100 best British films: the full list
Time Out counts down the best British films, as chosen by the film industry
What's your favourite British film? Here's the 100 best British films as chosen by a panel of 150 film industry experts, including directors Sam Mendes, Mike Leigh, Ken Loach and Wes Anderson, actors David Morrissey, Sally Hawkins and Thandie Newton, newspaper and magazine critics and the heads of the UK's major cultural organisations.
By Dave Calhoun, Tom Huddleston and David Jenkins, with Derek Adams, Geoff Andrew, Adam Lee Davies, Gareth Evans, Paul Fairclough and Wally Hammond.
London to Brighton (2006)
Dir Paul Andrew Williams (Lorraine Stanley, Johnny Harris, Georgia Groome)
A Cottage on Dartmoor (1929)
Dir Anthony Asquith (Hans Adalbert von Schlettow, Uno Henning, Norah Baring)
Four Weddings and a Funeral (1994)
Dir Mike Newell (Hugh Grant, Andie MacDowell, Kristin Scott Thomas)
The Man in the White Suit (1951)
Dir Alexander Mackendrick (Alec Guinness, Joan Greenwood, Cecil Parker)
Dead of Night (1945)
Dirs Alberto Cavalcanti, Charles Crichton, Basil Dearden, Robert Hamer (Mervyn Johns, Michael Redgrave, Roland Culver)
Dir Michael Winterbottom (Gina McKee, Shirley Henderson, Molly Parker, John Simm)
Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1974)
Dirs Terry Gilliam, Terry Jones (Graham Chapman, Michael Palin, John Cleese, Eric Idle et al)
It Always Rains on Sunday (1947)
Dir Robert Hamer (Googie Withers, Edward Chapman, John McCallum)
The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner (1962)
Dir Tony Richardson (Tom Courtenay, James Bolam, Julia Foster)
The Bill Douglas Trilogy (1972, 1973, 1978)
Dir Bill Douglas (Stephen Archibald, Hughie Restorick, Jean Taylor-Smith)
I Know Where I'm Going! (1945)
Dirs Michael Powell, Emeric Pressburger (Wendy Hiller, Roger Livesey)
Saturday Night and Sunday Morning (1960)
Dir Karel Reisz (Albert Finney, Rachel Roberts, Shirley Anne Field)
Monty Python's Life of Brian (1979)
Dir Terry Jones (Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Michael Palin, Eric Idle et al)
A Canterbury Tale (1944)
Dirs Michael Powell, Emeric Pressburger (Eric Portman, Sheila Sim, John Sweet, Dennis Price)
Black Narcissus (1947)
Dirs Michael Powell, Emeric Pressburger (Deborah Kerr, Sabu, David Farrar)
The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp (1943)
Dirs Michael Powell, Emeric Pressburger (Roger Livesey, Deborah Kerr)
A Matter of Life and Death (1946)
Dirs Michael Powell, Emeric Pressburger (David Niven, Kim Hunter, Roger Livesey, Raymond Massey)
The Red Shoes (1948)
Dirs Michael Powell, Emeric Pressburger (Moira Shearer, Anton Walbrook, Marius Goring)
goldfinger the ipcress file belles of st trinians trouble in store hue and cry five missing from this list that should have been on there
Young and Innocent, Let George Do It! and Night of the Demon would be on my list but the biggest omission in my opinion is Whistle Down The Wind.
Any list that has Zulu as no. 93 and not at least in the top ten is completely invalid! Nos 4, 6, and 8 are all good, although only Kes is really top ten material. There's some serious crap nuveau in there, too!
This is I don't know who's opinion! HOWARD's end , and all Merchant- Ivory films , Room with a view , Maurice, all classic drama , this is what make British films different and unique. "Remains of the day " all Films after Jane Austin books , The English patient , the istoric drama is what is best of the best , and what nobody else was able to create as high as british cinematography! Your list -with few exceptions is totally wrong!
Dr.No 81.place? It should be top 3! Where's Love actually,Notting Hill,Harry Potter(haha),From Russia with Love,The Italian Job,
A cursory glance reveals the absence of The Lion in Winter. And given some of the inclusions, my interest in this list ended.
Soooooo many good British movies missing from this list, the top 10 is largly unheard of "the 3rd man"? a movie made in the 1940's got ahead of Harry Brown? or 4 weddings and a funeral? really? the person who wrote this list must of been smoking some real strong crack.
British Cinema is a rather desperate if this is a sampling of the best of it. There are a lot of films on this list that wouldn't even come close to making a Top 100 greatest list if they had come from America, France or Japan. Apart from some of the films from a handful of really unique British filmmakers such as Ken Loach and Mike Leigh, why does it feel like modern British movies (since the 70s or so) really shine mainly when they are comedies? There are no David Leans or Michael Powells anymore -- no British filmmakers (working in Britain) with that true feel for cinema -- for the epic and the grand anymore. They couldn't have all gone to America or to teevee, could they have? Distant Voices Still Lives is borrowed claptrap in the style of a continental art film. The attempts at controversy and shock-value in films like If... and Walkabout just aren't memorable compared to the more cinematic, original and biting comparisons from 60s France or 70s America. British films of the 70s in particular have the feel of a Cambridge graduate trying to audition for a punk band. And what is with the sentiment that British gangster "dramas" like the Long Good Friday and Get Carter are great films? Tthese films are very rich in style and not much else. Some modern British films are really good -- This is England, which is on the list, is one of the first to come to mind. But there are some great British classics that for some reason failed to make this list. The Horse's Mouth, Pygmalion, Sabotage all should be here. And you want a great modern British gangster drama? Try The Krays or Bronson.
bridge on the river kwai, 86 -- yeah right? the list and people behind it lose all credibility. shameful.
London Boulevard was another brilliant movie - did it come out after the list was put together? I scoffed earlier at a criticism that the list had been put together by Media Studies graduates, however I'm a bit lost at how some brilliant films have been missed for some of the obscure tosh put out there. Agreed that Sexy Beast should be here, fantastically paced plot, even as a 'movement-image'.
Looks like we haven't had a winning British film for a while - what's happened? Chritopher Martyn Meade
This list includes some great movies, but has some glaring omissions, many of which have already been noted. Kinky Boots could be added...
I'm glad 'fires were started' is on the list and i probably have included 'millions like us' but then we are all different. I should think most people will be surprised and given the time we could all make our own list
Good list, lots of titles worth investigating. Shame there's only one Alan Clarke film tho. Surely Contact or The Firm belong here? Still, kudos in general.
Children of Men. None of the films on this list capture the British landscape as it really looks in such an immediate way. Why isn't it on this list when so many of these films aren't set in Britain?
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows part 2 is nothing but breathtaking!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! You should take it into account!!!!!
I don't want to know who you use, as long as they're not complete muppets. No "Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels"?
"Chariots of Fire" and " A Man for all Seasons" won Best Picture Oscars yet neither is included in the list of 100 Best British films? Can't understand it?
Kes is number four seriously! There is nothing innovative about the film, the main protagonist is dull and we just see him used as a punching bag from start to finish. The acting is mediocre as I've seen far better in plenty of films. There are no redeeming qualities. Billy's longing for his absent father (an important plot point in the book) is ignored. The ending was changed from the book leaving no effort to make an impact with the viewer. Just not a good film and not a very good novel either. Liked to have seen 28 Days Later higher though.
I have a set-theoretic problem with this list: since The 39 Steps is (together with the 7th Seal) the greatest film ever made, and since the set of British films is a proper subset of the set of all films, how can The 39 Steps be only the 13th greatest British film? And, as an aside, why is the sometime distasteful, entirely 'imagined' (i.e. credibility-lacking) 'Naked' two positions above it? (When it comes to characterisation: is Naked's Porsche-driving yuppy to anyone's taste?)
I felt the list left off quite a few good movies, and how is The Bridge on the River Kwai that far down on the list? Also where is Monty Python and the Holy Grail, Life of Brian, Snatch, The King's Speech (Too new?), Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, and Straw Dogs (Just to throw out a borderline british film.)
A very good selection. None of the films mentioned in the comments is better than the films in the list. If I could suggest an omission it would be Betrayal, a filmed play I know but one with superlative performances from an all-star cast.
Imagine running up that Century! Nothing by Maurice Elvey, who dominated British film for twenty years. Has any one on your roster even seen his HINDLE WAKES, The LODGER or LIFE OF DAVID LLOYD GEORGE? Well Alex Korda, who was the next key contributor, gets a similar black out. ROOM AT THE TOP, KING SOLOMON'S MINES, TOM JONES, MAN WHO KNEW TOO MUCH, JOURNEY'S END, WHATEVER HAPPENED TO WHATS'IS NAME. or for that matter THE KING'S SPEECH? Another shovel of dirt on the business of serious film.
Slumdog Millionaire is not there? What a joke. By the way, old films with their stilted scripts, stage-style acting, procrastinating plots and crap special effects stink. There, I said it. I'm not gonna sit here and pretend that films haven't improved in the last 80 years like most critics like to do. My Blu-Ray collection doesn't extend beyond the 80s and there're probably only a few 70s films that I'd have in there.
Look out... Aussie whinge alert.... Safzoro, I think you'll find it was British money and production that was behind Walkabout... Just because it was filmed in the Northern Territory doesn't mean it's an Aussie film... Similarly, Bridge On The River Kwai is not a Burmese film and 2001:A Space Odyssey is not a Jupiterian production.... Alvin Purple however is an Australian film and a belter to boot.
Quite incredible some of the selections....2001 : A Space Odyssey at no.57 !!! One of the greatest films ever beaten by Humphrey Jennings war films.... Are you havin' a laugh...???...No sign of The Cook, The Thief etc. by Greenaway and The Hill with Sean Connery in one of his best roles.... The original Sleuth is another that should be in the top 100... Not a very well thought out list methinks.. No sign of The Italian Job either.... oh dear oh dear...