Skip to main content


Villain (1971)

Vic Dakin (Richard Burton) is a doting son. He loves his dear old mother, brings her tea and tucks her up in bed every night. They live together in their cosy suburban house, and he takes her to Brighton every week for a day trip to the seaside. But Dakin has another side. He is also one of London's most notorious criminals, a vicious sadist who will bribe, blackmail and maim those who cross or threaten him.

The police are on Dakin's trail, led by Inspector Matthews (Nigel Davenport), who is looking for a way to bring him in. But Dakin seems untouchable, and in his world almost anyone can be bought. He even has a Member of Parliament, Gerald Draycott (Donald Sinden), in his pocket, who can support him and provide an unquestioned alibi if necessary. And he has his errant lover, Wolfe (Ian McShane), a small time hustler who supplies women, and occasionally men, for country house orgies to provide material for Dakin's blackmail efforts.
Recent posts

Dial M for Murder (1954)

Tony Wendice (Ray Milland) is a former tennis pro, living in London with his young wife Margot (Grace Kelly). Wendice doesn't earn very much in his current line selling sports equipment, but his wife is from a wealthy family and can keep him in the style to which he has become accustomed. But when he discovers that she has been having an affair with an American crime writer, Mark Halliday (Robert Cummings), he fears she will leave him and take her money with her.

So Wendice contacts a shady old friend from Oxford, Charles Swann (Anthony Dawson), on the pretext of buying a car he has for sale. Swann has a dubious background, a list of creditors and petty crimes, a previous spell in jail and a court martial from the army. Wendice uses the carrot and stick approach, offering Swann £1000 if he carries out Margot's murder, and exposure of his crimes if he doesn't.

The Final Programme (1973)

The Final Programme, released in the US as The Last Days of Man on Earth, is a defiantly strange film, a mixture of dystopian sci-fi, comedy, irony, thriller and satire. The plot defies most attempts at a coherent explanation, but a rough attempt at a simple outline is possible. At some time in the near future, a brilliant, Nobel Prize winning scientist, Jerry Cornelius (Jon Finch), his late father's rival (Patrick Magee), a bisexual femme fatale, Miss Brunner (Jenny Runacre), and a trio of long-suffering scientists (Graham Crowden, George Coulouris and Basil Henson) are among those involved in the search for a valuable microfilm and the creation of The Final Programme. The latter is a scientific experiment to create a new superhuman, an androgynous being merged from a male and a female subject. The two participants have already been chosen, with Miss Brunner as the female.

The African Queen (1951)

In German East Africa in 1914, Charlie Allnut (Humphrey Bogart) is a Canadian steamboat captain, who plies his trade along the river in his boat “The African Queen”, occasionally delivering mail and supplies to the village of Kungdu. There he meets, and occasionally awkwardly lunches with, the Reverend Sayer (Robert Morley) and his unmarried sister, Rose (Katharine Hepburn), who run a Methodist church in the village. When war breaks out, German colonial troops come to the village, burning it to the ground and hauling off the native inhabitants as labour. When Allnut returns to the mission post, he finds it deserted, save for Rose and the body of her brother, who died as a result of the German action.

The Sheriff of Fractured Jaw (1958)

In The Sheriff of Fractured Jaw, Kenneth More stars as Jonathan Tibbs, the errant nephew of Lucius (Robert Morley), the pompous and irascible owner of Tibbs and Co., gunsmiths since 1605. Giving up his malfunctioning invention of a “horseless carriage” (it will never catch on), Jonathan instead reluctantly takes his place in the family firm. But he has just the idea to turn its fortunes around. Since the American Wild West is full of outlaws, gunslingers and is having trouble with “a frightful female outlaw named Jessie James”, it seems like just the place to sell his company's wares. Why, the premium products of Tibbs and Co. could bring just the touch of class these colonials need!

Suffragette (2015)

Beginning in London in 1912, Suffragette focuses on Maud Watts (Carey Mulligan) an ordinary working class woman, who works in a laundry and struggles to bring up her son with her husband Sonny (Ben Wishaw). When one of her friends is invited to speak to a Parliamentary committee about the possibility of votes for women, Maud tags along too, but circumstances force her to speak instead of her friend. Maud is then gradually drawn into the Suffragette movement, violent protesters in favour of extending the democratic franchise to women. She forges friendships with fellow Suffragettes Violet (Anne-Marie Duff) and Edith (Helena Bonham Carter), meets the Chancellor, David Lloyd George (Adrian Schiller), and the leader of the Suffragette movement, Emmeline Pankhurst (Meryl Streep). But her involvement in a bombing campaign also brings about her arrest, imprisonment, separation from her husband and the loss of custody of her young son.

The Ipcress File (1965)

In 1965 Michael Caine starred in The Ipcress File, his first starring role, and the first of three films featuring British spy Harry Palmer. Palmer is a relatively lowly field operative who spends much of his time engaged in routine surveillance work for the department of Colonel Ross (Guy Doleman). When a Government scientist is kidnapped, and his minder killed, Palmer is transferred to the department of Major Dalby (Nigel Green), to replace the dead man and to help track down the missing scientist.

Palmer is gradually drawn into a complex web of intrigue, unsure of who he can trust. At his new department he meets reliable Jock (Gordon Jackson) and the intriguing Courtney (Sue Lloyd). Palmer takes a romantic interest in Courtney which seems to be reciprocated, but does she have an ulterior motive in getting close to him? And is she really working for Major Dalby as she claims, or is she secretly under the orders of Colonel Ross?