Cinema Unbound: The Small Back Room

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BBFC RatingCinema Unbound: The Small Back Room

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Director(s)Michael Powell, Emeric Pressburger
Writer(s)Nigel Balchin, Michael Powell, Emeric Pressburger
Running Time1HR 51MINS
SeasonCinema Unbound - The Creative Worlds of Powell and Pressburger

Far from the lavish spectacle of The Red Shoes, Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger’s The Small Back Room is a shadowy and suspenseful romantic drama about a bomb disposal expert, his new girlfriend, and a dangerous German weapon. Newly restored in 4K.

Sammy Rice (David Farrar) is a troubled, alcoholic research scientist and military bomb-disposal expert hired by the government to advise on a dangerous new German weapon. Embittered by his experiences in warfare, Sammy’s life is given new meaning when he meets Susan (Kathleen Byron), a secretary who soon becomes his girlfriend. However, as Sammy’s relationship and work become more complex his alcoholism becomes increasingly problematic.

A hidden gem in Powell and Pressburger’s filmography, The Small Back Room is a piercing, emotionally anguished character study with fantastic performances from Farrar and Byron.

Part of Cinema Unbound: The Creative Worlds of Powell and Pressburger. With support of the BFI Film Audience Network, awarding funds from the National Lottery in order to bring this project to more audiences across the UK.


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