The London Collection

LOVEFiLM By Post

Britain’s largest choice of DVDs and Blu-rays to rent by post £7.99 per month.

Start your 30 day free trial

Prime and Prime Instant Video members can receive unlimited discs, two at a time, for £6.99 per month after trial.

(26)
LOVEFiLM By Post

This collection brings together six films, all produced in and showing various locations in post-war London and covering a range of themes from blackmail in a bombed out slum in the East End to dockside smuggling and robbery. In 'Pool of London' (1951) a group of sailors, including Dan MacDonald (Bonar Colleano), a charmer who dabbles in smuggling and Johnny Lambert (Earl Cameron), a quiet and reserved Jamaican, arrive in London. Along the way MacDonald finds himself seriously set up by a gang of diamond smugglers and Johnny falls in love with a white girl. The film is noted as being the first British picture to deal with interracial relationships in the post-Windrush years. In 'The Small World of Sammy Lee' (1963), small time criminal and strip joint compere Sammy (Anthony Newley) has five hours to come up with the money he owes to a group of gangsters. Set in the back streets of Soho, the film follows Sammy trying to come up with a scheme to make some fast cash. 'The Yellow Balloon' (1953) is a tense tale of a young boy, Frankie (Andrew Ray), who is used and deceived by a crook. While playing in a bombed part of their neighbourhood, Frankie's friend falls to his death. When Frankie climbs down to help him he finds Len (William Sylvester) who is in hiding after committing a murder while robbing a pub. Len blackmails Frankie into helping him evade capture, but when he feels Frankie knows too much he sets about trying to get rid of him. In 'The London Nobody Knows' (1967), James Mason narrates as the viewer is taken on a tour round a side of London the tourists don't see. Documenting the street vendors and local characters, and giving a fascinating glimpse of a culture soon to disappear, the film contrasts starkly with the 'swinging sixties' vision of London at the time. In the short musical 'Les Bicyclettes De Belsize' (1969), a young man falls in love with a fashion model after seeing her photograph. Most of the film involves following the characters, on bicycle, around the Hampstead area of London, to the accompaniment of a musical soundtrack. In the comedy/drama 'Sparrows Can't Sing' (1963) Charlie (James Booth) returns home from sea to the East End of London expecting to come home to his wife Maggie (Barbara Windsor), but soon finds the house is gone and she has moved in with a married bus driver and has a child. Charlie quickly sets about trying to sort things out while neighbours eagerly watch the ensuing chaos.

Starring:
Robert Step, Anthony Newley
Rental Formats:
DVD

Product Details

Discs
  • Pool Of London ages_12_and_over
  • Yellow Balloon, The ages_12_and_over
  • Sparrows Can't Sing ages_12_and_over
  • Small World of Sammy Lee, The ages_12_and_over
  • London Nobody Knows, The / Les Bicyclettes De Belsize ages_12_and_over
Runtime 7 hours 2 minutes
Starring Robert Step, Anthony Newley, Warren Mitchell, Moira Lister, Renee Asherson, Earl Cameron, Pam, Kathleen Ryan, Julia Foster, Bonar Colleano, Robert Stephens
Director Basil Dearden, Ken Hughes
Genres Drama
Studio ELEVATION
Rental release 15 June 2009
Main languages English

Other Formats

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
Share your thoughts with other customers

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

170 of 170 people found the following review helpful By Pismotality on 22 Jun. 2009
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
If you are thinking of buying this box set because, like me, you know one of the films, then I'd say it's worth taking a punt. I bought this primarily for Pool of London, an Ealing Classic which doesn't seem to be on any of the Ealing box sets, but all of the films here are worth seeing (though I haven't yet seen Les Bicyclettes de Belsize). And several appear to be released on DVD for the first time.

Pool of London is regarded by Charles Barr, author of the book Ealing Studios (highly recommended for putting the films in their sociological context), as the single film most representative of Ealing values. A tale of merchant seamen docking in London for a few days, there is a crime subplot, stylishly shot on location, but the heart of the film is the friendship and trust between Bonar Colleano and Earl Cameron, a young Jamaican. Cameron's character has a tentative romance with a young white woman, delicately handled, although the film does not shy away from depicting the prejudice of the time, a theme director Basil Dearden explored further in the later Sapphire (not on DVD). The movement between the various subplots is expertly handled and watch out for brief appearances by Leslie Phillips (too brief) and James Robertson Justice, the ship's captain who refuses to set foot in London, preferring to drink whisky and read poetry. There is a choric element to his character as he explains why: too much filth and degradation in the city.

The Yellow Balloon stars the young Andrew Ray as a terrified boy coerced into helping a petty criminal. It could be seen as a companion piece to director J. Lee Thompson's later Tiger Bay, also about a child being manipulated by an adult to escape the consequence of that adult's actions.
Read more ›
6 Comments Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
22 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Mr. R. Linkiewicz on 11 Oct. 2009
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
A collection of films which might have been seen on the BBC on Sunday afternoon sometime in 1967. James Mason's guided tour of a London that is now buried under developers' wet dreams; Barbara Windsor in a role that few, if any, 'Carry On' fans will recognize her and the wistful 'music video' that should have accompanied Engelbert Humperdinck's hit "Les Biciclettes de Belsize' are just a few of the jewels to be discovered or rediscovered in this boxed set.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By UK Filmbuff TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 3 Mar. 2011
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
An excellent value small collection, of some interesting and different films. There is quite a contrast between the films and this makes this collection even better value.

Extremely noteworthy is James Mason's walk around London, before so much of what remained after the war was destroyed, only to be replaced by ghastly, impersonal and characterless concrete structures. However, all is not "a bed of roses" in London Town; he interviews the less well-off, visits busy markets and even witnesses the utter sadness of the alcoholics, often to be seen drinking Methylated Spirits! It is a fascinating walk through history, with bleak views as well as interesting, hidden places. Very atmospheric and excellently brought to life by James Mason, who brings his own persona into this charming film, making it just that much more interesting.

I would have to do a review of each of the films in turn, in order not to turn you away from my brief text. Suffice it to say that I am not disappointed with any of the films in this set and consider them all to be noteworthy in their own right!

Very watchable!
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
22 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Jardiniere on 4 Dec. 2009
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
i'm no good at being erudite and i'm not a film buff ...we bought this collection because we wanted to watch 'Pool of London' and it was bundled with the others...some of which we had seen before....having lived in london in the 1960's most of it was interesting and nostalgic.
Pool of London is the best on the compilation, followed by Small world of Sammy Lee.
We watched them purely for views of London in the 60' and werent disappointed ....reminded me how grimy and poor everything was unless you lived in Hampstead, Chelsea or Mayfair....
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Mr. W. Halligan on 21 Nov. 2012
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I bought this to get hold of the Small world of Sammy Lee. This is a window into the 1950/60s
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By TERRY on 3 Dec. 2011
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I purchased this boxset really because i wanted 'The Small World Of Sammy Lee' which i already knew was a tremendous film , but i thought i would try the set just to see what the others were like . I was very disappointed with all the other films in the set , but i would thoroughly recommend ' The Small World Of Sammy Lee' to everyone . It is a true to life story which depicts exactly what it was all about in Soho in the 1960s and most of the film was shot in and around the actual establishments and streets in the West End . Anthony Newley plays an absolute blinder in this and you will see many other familiar faces also. I rated the boxset at 3 stars but for this film alone i would rate absolute TOP MARKS !!!.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Mickey Modern on 25 Mar. 2013
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Loved the films for their vitality, creative energy and intrinsic value. Most of the films are lacking in real gripping story-lines, but have loads of great direction and performances.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By early bird on 1 Mar. 2013
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Bought this for my partner who wanted just one of the films. When he saw the box set and titles, he was very pleased and thinks it is a great buy.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again