Film Four & Film Four +1 16-06-08.

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(1955) David Farrar is a police officer desperately trying to uncover the whereabouts of the kidnapped baby of American diplomat David Knight.An American couple search frantically for their baby who has mysteriously disappeared in London. Thriller starring David Farrar, David Knight and Julia Arnall, and directed by Guy Green
Fans of invisible monsters, mysterious islands and stray polar bears may find themselves a little confused and put-off should they sit down and watch Lost. However, lovers of quality British thrillers from the 1950s are in for a treat should they spend time with this forgotten gem from the golden age of British cinema. Directed by Guy Green (who had previously won an Academy Award for his cinematography on David Lean's Great Expectations), Lost is a striking film that deals with the universal fear of a parent becoming separated from their child.
Set against the backdrop of 1950s London, Lost focuses on US Embassy worker Lee Cochrane (Knight) and his wife Sue (Arnall), a couple stationed in the British capital with their 18-month-old son Simon. The intrigue kicks off when the couple's nanny takes young Simon for a stroll in his pram. Pausing to grab something from the chemist, the nanny returns to discover that the toddler has vanished. Even more disturbingly, no one remembers seeing Simon or anyone attempting to abduct the baby.

Three Came Home
(1950) Powerful and fact-based drama starring Claudette Colbert as Agnes Keith.Four years after directing this powerful and humane film about life in a p.o.w. camp, Negulesco directed Three Coins in the Fountain, which proves his talent and virtuosity. Colbert is quite superb as the writer Keith who in 1941 tried to escape from Borneo, only to end up with her family interned and ill-treated in a Japanese camp. Based on her autobiography the film presents an unblinking portrait of the deprivations endured and the conduct of the 'jailers' and their rigid commander (Hayakawa).

The Battle of the River Plate
(1956) Quality war film directed, written and produced by acclaimed duo Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger.Quality war film directed, written and produced by acclaimed duo Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger. Full of gung-ho action, but also sophisticated and even troubling
The Battle Of The River Plate Battle Of The River Plate, made only 17 years after the event, depicts one of the defining moments of the early, comparatively quiet stages of World War II. A German pocket battleship, the Graf Spee, was causing havoc amongst the British merchant navy shipping until hunted down by three inferior quality British ships. Seriously damaged in the action, the Graf Spee limped into the neutral Uruguayan harbour Montevideo, to the great excitement of the world's press. The ship's captain was faced with the choice of having the ship impounded under the rules of the Geneva convention or setting out to sea again to face what he thought (thanks to some wily propaganda) was now an ever increasing fleet of ships from the Royal Navy. He chose neither, deciding instead to sink his own battleship as soon as he left port. The tension of the hunt and eventual waiting game is masterfully drawn out by Powell and Pressburger. The dawn watch for the Graf Spee is a whirl of binoculars, telescopes and pipe smoking officers peering over gun turrets, as the ships plough through a beautifully photographed dawn. Ripples of cheery banter and camaraderie occasionally break the calm, all adding to the unbearable tension of the storm to come. The battle sequence is expertly portrayed, relying on the reactions of the men on the ships and their great physical exertions and agony as much as a few judiciously paced explosions. When The Exeter, one of the British ships, takes a pounding, sympathy is elicited as much by a smattering of brave wisecracks ("one more shot like that and we'll go up like Joan Of Arc") as cries of pain. And although a few of the special effects now look a bit ropey, attention is never distracted because the action is so gripping.

The Man Who Knew Too Little
(1997) Jon Amiel's film, which openly acknowledges its debt to the Hitchcock's classic.Bill Murray makes an entertaining bumbling stooge in this affectionately put together but sharply observed espionage spoof
The Man Who Knew Too Little Shortly after arriving in London a slow-witted US tourist (Murray) signs up for what he believes is an Interactive Theatre experience with a thriller theme. Then, by virtue of a credibility-stretching coincidence, he innocently intercepts a message meant for a hit-man and becomes embroiled in a real plot to wreck an Anglo-Russian peace conference.Memories of Bob Hope and Benny Hill are awoken as Murray gets himself caught in compromising situations with a call girl (Whalley) and tries frantically to evade the unwelcome attentions of the assassin (Molina).

Chain Reaction
(1996) Keanu Reeves stars as a brilliant physicist who falls foul of shadowy government agents in this pacy thriller directed by Andrew Davis.Helter-skelter chase thriller that sees nuclear-physics student Keanu Reeves (!) framed for murder and on the lam from government agents trying to rob the world of a revolutionary new energy source
Keanu Reeves as a nuclear physicist. There, we said it. Jettisoning all claims to seriousness from the opening scene, this frantic chase action thriller sends 'El Dude' crashing through a series of impossible plot twists and explosive chase sequences. Just like The Fugitive did to Harrison Ford. Only without the wit, the suspense or the Oscar nomination. That was director Andrew Davis's previous film - and his Chain Reaction screenwriters Michael Bortman and JF Lawton were definitely taking a lot of notes for this wrong-man-on-the-run Xerox. Reeves makes Ford look like Olivier, but coming off the back of Speed and Johnny Mnemonic, he hurls himself into the action: dashing from cops and the FBI through downtown Chicago, sprinting up the Michigan Avenue Bridge as it cranks opens over an icy river and then leaping desperately from one edge of the drawbridge to other.
Undeniably spectacular stuff. But why are the cops and the Feds chasing him? This is the question Chain Reaction doesn't really want you to ask. Eccentric scientist Dr Alistair Barkley (Rudall) and his research team have been exploring ways of extracting hydrogen from water to create a limitless source of cheap, safe energy. Barkley hits the jackpot. Hours later, he's dead, his formula is gone, and his huge lab has been blown to smithereens. From here, you can start to smell the script's Swiss-cheese logic. Something to do with a dark government conspiracy that wants to ensure the world stays dependent on fossil fuels. Something to do with mysterious Chicago businessman Paul Shannon (Freeman), who funded Barkley's project, and his equally mysterious colleague Collier (Cox). Something do to with an a frame-up and a cover-up...

Fight Club
(1999) Edward Norton and Brad Pitt star in David Fincher's Oscar-nominated drama.A man and his new best friend make soap, form an unlicensed boxing club and set-up a terrorist organisation. Intense drama starring Edward Norton, Brad Pitt and Helena Bonham Carter, and directed by David Fincher
Fight Club It begins with a journey through a man's brain. It ends with a city collapsing to the accompaniment of The Pixies. In between times, David Fincher's Fight Club visits unchartered parts of the human mind and the American underworld. Planes and apartments blow-up, men beat one another senseless, a man quits his job, soap gets made - yes, all human life is here. Adapted from the cult novel by Chuck Palahniuk, Fight Club is different things to different people. What it isn't is a movie that deserved to flop massively on its original release - budgeted at $67 million, it took under $40 million at the US box office. How ironic that a film with an anti-globalisation message should have proved so difficult to market.
Our Narrator (Norton) is an unhappy soul. Stuck in a lucrative but dull job, his unsatisfying consumerist lifestyle has left him unable to sleep. Briefly finding comfort by attending victim support groups, his bliss is shattered by Ms Marla Singer (Bonham Carter), a ball-busting free-spirit. Trapped once again, the Narrator finds fresh hope in the form of Tyler Durden (Pitt), a good-looking, charismatic man who even has answers to the most difficult questions. How do you get ahead of the consumer game? You don't play it. How do you stop being crushed by your employment ambitions? Don't have any. How do you rid yourself of frustration? You join Fight Club.

Serial Mom
(1994) Kathleen Turner is an apparently normal mother of a perfect small town American family who embarks on a peculiar murder spree.Turner plays a picture-perfect housewife who, on closer inspection, reveals a murderous hatred for anyone offending her apple-pie values in John Water's subversive black comedy
Serial Mom Forget to floss, or mess with her daughter (Lake) and she'll blow you away. Eventually the police (and news crews) catch up with her, and, having dug up the manicured lawns of Middle America, Waters' comedy swings at the alarming marriage of the country's twin obsessions - crime and fame.