New BFI DVDs and Blu-rays announced for spring 2019

Upcoming releases include new collector’s editions of Room at the Top, The Caretaker and How I Won the War, Merchant Ivory restorations and the best of the British Transport Films collection newly remastered for Blu-ray.

Room at the Top (1959)

Room at the Top (1959)

This spring, three classics of British cinema make their debut on Blu-ray. In April, Clive Donner’s acclaimed 1963 adaptation of Harold Pinter’s The Caretaker, starring Robert Shaw, Alan Bates and Donald Pleasence, is released in a new HD restoration that shows off Nicolas Roeg’s exceptional black-and-white cinematography.

The Caretaker dual format edition pack shot

2019 marks the 60th anniversary of a truly game-changing British feature film – Room at the Top (1959). Directed by Jack Clayton (The Innocents) and starring Laurence Harvey and Simone Signoret, this BAFTA and Academy Award-winning film introduced a new style of cinema to the UK and kick-started the British New Wave. We will be celebrating in May with the Blu-ray premiere, featuring a previously unreleased 2K restoration.

Room at the Top dual format edition packshot

Also out in May, on Blu-ray for the first time in the UK, is Richard Lester’s 1967 satire How I Won the War, starring Michael Crawford and John Lennon in his first major non-Beatle acting role.

How I Won the War Blu-ray packshot

After a run at selected cinemas from March, Merchant Ivory’s Heat and Dust (1983) and Shakespeare Wallah (1965) will be released on Blu-ray in April. Both films benefit from recent restorations, with Heat and Dust presented in stunning 4K. These titles follow the February Blu-ray/DVD release of Merchant Ivory’s Maurice.

Heat and Dust Blu-ray packshot

Shakespeare Wallah Blu-ray packshot

The previously announced release of Peter Sellers’ Mr Topaze on Blu-ray/DVD, the 38th title in the cult BFI Flipside strand, has now moved to April.

In May, one of the BFI’s all-time most popular strands makes a spectacular return in high definition, to mark the 70th anniversary of the British Transport Films production unit. The Best of British Transport Films gathers together 21 classic shorts and documentaries from the BTF collection in a new double Blu-ray set. Highlights include a new 4K restoration of Geoffrey Jones’ celebrated 1967 film Rail. Not just for train-spotters, these fascinating films entertain as much as they inform.

The best of the British Transport Films Blu-ray packshot

June will see the release of Early Women Filmmakers 1911-1940. This necessary and timely 4-disc Blu-ray collection reveals the pioneering work of early cinema’s most innovative and influential women directors, including Mabel Normand, Alice Guy-Blaché, Lois Weber and Dorothy Arzner, recognising their rightful place in film history.

Early Women Filmmakers 1911-1940 Blu-ray packshot

Another female filmmaker is celebrated in June as Margaret Tait’s Blue Black Permanent, featuring Celia Imrie, is released on Blu-ray/DVD. Tait’s film, made with the BFI Production Board and released in 1992, was the first feature directed by a Scottish woman. It was remastered by the BFI in 2018 as part of the ongoing centenary celebrations for Tait.

Blue Black Permanent dual format edition packshot

Also out in June is a stand-alone Blu-ray release of another BFI Production Board film – Derek Jarman’s celebrated biopic Caravaggio.

Caravaggio Blu-ray packshot

Beginning with these spring titles, our new releases will only include a booklet in the first pressing.

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