I love British movies, but I’m not a purest. My criteria are that at least half of the cast are British and the movie is mostly filmed in the UK. I love movies of all kinds. I especially enjoy ones that are humorous and have a good sound track.
Here’s a list of some of my favorites, old and new, in no particular order:
This Happy Breed-1944
I love this movie! Directed by David Lean and starring the brilliant Robert Newton. Americans will remember him as Long John Silver in the Disney classic.
This film is about an average British family as they move into a house in the suburbs just after World War I. It takes us through triumph and tragedy from 1919 to 1939. The next door neighbor is played by the great Stanley Holloway, famous as Eliza’s father in “My Fair Lady”.
Hitchcock at his finest. From the book by Daphne du Maurier. This was actually filmed in the US and is an exception to my above rule, but there are reasons for this. Although an American adaptation, the director and cast are British. It was supposed to be filmed in England, but 5 days before filming began, the UK entered World War II! Instead it was filmed entirely in California. It’s a psychological thriller about a dead woman that we never see. The young wife is played by Joan Fontaine and her husband is no less than Laurence Olivier. The cast also includes George Sanders, Judith Anderson, and C. Aubrey Smith to name a few, with many more that you’re sure to recognize. Very intriguing.
Cold Comfort Farm-1995
With Kate Beckinsale and Eileen Atkins, this film is really funny. I’ve watched it several times and always find some subtle humor that I didn’t notice before. It’s about a young woman that is orphaned and decides to go live with the poorer relatives; they have more interesting lives for her chosen career as author. She feels that her common sense will help them to adapt to the modern world. I love her friend with the underwear collection! The cast also includes Stephen Fry and Ian McKellen who is brilliant as a very, very negative evangelist. It was filmed in East Sussex.
The Wedding Date-2005
Pure fun from the sound track to the happy ending. With her younger sister getting married in London and her ex-fiance as best man, New Yorker Kat decides to hire a male escort to impress everyone. Of course they fall in love, with many mishaps and misunderstandings first. Debra Messing, Dermot Mulroney, Holland Taylor, Amy Adams and Jack Davenport. Sarah Parish as her cousin is hilarious and Jeremy Sheffield plays the perfect idiot ex-boyfriend. Filmed in London and Surrey. I actually saw this one in London with my friends Suzanne and Peggy. It is the most expensive film I’ve ever seen at 12 pounds. With the exchange rate at the time we paid about $22.00 to see this film! Good thing we liked it.
Love everything about this film. The cast, the music, very entertaining and based on a true story. Very distinguished family shoe factory, about to fold, has to find a new “niche market” and turns to drag queens! Chiwetel Ejiofor plays Lola. Joel Edgerton, who seems to be in everything lately, plays Charlie, the factory owner. It’s just a positive, uplifting movie that I insist everyone I care about watches at least once! Filmed in Northampton.
This one has been moved to the Christmas movie shelf of my DVDs. It just makes you feel good, period. Two strangers do a home exchange during the holidays when both have hit relationship walls. Jude Law is so vulnerable and Jack Black is just a really good guy that you root for. I especially love the scene where Cameron Diaz drives in England for the first time. I’ve done the same thing where you’re on a B road and you think if you pull your shoulders in it will somehow make your car thinner! Kate Winslet is fabulous and so is Eli Wallach. It’s an intelligent film that makes you feel good with too many really good and familiar actors to list. Watch it, you’ll be glad you did.
Simon Pegg as a London cop who gets transferred to a small village because of politics at work. He gets stuck with a witless partner and is miserable until he stumbles on to an important crime. With Nick Frost (who is also great in Kinky Boots). This has become a bit of a cult classic with young people here in the US. Filmed in Somerset.
Filmed in Galway, Ireland about a local cop and an uptight FBI agent going after a drug cartel. Brendan Gleason is proud and pragmatic, and doesn’t always go by the rules. Don Cheadle is very serious and the perfect foil to Gleason’s funny lines. Amusing.
The Baker-aka Assassin in Love-2007
Meet Milo, an assassin that wants to quit the business. He moves to a small village in Wales opens a bakery,then teaches himself the craft. In the mean time he falls in love and his past catches up with him. Lots of characters to follow and it’s really fun. Damien Lewis plays Milo, Michael Gambon his mentor, and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau the assassin that’s after him. Well known for his portrayal of Jamie Lannister in The Game of Thrones, this is the first role I had seen him in. Written and directed by Gareth Lewis, brother of Damien.
Bend It Like Beckham-2002
Young girl from a traditional Indian family has to hide the fact that she plays football (soccer) on a girls team. Fun story line, great music, family conflicts. We get to learn a little about Indian food, clothes and wedding customs. Parminder Nagra, Keira Knightly, and Jonathan Rhys Meyers play the main characters. Juliet Stevenson is endearing as Jules’ mom with all of her assumptions; Jess’ mother thinks that everything will be alright if she can just teach her two daughters how to cook. Totally entertaining.
Hope you enjoy these as much as I do, have a great weekend!