The bfi 100: 91-100

91. My Name is Joe (1998)

Still: My Name is Joe

Directed by Ken Loach

Cast: Peter Mullan, Louise Goodall, David McKay, Anne-Marie Kennedy, David Hayman

Moving and funny in equal doses, this is a Glasgow-set drama by director Ken Loach, working from a great script by Paul Laverty. Peter Mullan gives an award-winning performance as Joe, a reformed alcoholic who tries to make ends meet by doing a little decorating, while also running a rag-tag football team. He falls in love with a social worker (Goodall), but his compassion for his friends leads him into conflict with a local drug dealer (menacingly portrayed by Hayman).

92. In Which We Serve (1942)

Directed by Noel Coward, David Lean

Cast: Noel Coward, Bernard Miles, John Mills, Richard Attenborough, Celia Johnson, Kay Walsh, Joyce Carey, Michael Wilding, Penelope Dudley Ward, Kathleen Harrison, Philip Friend, George Carney, Geoffrey Hibbert, James Donald, Daniel Massey, Juliet Mills

A masterful story of men at war, co-directed by Noel Coward and David Lean, receiving his first directing credit. Coward, who also wrote and scored the film, stars as Captain Kinross, leading his men on board a World War II battleship. The under-stated patriotism is what is most moving as the story unfolds via flashbacks. The film offered debuts to Celia Johnson, Richard Attenborough (as an inexperienced stoker), young Daniel Massey and even an infant Juliet Mills.

93. Caravaggio (1986)

Directed by Derek Jarman

Cast: Nigel Terry, Sean Bean, Garry Cooper, Spencer Leigh

Writer-director Derek Jarman crafted an imaginary biopic of Italian painter Caravaggio, who died in 1610, with emphasis on beautiful male models, court scandals and humorous moments of anachronism. Fabulous production design by Christopher Hobbs and impressive cinematography from Gabriel Beristain added immeasurably to a film shot on a very modest budget. A popular success on release, this retains today a cult appeal.

94. The Belles of St. Trinian's (1954)

Directed by Frank Launder

Cast: Alastair Sim, George Cole, Joyce Grenfell, Hermione Baddeley, Betty Ann Davies, Renee Houston, Beryl Reid, Irene Handl, Mary Merrall, Joan Sims, Sidney James

The first and best of the film versions of Ronald Searle's cartoons about a crazy school for girls. The priceless Alastair Sim plays twin roles - as the school's headmistress Millicent Fritton and as Clarence Fritton, her bookmaker brother, who wants to use the school in a scam. Also on hand are Joyce Grenfell as an undercover policewoman and George Cole with his memorable portrayal of well-meaning spiv Flash Harry. Great comedy which spawned several sequels.

95. Life is Sweet (1990)

Directed by Mike Leigh

Cast: Alison Steadman, Jim Broadbent, Timothy Spall, Claire Skinner, Jane Horrocks, Stephen Rea, David Thewlis, Moya Brady

Wonderful Mike Leigh comedy, dwelling on a working class couple, Wendy and Andy (played to perfection by Alison Steadman and Jim Broadbent), their oddball twin daughters (one of whom, played by Jane Horrocks, is filled with self-loathing) and their friend (Timothy Spall), a would-be restaurant owner. The humour is often bitter-sweet, but then, as always, Mike Leigh's work reflects life in all its darkness and light.

96. The Wicker Man (1973)

Directed by Robin Hardy

Cast: Edward Woodward, Britt Ekland, Christopher Lee, Ingrid Pitt, Diane Cilento

A haunting, harrowing chiller scripted by Anthony Shaffer which has gained cult status over the years. Woodward is the Scots police sergeant who visits an isolated island to investigate the disappearance of a local child. He is drawn into local rituals, often eerie and erotic, eventually discovering an awful pagan rite which involves himself. The film offered a change of horror style for Christopher Lee after multiple appearances as Count Dracula.

97. Nil By Mouth (1997)

Directed by Gary Oldman

Cast: Ray Winstone, Kathy Burke, Charlie Creed-Miles, Laila Morse, Edna Dore, Chrissie Cotterill, Jon Morrison, Jamie Forman

Stunning directorial debut by actor Gary Oldman (who also wrote the script), featuring searingly honest performances from Kathy Burke and Ray Winstone. An unsparing account of life in the underbelly of London, where the only escape from depression is to take drink or drugs and occasional brutal violence. Kathy Burke won the Best Actress award at the 1997 Cannes Film Festival for her role.

98. Small Faces (1995)

Directed by Gillies Mackinnon

Cast: Clare Higgins, Iain Robertson, Joseph McFadden, J.S. Duffy, Laura Fraser, Garry Sweeney, Kevin McKidd,

Written by MacKinnon and his brother Billy, this is a semi-autobiographical film about three brothers growing up on a Glasgow housing estate in 1968. Well acted by a largely unknown cast, it is full of humour and pace as it tackles gangs, girlfriends and family troubles along the way. From an early career in television, MacKinnon progressed to make a variety of feature films, including Regeneration, based on Pat Barker's Booker Prize-winning novel. Small Faces is an unsentimental and thoroughly enjoyable gem.

99. Carry On Up The Khyber (1968)

Directed by Gerald Thomas

Cast: Kenneth Williams, Sidney James, Charles Hawtrey, Bernard Bresslaw, Joan Sims, Peter Butterworth, Roy Castle, Terry Scott, Angela Douglas, Cardew Robinson, Julian Holloway, Peter Gilmore

British India, 1895. The Burpas are revolting and Sir Sidney Ruff-Diamond is trying to prevent the Khasi of Kalabar from inciting a full-scale rebellion. The Third Foot and Mouth regiment are keeping the British end up in the Khyber Pass - actually filmed on a mountainside in Wales, of course. This entry, coming about half way through the series, is one of the very best Carry Ons, offering more action than usual. The Peter Rogers productions, based at Pinewood Studios and all directed by Gerald Thomas, remain a splendidly vulgar British institution, concerned with saucy puns, over-the-top spoofs and bodily functions. Here, the regular cast give their usual broad, endearing performances.

100. The Killing Fields (1984)

Directed by Roland Joffe

Cast: Sam Waterston, Dr. Haing S. Ngor, John Malkovich, Julian Sands, Craig T. Nelson

A moving directorial debut for Roland Joffe, with a terrific script by Bruce Robinson, based on the memoirs of a New York Times reporter who remained in Cambodia after the American evacuation, thereby putting his local assistant and translator Dith Pran in grave danger. There is a wonderful performance by Ngor (who had lived through the situation in real life) as Pran, as the second half of the film traces his experiences in Cambodia. He won the Best Supporting Actor Oscar® for his role in this Lord (David) Puttnam production; Oscars® also went to cinematographer Chris Menges and editor Jim Clark.

Last Updated: 06 Sep 2006