The British may be apt in making a nice cup of a tea and a crumpet, and in more recent years they’ve proved they know a thing or two about throwing a party (think Royal Wedding or the Olympics). But over in Old Blighty they also know how to make a good film. After all, the first moving pictures developed on celluloid film were made in Hyde Park, London in 1889 by British inventor William Friese Greene. And with the release of anticipated British-directed blockbusters like Anna Karenina and Les Miserables this year, the cinema of the motherland is set to keep going from strength to strength.
But that brings us to an important question: how do you define a British film? Does it have to be shot there? Directed by a Brit? Funded in the UK? The scope of cinema tends to be pretty international these days, and such lines are often blurred. Instead here we’re going to follow a loose cultural test: does the film feel British? These ten certainly do.
With everything from Cockney gangsters to costume dramas, we present a list of the top British films according to Portable. There’s sure to be ones that didn’t make the cut and you think should have. It is highly subjective matter. You might be pleased to see a few surprises in this countdown… but if not, like all lists it’s there to be argued with.