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  • 2007-07-28T05:00:00+01:00 on BBC
  • 90 mins
  • 10 hours, 30 mins
  • Documentary

Running for 7 weeks from July 2007, each week focused on a different genre, examining British film by genre. Presented by Jessica Stevenson (Shaun Of The Dead) the series featured over 200 exclusive interviews with leading actors and directors including Sir Michael Caine, Sir Anthony Hopkins and Kate Winslet.

8 episodes

1x01 Guns, Gangsters and Getaways: The Story of the British Crime Thriller

  • Series Premiere

    2007-07-28T05:00:00+01:00 — 90 mins

The first part of the British Film Forever series takes a look at the British thriller, from the master of suspense Alfred Hitchcock and the king of cool Michael Caine to the world's most successful thriller franchise - James Bond. This 90-minute special features exclusive interviews with Sir Michael Caine, Lord Attenborough, Bob Hoskins, Ewan McGregor, Guy Ritchie and Daniel Craig talking about films including The Third Man, The Long Good Friday, Get Carter, and Shallow Grave.

The second instalment of British Film Forever takes a look at how the story of love is explored on the big screen. From Brief Encounter through the passion of Powell and Pressburger and the more liberated times of Women In Love and the highly-successful rom-coms of Richard Curtis, British Romantic films have mirrored the remarkable changes in the way we have conducted relationships over the last century. Films featured in this episode include: Four Weddings and a Funeral, Black Narcissus, The Red Shoes, Brief Encounter, Women in Love, Love Actually, Bridget Jones, Goodbye Mr Chips, Darling, Alfie, Educating Rita, Shirley Valentine, Nine Songs, Victim, The Servant, The Stud and Gregory's Girl.

There was a revolution in British film at the end of the 1950s: working people and the realities of their everyday lives started to appear on the big screen. Hardship, Humour and Heroes traces the evolution from Billy Liar to Billy Elliot via Saturday Night Sunday Morning, Kes and Trainspotting. Featuring original interviews with Ewan McGregor, Jamie Bell, Rita Tushingham, Malcom McDowell, Phil Daniels, Danny Boyle and Johnny Vegas - as well as the directors who have shaped the genre: Ken Loach and Mike Leigh.

Corsets, Cleavage and Country Houses looks at some of the most epic films ever made like Ghandi and Lawrence of Arabia - as well as films that reflect and play with our historical and literary traditions like the Merchant Ivory school, the films of David Lean and the big screen adaptations of Austen, Shakespeare and Dickens. Featured films include: Chariots of Fire, Henry V. Sense & Sensibility, Ghandi, The Railway Children, Great Expectations, Cock and Bull Story, Lawrence of Arabia, The Go-Between, Tom Jones, Mary Poppins, Topsy-Turvy and Shakespeare in Love.

Programme Five in BBC TWO's history of British Film turns its attention to films that have made us scream and howl over the years - occasionally with laughter as well as fright. From Hammer to Harry Potter, from Plague of the Zombies to Shaun of the Dead, 'Magic, Murder & Monsters' traces the evolution of the Great British Horror & Fantasy film, featuring original interviews with Sir Anthony Hopkins, John Hurt, Simon Pegg, Terry Gilliam, and John Landis.

British cinema owes much to the invention and bravery of the film makers of war - men like Humphrey Jennings, Powell & Pressburger and David Lean - and many of our greatest stars made their names in war movies. Featuring original interviews with Lord Attenborough, Richard Todd, Sir Michael Caine, Hayley Mills, Paul Greengrass, John Boorman and Sir Anthony Hopkins.

Much like our sense of humour, British Comedy feature films have rarely travelled well. Today, Aardman with its Ealing-inspired Wallace and Gromit are probably the most popular franchise. But the title of the most successful British comedy of all-time has a new champion...step forward, Borat. Featuring original interviews with Simon Pegg, Mark Gatiss, Terry Gilliam, Nick Park and Peter Lord, Gurinder Chadha, Bill Forsyth, Norman Wisdom, Richard E Grant and many more.

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