The Thirty Nine Steps (1978)

This third film version of The Thirty-Nine Steps stays much closer to the plot of John Buchan’s novel than previous adaptations and moves the story’s setting back to the eve of The First World War.

Colonel Scudder (John Mills) is a British spy who has uncovered a plot to assassinate the Greek premier on his visit to London, something that will spark a crisis in the Balkans and likely lead to war in Europe. When he finds himself pursued by enemy agents determined to kill him and take possession of his evidence against them, Scudder seeks sanctuary in the apartment of a neighbour in his building, Richard Hannay (Robert Powell). Read more …

Star Trek: The Motion Picture (1979)

Cancelled in 1969 after three seasons on television, Star Trek appeared to lay dormant in the late 1970s, until it was unexpectedly revived in a big screen version as Star Trek: The Motion Picture, the film that would transfer the Star Trek brand from the small screen to feature films and precede its 1980s television revival. Read more …

Power Play (1978)

A military coup in an unnamed country is the basis for this 1970s political thriller starring David Hemmings, Peter O’Toole and Donald Pleasence. 

David Hemmings plays Colonel Narriman, an apparently decent army officer on the verge of retirement. Narriman is looking forward to a quiet life on his farm in the country, when he is persuaded to take part in a coup against the government. The country’s current regime is authoritarian and unpleasant and the country beset by terrorist violence. Narriman himself is finally convinced of the need for action when his friends’ daughter is murdered by the country’s secret police.  Read more …

Zeppelin (1971)

Zeppelin is an adventure film set during the height of the Zeppelin menace in World War I. The giant new German airships float over London at 9000 feet, dropping bombs on the city while flying far out of range of the British fighters or anti-aircraft guns. Read more …

The Magnificent Seven Deadly Sins (1971)

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The Magnificent Seven Deadly Sins is a comedy film comprised of seven separate stories, each illustrating one of the Seven Deadly Sins – avarice, envy, gluttony, lust, pride, sloth and wrath. The film was directed and produced by the comic actor Graham Stark, and pressed into service a variety of British comedy writers, actors and comedians of the early 1970s.  Read more …

Tales That Witness Madness (1973)

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This horror anthology features four separate stories involving the inmates of the same high security mental institution. Donald Pleasence plays Dr. Tremayne, a psychiatrist at the hospital, who explains his revolutionary new psychiatric techniques to his visitor, Nicholas (Jack Hawkins).

To demonstrate his work, Dr. Tremayne introduces four of his patients. They have all gone through extraordinary experiences, experiences that the audience is shown in flashback as four separate, but vaguely linked, stories. The stories feature a boy’s imaginary friend, a black magic sacrifice, a time travelling bicycle and a possessed tree trunk. Read more …

The Eagle Has Landed (1976)

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The Eagle Has Landed is an all-star World War II thriller based on an intriguing, if unlikely, premise. In 1943 Adolf Hitler’s greatest ally, Italian dictator Benito Mussolini, was rescued from a mountain top prison by elite German troops. Emboldened by this success, Hitler orders an even more daring wartime mission: to kidnap his greatest adversary, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill. Read more …

Smokey and the Bandit (1977)

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If I asked you to name the biggest film at the US box office in 1977, you might well guess (correctly) that it was Star Wars. But if I asked you to name the second biggest, you might struggle a little. Was it Close Encounters of the Third Kind … or maybe the James Bond epic The Spy Who Loved Me? Nope. It was a cross-country car chase comedy called Smokey and the Bandit  Read more …

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