Film Movement releases more Blu-ray classics from December

On December 20, New York-based Film Movement are releasing Blu-rays of Ealing Studios classics The Titfield Thunderbolt and Passport to Pimlico. The Ealing Studios output from the 1940s and 1950s helped define the Golden Age for British Cinema. It fostered the great directors such as Alexander Mackendrick and Robert Hamer and stars like Alec Guinness, Peter Sellers Stanley Holloway, Hugh Griffith, and Margaret Rutherford.

From Charles Crichton, the director of The Lavender Hill Mob and A Fish Called Wanda, The Titfield Thunderbolt (1953, 84 minutes), the first Ealing comedy to be made in color, tells the story of the inhabitants of Titfield, who endeavor to prove that their single-track railway is the only form of transport for the village. The villains of the piece are two unsavory characters who have introduced a smart brand new single-decker bus to Titfield. Crump and Pearce, owners of the bus company, are determined to cease the running of the Titfield train, by fair means or foul. The film starred Ealing regulars including Stanley Holloway, Naunton Wayne, George Relp, John Gregson and Hugh Griffith. Extras on the Blu-ray include, “Making the Titfield Thunderbolt”, “The Lion Locomotive” and a Locations featurette, Home Movie Footage from Cinematographer Douglas Slocombe, Slocombe on Charles Crichton audio interview, the original trailer and an archival stills gallery.

Starring Stanley Holloway, Hermione Baddeley, Margaret Rutherford and Paul Dupuis, Passport to Pimlico (1949, 84 minutes) is one of the most whimsically charming Ealing films from director Henry Cornelius (The Galloping Major). When an accidental explosion of an undetonated WWII German bomb unearths a buried cellar containing both fabulous riches and an unknown royal charter from King Edward IV that cedes the surrounding land to the last Duke of Burgundy, the town of Pimlico is turned upside down. Since the charter has never been rescinded, the London district of Pimlico is now legally the long-lost Duchy of Burgundy, and therefore no longer subject to British law, including postwar rationing and pub closure hours. The locals, quick to see the opportunities, do their best to take full advantage of the situation. Extras include a Locations featurette with Film Historian Richard Dacre, an interview with BFI Curator Mark Duguid, a restoration comparison and an archival slideshow.

Both films will be released as physical-only editions, while on February 18, 2020, look out for The Alastair Sim Blu-ray Collector’s Set. On March 10, 2020, further releases from Film Movement include Went the Day Well? (1942), The Colditz Story (1955), The Dam Busters (1955, physical only), Dunkirk (1958) and Ice Cold in Alex (1958).

You can find more information from Film Movement and streaming service Film Movement Plus.

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Martin Dew

editor

11 Comments

  1. Billy Batson

    Yup, Dunkirk (1958) staring John Mills, great film, it kicks the pants of the new version. I have the UK release, I'm glad the Americans are getting a Blu-ray release.

    I also have the UK version and what a great looking picture. Like the film more than the recent remake.

  2. StarDestroyer52

    I’ve picked up the UK versions of Dunkirk and The Colditz Story but Im in for all the other WW2 films, Titfield, and Passport to Pimlico

    Dick

    Excellent news, but the one I really want is THE MAGGIE, one of the Alexander Mackendrick titles so far only available from UK in Region B-locked editions.

    The Ealing titles seem to be complicated, rights-wise, in North America. Kino has a relationship with StudioCanal for some titles (Kind Hearts and Coronets, The Lavender Hill Mob, and The Man in the White Suit), Lionsgate issued The Ladykillers, and now we have Film Movement with these two titles. The initial VHS release of Passport to Pimlico was handled by Prism Home Entertainment [remember that label?], while the others were handled mostly [I think] by Thorn EMI in North America. Wouldn't it be nice if just one label would licence from SC? As for The Maggie, it was originally released in North America by Universal. I doubt they hold any residual rights in North America.

  3. Stephen_J_H

    The Ealing titles seem to be complicated, rights-wise, in North America. Kino has a relationship with StudioCanal for some titles (Kind Hearts and Coronets, The Lavender Hill Mob, and The Man in the White Suit), Lionsgate issued The Ladykillers, and now we have Film Movement with these two titles. The initial VHS release of Passport to Pimlico was handled by Prism Home Entertainment [remember that label?], while the others were handled mostly [I think] by Thorn EMI in North America. Wouldn't it be nice if just one label would licence from SC? As for The Maggie, it was originally released in North America by Universal. I doubt they hold any residual rights in North America.

    Thanks for this info. Universal I am sure only had distribution rights, and probably have no current hold on this title.

  4. Very happy to hear of these releases from Film Movement! With Fritz Lang's The Indian Epic coming this December and Dona Flor and Her Two husbands coming around August 2020, Film Movement has joined the ranks of Kino-Lorber, Cohen Media, and Criterion as my favorite home media distributors.

  5. dana martin

    Also arriving February 18 is the double feature WHISKY GALORE! and THE MAGGIE,

    was posted on "the other site" just for your info, it's a single disc

    and from Film Movements own site

    Whisky Galore! & The Maggie double-feature
    Directed by Alexander Mackendrick
    Alexander Mackendrick
    Film Movement Classics
    1949
    175 Minutes
    United Kingdom
    English
    Comedy, Classics

    February 18, 2020, is THE ALASTAIR SIM BLU-RAY COLLECTOR'S SET
    This specially-curated set includes HUE AND CRY (1947, 82 minutes), LAUGHTER IN PARADISE (1951, 93 minutes), THE BELLES OF ST. TRINIAN'S (1954, 90 minutes) and SCHOOL FOR SCOUNDRELS (1960, 94 minutes).

    Excellent news — thanks for the report.

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