Movies by Decade

Witchfinder General (1968)

In 1645, with England torn apart by civil war, the infamous witch-hunter Matthew Hopkins (Vincent Price, pictured at left) roams the country torturing and executing those suspected of witchcraft. Beginning with a bone-chilling hanging scene amid the otherwise idyllic East Anglian landscape, Witchfinder General charts Hopkins’s brutal reign of terror through the villages of eastern(…)

With Six You Get Eggroll (1968)

Since the death of her husband, Abby McClure (Doris Day) has had to be mother, father and breadwinner – taking over operation of the family lumber store business – to her three sons. Her sister, Maxine Scott (Pat Carroll), has tried to be matchmaker for Abby, much to her exasperation as Abby sees most eligible(…)

Withnail and I (1987)

Destined from the very start to be the student film of choice, Withnail and I spawned a generation who would hold this film as the benchmark for on-screen drinking. From this revisiting of Bruce Robinson’s much-misspent youth sprung forth a collection of fabulously quotable one-liners – “You can shove it up your arse for nothing and fuck(…)

Witness (1985)

An innocent young Amish widow (Kelly McGillis) takes her small son Samuel (Lucas Haas) on his first train trip to visit a relative in Baltimore. During a change of trains in Philadelphia, the boy goes to the bathroom and witnesses a brutal murder. Unwittingly, these poor, simple people are plunged into a world of gruff(…)

Wiz, The (1978)

Sidney Lumet’s schmaltzy all-black disco-flavoured musical version of The Wizard of Oz starred 33-year old Diana Ross as 24 year old Harlem schoolteacher Dorothy Gale (pictured below). On her travels along the yellow brick road, Dorothy is befriended by a lion (Ted Ross), a tin man (Nipsey Russell) and a scarecrow, played by old plastic nose himself(…)

Wizards (1977)

This ambitious animated sci-fi tale from the director of Fritz the Cat (1972) was released the same year as Star Wars, and both films dealt with a fairy-tale battle between good and evil. But whereas the Lucas epic was set in a galaxy far, far away, Ralph Bakshi grounded this odd cartoon in Earth’s far-flung future where(…)

Woman In A Dressing Gown (1957)

After 20 years of marriage, feckless and domestically untidy Amy Preston (Yvonne Mitchell) finds she cannot compete with an attractive younger woman for the affections of her husband. This painfully honest drama, based on a television play by Ted Willis, was light years ahead of its time in its treatment of women and their place(…)

Woman In Red, The (1984)

This comedy remake of the 1977 French farce Pardon Mon Affaire stars Gene Wilder (who also wrote and directed), Kelly LeBrock, Gilda Radner and Charles Grodin. Middle-aged Teddy Pierce (Wilder) becomes infatuated with Charlotte (LeBrock making her feature film debut), a model featuring in his company’s advertising campaign and embarks on a charm offensive. However, cheating on(…)

Wombling Free (1977)

Based on the popular TV series, this charming family movie sees the Wombles facing two struggles. While they wage their ongoing war against litter after being invited to a kid’s birthday party, they also have to prove their existence to the inhabitants of Wimbledon Common. Director Lionel (The Railway Children) Jeffries’ silly and charmless musical(…)

Women in Love (1969)

Two D.H. Lawrence creations bookended the 1960s: the obscenity trial of Lady Chatterley’s Lover in 1963 (the year in which Philip Larkin alleged that sexual intercourse began) and the international hit that Ken Russell made of Women in Love. Gerald Crich (Oliver Reed) and Rupert Birkin (Alan Bates) are best friends who fall in love(…)

Wonderful Life (1964)

After losing his job as an entertainer on a cruise ship, Johnnie (Cliff Richard) and his backing band (The Shadows) are cast away on a tropical island where they encounter a film group on location. Johnnie is hired as a stuntman, and his friendship with timid leading lady Jenny (Susan Hampshire) has a dramatic effect. The(…)

Wonderwall (1968)

A gloriously meaningless head-trip about Oscar Collins (Jack MacGowran) – a doddering eccentric old scientist who discovers a secret window into the endless sex life of gorgeous nymph Jane Birkin (Serge Gainsbourg’s main squeeze and co-moaner of Je T’aime Moi Non Plus) amid psychedelic butterfly effects and swirling sitars. Oscar lives a quiet life, retreating to his small(…)

Wooden Horse, The (1950)

The Wooden Horse tells the true story of the escape in Summer 1943 of three English prisoners from Stalag Luft III – a Luftwaffe-run prisoner of war camp for Allied aircrew during World War II – using a vaulting horse to hide their tunnel. The action only really becomes compelling outside Stalag Luft III as the escapees(…)

Woodstock (1970)

The 1969 outdoor rock festival called Woodstock (although it was actually held on Max Yasgur’s 600 acre dairy farm near Bethel, New York) gave its name to a generation and came to symbolise the peace and love movement of the late 1960s. For three days, over 500,000 fans overwhelmed the facilities and when the rains came the(…)

Work Is a Four Letter Word (1967)

David Warner and scouse songbird Cilla Black star in this delightfully-absurd film, set in a near future dominated by automation. Young Valentine Brose (Warner) is on a mission to grow a crop of psychedelic mushrooms to promote happiness for the overworked masses of Great Britain (I kid you not!) Under pressure from his fiancée (Cilla), he takes a(…)

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