”-Bertrand Tavernier (92 mins)

  • Footsteps in the Fog

    • Thursday, September 3 6:30 pm

    Arthur Lubin (U.K., 1955). Murderous aristocrat Stewart Granger's crime is discovered by scheming servant girl Jean Simmons, who wouldn't mind becoming the new lady of the manor. A Gaslight-like Edwardian noir enveloped in London fog. (90 mins)

  • I Met a Murderer

    • Thursday, September 3 8:20 pm

    Roy Kellino (U.K., 1939). James Mason stars as a murderer on the run in this early noir, a rare example of independent filmmaking in 1930s Britain. “Graceful, gallant, resourceful . . . better than most studio pictures.”-James Agee (78 mins)

  • Obsession

    • Wednesday, September 2 7:00 pm

    Edward Dmytryk (U.K., 1949). A very proper psychiatrist plots a “perfect crime” in this acidly witty thriller, “a first-rate study in suspense.”-N.Y. Times (98 mins)