Today: June 20, 2024

WIN! The Small Black Room on Blu-ray!

To celebrate the release of StudioCanal Vintage Classics release of The Small Black Room we’ve got TWO Blu-ray copies of to Give Away!

For your chance to win, simply email your answer to the question below to – include your answer in the subject line of your email and include your postal address in the email body.

Which iconic filmmaking duo directed The Small Black Room?

A) The Coen Brothers
B) Lord & Miller
C) Powell & Pressburger

Entries close 29th June 2024


The First Ever 4K Restoration and Blu-ray Release of  Powell and Pressburger’s



STUDIOCANAL are proud to announce the release of a spectacular 4K restoration of Powell and Pressburger’s compelling psychological drama THE SMALL BACK ROOM, starring David Farrar (Black Narcissus, Frieda) and Kathleen Byron (Black Narcissus, Saving Private Ryan) in dazzling performances. Marking the film’s 75th anniversary this year, the new restoration by The Film Foundation and BFI National Archive in association with STUDIOCANAL, will premiere at the BFI Southbank on 28 May and will be available on Blu-ray, DVD and Digital from 3 June on the Vintage Classics label. 

From the legendary filmmaking duo Powell and Pressburger (A Matter of Life and Death, The Red Shoes),THE SMALL BACK ROOM (1949) is the story of the troubled love affair between a tormented back-room scientist and a secretary, told against a background of ministerial intrigue and Empire building. Sammy Rice (David Farrar) was the army’s finest bomb disposal officer until he was injured in the war. Now part of a specialist ‘back room’ team, he dismantles the boobytrapped devices being dropped by Nazi bombers. He falls in love with Susan (Kathleen Byron), a colleague, and the two begin a secret affair. However, embittered by life, he feels inferior: inferior as a lover, inferior as a man unable to wear uniform, inferior in his work. Although a brilliant scientist, he allows himself to be exploited by his power-hungry boss and haunted by his past, he drowns his sorrows in whiskey. Sammy’s life is descending into disarray when the news comes; a bomb has exploded with catastrophic consequences, and another has been found. Faced with the biggest challenge of his career, Sammy must face his demons and take his life in his hands to solve the mystery of the bomb’s lethal mechanism.

Based on the 1943 novel of the same name by Nigel Balchin, THE SMALL BACK ROOM has a grittier and darker tone than many of Powell and Pressburger’s films – a British noir with dramatic camerawork from Christopher Challis (Arabesque, The Deep), heightening the claustrophobia and psychological tension of the narrative with the use of close-ups.  The film was nominated for the 1950 BAFTA for Best British Film. 

THE SMALL BACK ROOM was restored by The Film Foundation and BFI National Archive in association with STUDIOCANAL. Funding provided by The Film Foundation and STUDIOCANAL. Special thanks to Martin Scorsese and Thelma Schoonmaker for their consultation.  The 4K restoration used the original 35mm nitrate negative, a 35mm safety dupe negative, and a 35mm nitrate combined dupe positive.  4K Scanning by Silver Salt Restoration Limited in London.  Picture restoration by Cineric, Inc. in New York.  Audio restoration by the BFI National Archive. 

THE SMALL BACK ROOM will be released on Blu-ray, DVD and Digital on 3 June

Amazon pre-order link:

Special Features:

  • New Restoring The Small Back Room
  • New A Tortured Hero: Kevin MacDonald on The Small Back Room
  • New Defusing the Archers: Professor Ian Christie on The Small Back Room
  • Audio commentary featuring film scholar Charles Barr
  • Interview with cinematographer Christopher Challis
  • The Making of An Englishman documentary directed by Kevin MacDonald
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