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London Lives

1 October - 12 December 2014

The lives of Londoners, especially young people making their way in the capital city, has long been a central theme in English fiction, at least from Defoe and Dickens up to mid-20th century novelists such as Norman Collins – the adaptation of his landmark 1945 novel of life south of the river, London Belongs to Me, opens this series – and continuing in the 1960s with writers closely involved in television and film, such as Nell Dunn (Poor Cow) and Frederic Raphael (Nothing But the Best), and most recently the independent filmmaker Carol Morley (Dreams of a Life). Musicals have also brought romance to stories of young people in the city: from Jessie Matthews’ 1930s vehicles to the 60s pop-musical, here represented by Theatre Workshop’s What a Crazy World. And we pay tribute to the late Richard Attenborough with early and late examples of his self-effacing skill at portraying London’s ‘little people’. – Ian Christie

London Lives Season LonBelongsToMe-chosen 01 October 2014 02:30 PM

London belongs to me

Sidney Gilliat 1948 Richard Attenborough, Alastair Sim, Fay Compton

Norman Collins’ source novel celebrated the intertwined pre-war lives of boarding-house lodgers in ‘Dulcimer Street’ SE5, who are galvanised by the prosecution of one of ... [More]

London Lives Season waterloo-road-chosen 08 October 2014 02:30 PM

Waterloo Road

Sidney Gilliat 1945 John Mills, Stewart Granger, Alastair Sim

A serving soldier (Mills) learns that one of the local spivs (Granger) is seeing his wife (Joy Shelton) and goes AWOL to seek revenge. Released ... [More]

London Lives Season sailing-along-chosen 15 October 2014 02:30 PM

Sailing along

Sonnie Hale 1938 Jessie Matthews, Barry MacKay, Jack Whiting, Roland Young

Last and one of the best of the musicals that made Jessie Matthews England’s answer to the great American song and dance stars of the ... [More]

London Lives Season Daybreak-chosen 22 October 2014 02:30 PM


Compton Bennett 1948 Eric Portman, Ann Todd, Maxwell Reed

Eddie and Frankie live a seemingly idyllic life on a Thames barge in this atmospheric British film noir, although he has a mysterious other life ... [More]

London Lives Season spring-in-park-lane-chosen 29 October 2014 02:30 PM

Spring in Park Lane

Herbert Wilcox 1948 Anna Neagle, Michael Wilding, Tom Walls

Third in the ‘Mayfair cycle’ of escapist fairy-tales set in fashionable London, this remains one of the most commercially successful of all British films. In ... [More]

London Lives Season never-let-go-2-chosen 05 November 2014 02:30 PM

Never Let Go

John Guillermin 1960 Richard Todd, Peter Sellers, Elizabeth Sellars, Adam Faith

A cosmetics salesman loses his car and faces ruin, but his determination to recover his livelihood leads him to tackle the criminals responsible at whatever ... [More]

London Lives Season what-a-crazy-world-chosen 12 November 2014 02:30 PM

What a crazy world

Michael Carreras 1963 Joe Brown, Susan Maughan, Marty Wilde, Harry H. Corbett

An unemployed East End youngster trying to make his way as a singer, against a background of dog-racing, corner cafes and amusement arcades. This genuine ... [More]

London Lives Season nothing-but-the-best-chosen 19 November 2014 02:30 PM

Nothing but the best

Clive Donner 1964 Alan Bates, Denholm Elliott, Millicent Martin

Like Joe Lampton in Room at the Top, junior London estate agent Jimmy Brewster knows what he wants, and the Mephistopheles/Svengali who shows him how ... [More]

London Lives Season Poor-Cow-chosen 26 November 2014 02:30 PM

Poor Cow

Ken Loach 1967 Carol White, Terence Stamp

Ken Loach’s first cinema film followed the extraordinary impact of his television play Cathy Come Home (1966) in which Carol White played the hapless Cathy. ... [More]

London Lives Season 10-Rill-3-chosen 03 December 2014 02:30 PM

10 Rillington Place

Richard Fleischer 1971 Richard Attenborough, Judy Geeson, John Hurt

10 Rillington Place isn’t just the story of one of London’s most notorious serial killers, the mild-mannered John Christie, chillingly played by Richard Attenborough. It’s ... [More]