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Network launches The British Film Collection

26 March 2013

It has had industry award-winning success with classic British television. Now independent film and home entertainment company Network Distributing are to launch The British Film collection, an ambitious initiative to establish a strong umbrella brand for the films within its library and mark the company as the primary destination for vintage British films in the UK with film-loving members of the public. The films will be championed by "The British Film Ambassadors" – critics acknowledged as experts in their field – as well each title receiving dedicated traditional and digital media campaign support for their individual releases.

All titles within the broad range will carry The British Film logo irrespective of its genre. This new film brand will not just aim to educate, enthuse andinform film lovers about the incredibly diverse output from all the British film studios at a later stage. Starting with the titles under license from Studiocanal each film will benefit from the following:

  • New transfers
  • Presentation in the correct cinema aspect ratio
  • Attractive price points
  • Slim-line space-saving packaging, encouraging film lovers to collect the whole range of films
  • "Instant Play" facility on all features so that cinema lovers can immediately view the content
  • Many titles will be available to view on iTunes and at the company’s in house Networkonair platform

To mark the launch, Network will be working with specially assigned The British Film Ambassadors – experts in their field on British cinema – film academic Charles Barr (author of Ealing Studios and contributor to Ealing Studios Revisited), horror expert Kim Newman (Nightmare Movies and BFI Companion to Horror) and authority on sex in British cinema, David McGillivray (Doing Rude Things: The History of the British Sex Film 1957-1981). They will be undertaking interviews and creating dedicated editorial around the wide array of titles and their place in UK movie history.

As well as working with The British Film Ambassadors Network will also be building a community by launching a dedicated social media destination for fans of the sub-label at facebook.com/TheBritishFilm. Along with a specific twitter presence at #TheBritishFilm it is hoped that these channels will engage, inform and create debate with members of the public interested in The British Film. Some of the titles will also be available through its in-house On Demand service, which is currently being developed.

Titles being launched as part of the first phase between April and June 2013 are as follows:


8 April

The Ealing Studios Rarities Collection, Volume 1 (Escape!, West of Zanzibar, Penny Paradise and Cheer Up!)

The House in Nightmare Park
Comedy horror with Frankie Howerd in the lead role


22 April

Edgar Wallace’s Flying 55
A tale of double-crossing and blackmail amid the glamour of the horse-racing world

Spanish Fly
Raunchy British comedy starring Terry-Thomas and Leslie Philips

Man at the Top
Hard-hitting gritty and sexually charged 70s film starring Kenneth Haigh and Nanette Newman

On the Fiddle
War comedy starring Sean Connery and Alfred Lynch


13 May

The Ealing Studios Rarities Collection, Volume 2 (Midshipman Easy, Brief Ecstasy, The Big Blockade, The Four Just Men)

Edgar Wallace’s Four Just Men
A Michael Balcon produced tale of a clandestine band of vigilantes who have united to uphold democracy, fight tyranny and protect British interests worldwide

Konga
King Kong
-inspired ‘B’ movie starring Michael Gough


20 May

Handgun
Karen Roberts is the victim of sexual violence and seeks revenge in this tense Texan thriller written and directed by British veteran Tony Garnett

Some People
Swinging London film about teenage rebellion starring Kenneth More and Anneke Wills


27 May

The Lovers
Richard Beckinsale and Paula Wilcox star in the big screen version of the Jack Rosenthal comedy

Keep it Up Downstairs
Sex comedy starring Diana Dors, Mary Millington and Willie Rushton


10 June

Edgar Wallace’s The Terror
Wilfrid Lawson and Bernard Lee in a tale of underworld intrigue with a ghostly twist

Devil Girl From Mars
Patricia Laffan stars as a vinyl-clad, ray gun-toting Martian on the hunt for Earthmen to repopulate her home planet

The Ealing Studios Rarities Collection, Volume 3 (Cage of Gold, Death Drives Through, The Impassive Footman, Frieda)


17 June

Perfect Friday (Blu-ray and DVD)
Sir Peter Hall directs this bank crime caper starring British screen icon Stanley Baker


24 June

The Man Who Haunted Himself (Blu-ray and DVD)
Roger Moore stars in a Basil Dearden thriller where he plays a businessman who finds himself in strange circumstances after a car accident

Horrors from the Black Museum
British exploitation at its very best starring Michael Gough in this 1959 chilling horror

The Elstree Story
Richard (Dambusters) Todd narrates this 1952 documentary on the legendary British film studio

Commenting on The British Film initiative Network Managing Director Tim Beddows said:

"No UK company has the breadth and depth of thought-provoking British films like Network. There is a distinct lack of appreciation and knowledge for many of the nation’s cinematic treasures and we are now going to pro-actively address this as part of a five-year plan to put classic UK cinema back into the public’s consciousness."

More details on specific releases will follow as they are announced.