THE FALLEN IDOL
1948, Rialto Pictures, 95 min, UK, Dir: Carol Reed

Carol Reed, one of England’s most celebrated directors, probes the complexity and callousness of human relationships in this Oscar-nominated adaptation of a story by Graham Greene. Told through the naive eyes of an upper-class boy, the film centers on his idealization of his father’s butler, Baines, who entertains him with extravagant (and fictional) accounts of heroic adventures. Contrasting this is the reality of Baines’s unhappy, loveless marriage and his dreams of escaping his lot in life. Top-shelf performances from Ralph Richardson, Michèle Morgan, and young Bobby Henrey fuel this suspenseful, exceptionally written story of loyalty, betrayal, and everything in between.


WATERSHIP DOWN
1978, Janus Films, 91 min, Dir: Martin Rosen

“All the world will be your enemy, Prince with a Thousand Enemies, and when they catch you, they will kill you. … But first they must catch you.” This faithful adaptation of Richard Adams’ classic novel about a community of rabbits in southern England struggling to survive boasts beautiful hand-drawn animation but is hardly a children’s cartoon. Dark and sometimes violent, the journey Hazel (John Hurt) and his allies take to find refuge at Watership Down can be seen as an allegory about freedom and tyranny. Also featuring the voices of Ralph Richardson, Roy Kinnear, Denholm Elliott and Zero Mostel.


THINGS TO COME
1936, Janus Films, 100 min, UK, Dir: William Cameron Menzies

Director William Cameron Menzies brings to the screen H.G. Wells’ apocalyptic sci-fi novel, with input from Wells himself. A world war that begins in 1940 lasts until 1966, when a plague hits the planet and destroys half the population. Isolated primitive communities struggle through, but it soon becomes apparent a pocket of humanity has not only survived war and disease but has made enormous strides in technological achievement and design. With Raymond Massey and Ralph Richardson.


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