Best UK Post War to 1970's

by MagicSlim | created - 23 Feb 2015 | updated - 29 Sep 2018 | Public

If you really want to understand a time you should watch movies made during that period. Occasionally a filmmaker will catch the mood and the period later looking back but that is much harder to do.

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1. Sapphire (1959)

Not Rated | 92 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

The murder of a young woman in London exposes deep racial tensions and prejudices inherent in the area.

Director: Basil Dearden | Stars: Nigel Patrick, Yvonne Mitchell, Michael Craig, Paul Massie

Votes: 1,156

2. Victim (1961)

Not Rated | 90 min | Drama

85 Metascore

The death of a young man leads to the discovery of a blackmail plot against several gay men in 1960s London.

Director: Basil Dearden | Stars: Dirk Bogarde, Sylvia Syms, Dennis Price, Anthony Nicholls

Votes: 4,519

3. This Happy Breed (1944)

Not Rated | 115 min | Comedy, Drama

Noël Coward's attempt to show how the ordinary people lived between the wars. Just after World War I, the Gibbons family moves to a nice house in the suburbs. An ordinary sort of life is ... See full summary »

Director: David Lean | Stars: Robert Newton, Celia Johnson, Amy Veness, Alison Leggatt

Votes: 2,657

4. Bronco Bullfrog (1970)

86 min | Drama

Del and his friends agree to take part in a robbery with a boy fresh from the borstal. When Del falls in love with Irene they decide to run away from their nagging parents - and the law.

Director: Barney Platts-Mills | Stars: Del Walker, Anne Gooding, Sam Shepherd, Roy Haywood

Votes: 249

5. Poor Cow (1967)

Approved | 101 min | Drama

A young woman lives a life filled with bad choices. She marries and has a child with an abusive thief at a young age who quickly ends up in prison. Left alone she takes up with his mate (... See full summary »

Director: Ken Loach | Stars: Terence Stamp, Carol White, John Bindon, Queenie Watts

Votes: 1,174

6. Alfie (1966)

PG | 114 min | Comedy, Drama

An unrepentant ladies' man gradually begins to understand the consequences of his lifestyle.

Director: Lewis Gilbert | Stars: Michael Caine, Shelley Winters, Millicent Martin, Julia Foster

Votes: 12,670 | Gross: $18.87M

7. The Krays (1990)

R | 115 min | Biography, Crime, Drama

70 Metascore

This fact-based movie follows the life of the twin crime-lords in London's '60s underworld.

Director: Peter Medak | Stars: Gary Kemp, Martin Kemp, Billie Whitelaw, Tom Bell

Votes: 7,175 | Gross: $2.06M

8. Room at the Top (1959)

Not Rated | 115 min | Drama, Romance

84 Metascore

An ambitious young accountant plots to wed a wealthy factory owner's daughter, despite falling in love with a married older woman.

Director: Jack Clayton | Stars: Laurence Harvey, Simone Signoret, Heather Sears, Donald Wolfit

Votes: 4,737

9. Blow-Up (1966)

Not Rated | 111 min | Drama, Mystery, Thriller

82 Metascore

A mod London photographer finds something very suspicious in the shots he has taken of a mysterious beauty in a desolate park.

Director: Michelangelo Antonioni | Stars: David Hemmings, Vanessa Redgrave, Sarah Miles, John Castle

Votes: 52,008

10. Made in Dagenham (2010)

R | 113 min | Biography, Comedy, Drama

65 Metascore

A dramatization of the 1968 strike at the Ford Dagenham car plant, where female workers walked out in protest against sexual discrimination.

Director: Nigel Cole | Stars: Sally Hawkins, Bob Hoskins, Andrea Riseborough, Jaime Winstone

Votes: 13,332 | Gross: $1.09M

11. The Passionate Friends (1949)

Approved | 95 min | Drama

The Passionate Friends were in love when young, but separated, and she married an older man. Then Mary Justin (Ann Todd) meets Steven Stratton (Trevor Howard) again and they have one last ... See full summary »

Director: David Lean | Stars: Ann Todd, Trevor Howard, Claude Rains, Betty Ann Davies

Votes: 1,989

12. Saturday Night and Sunday Morning (1960)

Approved | 89 min | Drama, Romance

A rebellious, hard-living factory worker juggles relationships with two women, one of whom is married to another man but pregnant with his child.

Director: Karel Reisz | Stars: Albert Finney, Shirley Anne Field, Rachel Roberts, Hylda Baker

Votes: 7,052

13. Separate Tables (1958)

Approved | 100 min | Drama, Romance

The stories of several people are told as they stay at a seaside hotel in Bournemouth which features dining at "Separate Tables."

Director: Delbert Mann | Stars: Rita Hayworth, Deborah Kerr, David Niven, Burt Lancaster

Votes: 6,079 | Gross: $7.40M

14. I Know Where I'm Going! (1945)

Not Rated | 91 min | Drama, Romance

A young Englishwoman goes to the Hebrides to marry her older, wealthier fiancé. When the weather keeps them separated on different islands, she begins to have second thoughts.

Directors: Michael Powell, Emeric Pressburger | Stars: Wendy Hiller, Roger Livesey, George Carney, Walter Hudd

Votes: 7,282

15. The Long Good Friday (1980)

R | 114 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

An up-and-coming gangster is tested by the insurgence of an unknown, very powerful threat.

Director: John Mackenzie | Stars: Bob Hoskins, Helen Mirren, Paul Freeman, Leo Dolan

Votes: 17,510

16. Hope and Glory (1987)

PG-13 | 113 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

A semi-autobiographical project by John Boorman about a nine year old boy called Bill as he grows up in London during the blitz of World War II. For a young boy, this time in history was ... See full summary »

Director: John Boorman | Stars: Sarah Miles, David Hayman, Sebastian Rice-Edwards, Geraldine Muir

Votes: 11,737 | Gross: $10.02M

17. Up the Junction (1968)

R | 119 min | Drama

Addresses some of the major 60s social issues - a bored rich London-girl from Chelsea decides to go "slumming" in depressed Battersea, getting a flat and starts factory-work and makes friends... of which one has to get an illegal abortion.

Director: Peter Collinson | Stars: Suzy Kendall, Dennis Waterman, Maureen Lipman, Adrienne Posta

Votes: 565

18. A Town Like Alice (1981)

301 min | Drama, Romance, War

Set against the brutal chaos of World War II, a love story begins that will take two lovers through a living nightmare of captivity, across three continents and two decades. From the steamy... See full summary »

Stars: Helen Morse, Bryan Brown, Gordon Jackson, Dorothy Alison

Votes: 820

19. Yanks (1979)

R | 138 min | Drama, War

During WWII, the United States set up army bases in Great Britain as part of the war effort. Against their proper sensibilities, many of the Brits don't much like the brash Yanks, ... See full summary »

Director: John Schlesinger | Stars: Richard Gere, Lisa Eichhorn, Vanessa Redgrave, William Devane

Votes: 2,955 | Gross: $3.93M

20. The Blue Lamp (1950)

Approved | 84 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

The daily routine of two London Policemen is interrupted by a killer.

Director: Basil Dearden | Stars: Jack Warner, Dirk Bogarde, Jimmy Hanley, Robert Flemyng

Votes: 1,435

21. Stardust (1974)

R | 111 min | Drama, Music

The rise and fall of the rock singer Jim Maclaine, in the mid 60s, with his manager, Mike, and his group, "The Stray Cats."

Director: Michael Apted | Stars: David Essex, Adam Faith, Larry Hagman, Ines Des Longchamps

Votes: 761

22. Good Ol' Freda (2013)

PG | 86 min | Documentary, Biography, History

60 Metascore

A documentary in which Freda Kelly looks back at her career as lifelong secretary for The Beatles.

Director: Ryan White | Stars: Freda Kelly, Paul McCartney, John Lennon, George Harrison

Votes: 1,761 | Gross: $0.14M

23. Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (2011)

R | 122 min | Drama, Mystery, Thriller

85 Metascore

In the bleak days of the Cold War, espionage veteran George Smiley (Gary Oldman) is forced from semi-retirement to uncover a Soviet Agent within MI6.

Director: Tomas Alfredson | Stars: Gary Oldman, Colin Firth, Tom Hardy, Mark Strong

Votes: 177,539 | Gross: $24.15M

24. P'tang, Yang, Kipperbang (1982 TV Movie)

PG | 85 min | Comedy

Alan Duckworth (known as 'Quack Quack' to his friends) is a socially awkward fourteen-year-old who is obsessed with cricket and Ann Lawton, a girl in his class. Alan daydreams throughout ... See full summary »

Director: Michael Apted | Stars: John Albasiny, Alison Steadman, Abigail Cruttenden, Maurice Dee

Votes: 658

25. Dancing on the Edge (2013)

TV-MA | Drama

Set in the 1930s, a black Jazz band rises in fame and popularity while becoming entangled in an intricate web of intrigue, mystery & suspense with the elite of London society.

Stars: Chiwetel Ejiofor, Matthew Goode, Joanna Vanderham, Wunmi Mosaku

Votes: 2,369

26. Sunday Bloody Sunday (1971)

R | 110 min | Drama

The emotional intricacies of a polyamorous relationship between young artist Bob and his two lovers: a lonely male doctor and a frustrated female office worker.

Director: John Schlesinger | Stars: Peter Finch, Glenda Jackson, Murray Head, Peggy Ashcroft

Votes: 5,060

27. Scandal (1989)

R | 106 min | Drama, History

Based on the Profumo Scandal of 1963, an affair between an exotic dancer and the Minister of War shakes up the British government.

Director: Michael Caton-Jones | Stars: John Hurt, Joanne Whalley, Bridget Fonda, Ian McKellen

Votes: 4,306 | Gross: $8.80M

28. Dance with a Stranger (1985)

R | 96 min | Biography, Crime, Drama

A stormy relationship, complicated by the strictures of 1950s social class and gender roles, ends in death. Based on the life of Ruth Ellis, the last woman hanged in Britain.

Director: Mike Newell | Stars: Miranda Richardson, Rupert Everett, Ian Holm, Matthew Carroll

Votes: 2,264 | Gross: $2.17M

29. Wild for Kicks (1960)

Not Rated | 83 min | Drama

An impetuous teenage girl, resentful of her father's new wife, tries to wreck the marriage regardless of the consequences.

Director: Edmond T. Gréville | Stars: David Farrar, Noëlle Adam, Christopher Lee, Gillian Hills

Votes: 786

30. Billy Liar (1963)

Not Rated | 98 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

82 Metascore

A lazy, irresponsible young clerk (Sir Tom Courtenay) in provincial Northern England lives in his own fantasy world and makes emotionally immature decisions as he alienates friends and family.

Director: John Schlesinger | Stars: Tom Courtenay, Julie Christie, Wilfred Pickles, Mona Washbourne

Votes: 5,284 | Gross: $0.04M

31. The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner (1962)

Not Rated | 104 min | Drama, Sport

A juvenile offender (Sir Tom Courtenay) at a tough reform school impresses its Governor (Sir Michael Redgrave) with his running ability and is encouraged to compete in an upcoming race, but faces ridicule from his peers.

Director: Tony Richardson | Stars: Michael Redgrave, Tom Courtenay, Avis Bunnage, Alec McCowen

Votes: 7,191

32. A Kind of Loving (1962)

Not Rated | 112 min | Drama, Romance

After his girlfriend's pregnancy forces him to marry her, a young man must adjust to his new life and contend with his domineering mother-in-law.

Director: John Schlesinger | Stars: Alan Bates, June Ritchie, Thora Hird, Bert Palmer

Votes: 1,457 | Gross: $0.00M

33. A Taste of Honey (1961)

Not Rated | 101 min | Drama

A pregnant teenage girl must fend for herself when her mother remarries, leaving the girl with only a new male friend for support.

Director: Tony Richardson | Stars: Rita Tushingham, Dora Bryan, Robert Stephens, Murray Melvin

Votes: 4,352

34. Darling (1965)

TV-MA | 128 min | Drama, Romance

Beautiful, but amoral, model Diana Scott (Julie Christie) sleeps her way to the top of the London fashion scene at the height of the Swinging Sixties.

Director: John Schlesinger | Stars: Julie Christie, Dirk Bogarde, Laurence Harvey, José Luis de Vilallonga

Votes: 5,365

35. This Sporting Life (1963)

Not Rated | 134 min | Drama, Sport

Despite success on the field, a rising rugby star senses the emerging emptiness of his life as his inner angst begins to materialize through aggression and brutality, so he attempts to woo his landlady in hopes of finding reason to live.

Director: Lindsay Anderson | Stars: Richard Harris, Rachel Roberts, Alan Badel, William Hartnell

Votes: 5,439

36. Whistle Down the Wind (1961)

Unrated | 99 min | Crime, Drama

When an injured wife murderer takes refuge on a remote Lancashire farm, the owners three children mistakenly believe him to be the Second Coming of Christ.

Director: Bryan Forbes | Stars: Alan Bates, Bernard Lee, Norman Bird, Diane Clare

Votes: 2,810

37. The Crown (2016– )

TV-MA | 58 min | Drama, History

Follows the political rivalries and romance of Queen Elizabeth II's reign and the events that shaped the second half of the twentieth century.

Stars: Claire Foy, Olivia Colman, Matt Smith, Tobias Menzies

Votes: 91,232

38. The Angry Silence (1960)

TV-14 | 95 min | Drama

A young factory worker decides to stand up against his workmates and fellow union members when they want to hold a wildcat strike.

Director: Guy Green | Stars: Richard Attenborough, Pier Angeli, Michael Craig, Bernard Lee

Votes: 1,076

39. A Place to Go (1963)

86 min | Crime, Drama

In 1960s Britain, a young man employed by a cigarette factory is tired of his working class status and joins a gang planning to rob the factory warehouse.

Director: Basil Dearden | Stars: Rita Tushingham, Michael Sarne, Bernard Lee, Doris Hare

Votes: 187

40. No Love for Johnnie (1961)

110 min | Drama

Johnnie Byrne is a member of the British Parliament. In his 40s, he's feeling frustrated with his life and his personal as well as professional problems tower up over him. His desires to ... See full summary »

Director: Ralph Thomas | Stars: Peter Finch, Stanley Holloway, Mary Peach, Donald Pleasence

Votes: 501

41. Big Time Operators (1957)

Not Rated | 80 min | Comedy

A young couple inherits a debt-ridden old movie theater, appropriately nicknamed "The Flea Pit," and the three eccentric senior citizens who work there.

Director: Basil Dearden | Stars: Virginia McKenna, Bill Travers, Margaret Rutherford, Peter Sellers

Votes: 1,599

42. The Small World of Sammy Lee (1963)

107 min | Drama

The compère of a seedy strip club struggles to keep one step ahead of the bookies to whom he owes money.

Director: Ken Hughes | Stars: Anthony Newley, Julia Foster, Robert Stephens, Wilfrid Brambell

Votes: 305

43. This Is My Street (1964)

94 min | Drama

A bored housewife has an affair with her mother's lodger. When he dumps her, she attempts suicide, which brings everyone to their senses.

Director: Sidney Hayers | Stars: Ian Hendry, June Ritchie, Avice Landone, Meredith Edwards

Votes: 119

44. Seance on a Wet Afternoon (1964)

115 min | Crime, Drama

A medium and her husband stage a kidnapping in order for her to pretend to solve the crime and achieve fame.

Director: Bryan Forbes | Stars: Kim Stanley, Richard Attenborough, Margaret Lacey, Marie Burke

Votes: 5,415

45. Film Stars Don't Die in Liverpool (2017)

R | 105 min | Biography, Drama, Romance

65 Metascore

A romance sparks between a young actor and a Hollywood leading lady.

Director: Paul McGuigan | Stars: Annette Bening, Jamie Bell, Kenneth Cranham, Julie Walters

Votes: 7,282 | Gross: $1.03M

46. The Entertainer (1960)

Not Rated | 96 min | Drama

Archie Rice, an old-time British music hall performer sinking into final defeat, schemes to stay in show business.

Director: Tony Richardson | Stars: Laurence Olivier, Brenda de Banzie, Roger Livesey, Joan Plowright

Votes: 2,689



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