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British Cinema, Vol. 3: Dramas [2 Discs] [DVD]
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The Scamp
British juvenile actor Colin Peterson plays the title character in Scamp. The son of a drunken vaudevillian performer, Peterson is left in the care of a kindly professor (Richard Attenborough) and his wife (Dorothy Alison) when his father goes on a South American tour. His guardians try to get the boy to behave properly, but Peterson has been on his own for so long that he has never developed any sense of self-discipline. After running afoul of the law, Peterson is sent back to his father, who resumes his abuse of the boy. During an argument, Peterson hits his father over the head with an ashtray--and shortly afterward, the father drops dead. Convinced that he's a murderer, Peterson hides out in the professor's home. With the help of his new surrogate father, Peterson proves that his besotted dad died of a booze-induced fall. Scamp was based on Charlotte Hastings' play Uncertain Joy. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Grand National Night
Grand National Night began life as a stage play, which was promptly adapted as a popular British radio serial. The film combines the best elements of both previous incarnations. Racehorse owner Gerald Coates (Nigel Patrick) accidentally kills his spiteful wife Babs (Moira Lister) during a quarrel. Terror-stricken, Coates stashes the body in the boot (or trunk) of a stranger's car. Methodical police inspector Ayling (Michael Hordern) suspects there's more to this than meets the eye. The script carefully builds up sympathy for the frenzied Coates, then manages to find a way to wrap up the story to everyone's satisfaction (Here's a clue, provided by Leonard Maltin: while watching the film, examine the character names). ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Kill Me Tomorrow
In this sad drama, a boozy reporter must cope with a series of personal disasters begin with the death of his wife in a car crash. Next he loses his job. Finally he learns that his son must have a $5,000 eye operation in Switzerland. In desperation he decides to ask his old boss for his job back. Upon arriving to his office, he finds the man dead. He is then offered money by the killer, a diamond smuggler to take the murder rap. What else can the desperate man do? Later he confesses all to Scotland Yard. Unfortunately, they do not believe him. The smuggler hears of the attempt, and thinking the police believe the reporter, attempts to prevent the boy's plane from taking off. The late editor's niece gets involved and makes sure the plane does take off. She then captures the smuggler and his gang. ~ Sandra Brennan, Rovi

Portrait of a Sinner
After spending most of the 1950s in Europe, writer/director Robert Siodmak filmed his only picture in England: The Rough and the Smooth (US title: Portrait of a Sinner). Based on a novel by Robin Maugham, the story concerns a young archaeologist (Tony Britton), engaged to marry the daughter (Natasha Parry) of a wealthy publisher (Donald Wolfit). At the last moment, the archaeologist leaves his bride-to-be for a nymphomaniac (Nadja Tiller) with a masochistic streak. He must wrest her away from an abusive relationship with a no-good lout (William Bendix). Even Robert Siodmak was embarrassed by the lunatic excesses of Rough and the Smooth, dismissing the film with "I've seen worse, but not much worse." ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Cast & Crew

  • Richard Attenborough
    Richard Attenborough - Stephen Leigh
  • Terence Morgan
    Terence Morgan - Mike Dawson
  • Image coming soon
    Dorothy Alison - Barbara Leigh
  • Jill Adams
    Jill Adams - Julie Dawson
  • Image coming soon
    Colin Petersen - Tod
Product images, including color, may differ from actual product appearance.