A Few Great British Films
By Space Coast Daily // July 10, 2022
The history of British cinema is a long and storied one. While nowhere near the level of popularity that Hollywood films enjoy, British films have certainly managed to reach a certain level of prestige and fame on the international scene. The United Kingdom has also created quite a few of the biggest stars in Hollywood throughout the history of cinema.
Even today, some of the biggest film and television stars come from the British Isles. People like Henry Cavil, Tom Holland, Ralph Fiennes, Kate Winslet, Emma Thompson, and Dame Judi Dench are household names in 2022, and all of them hail from the various countries associated with Great Britain.
Some of history’s greatest films have been filmed in Great Britain, filmed by British directors, or have starred British actors. In this article, we are going to focus on a few great films, that have become staples of British cinema today.
28 Days Later
Since the release of the 1960s Romero film Night of the Living Dead, the zombie genre has had its peaks and lows. Low-effort, zombie films have certainly plagued film and television. However, the genre has seen its fair share of masterpieces. One such film came in 2002, when British director Danny Boyle and writer Alex Garland joined forced to create the modern classic, 28 Days Later.
Starring Cillian Murphy as a man known only as Jim, who wakes up from a coma in a ruined London. As it turns out a highly contagious virus had spread throughout the city, bringing ruin to the entirety of the British Isles. Victims of the virus have been driven to madness and have developed a craving for human flesh. Jim and a plethora of survivors try to navigate London’s ruins, and escape the country.
The film was made for a budget just over £5 million. In its home country it was a moderate success, garnering over £6 million. However, 28 Days Later was a surprise hit in the States, making $45 million, leading to the film being considered a huge success.
In the United Kingdom, gambling is a hugely popular phenomenon. Whether at land-based casinos or sportsbook, or at websites like Spinsify.com/uk, the British gambling industry is certainly booming. And it is precisely from that gambling industry, that the film Snatch takes heavy inspiration.
Directed by one of Britain’s most prominent modern directors, Guy Ritchie, the film takes a comedic, yet never a condemning look at the British boxing scene and gambling scene. Jason Statham portrays a boxing promoter and slot machine shop owner, Turkish, who finds an Irish amateur boxer Mickey (Brad Pitt) and lures him to the city with promises of making him a star. We can’t delve much deeper into the plot, for fear of spoiling the film. Needless to say, the master of action-drama-comedy, Guy Ritchie, delivers a fun romp that will both make you laugh, and hold you on the edge of your seat.
Snatch was a massive success, both in terms of box office and critical reception. Though made over 20 years ago, the film is still beloved and watched by fans the world over.
In 1963, one of the most ambitious British films of all-time hit the theaters. Zulu is an epic dramatization of the infamous Battle of Rorke’s Drift, where just short of 150 British soldiers faced down and repelled an army of 3000 Zulu warriors during the Anglo-Zulu conflict in the 1870s. The film manages to compact the event into a 2+ hour story, managing to hit peak dramatic notes, all the while maintaining a veneer of historical accuracy.
At its time, Zulu was one of the most successful British films of all time. Today, it still remains hugely beloved by the British public. Though in the modern age it has garnered some criticisms for its portrayal of the Zulu warriors, most critics tend to agree that the film manages to tell a highly entertaining and ambitious story. For those who have the time to spare, it is definitely worth a watch.
Monty Python and the Holy Grail
After you’ve seen the 2+ hour epic that is Zulu you might want to unwind. And what better way to do so, then with one of the greatest comedy films ever made. Monty Python is perhaps one of the most popular comedy troupes in the world, and their 1975 film, Monty Python and the Holy Grail is one of their most ambitious and beloved creations.
Inspired by the tales of Arthur and the Knights of the Round table, the film tells an overall story, about the once and future king’s quest for the holy grail. On the way, he faces off against monsters, enemy soldiers, and dangerous wizards. The film never once takes itself seriously, and yet keeps its audience engaged to the very last minute.