HandMade Films

HandMade Films

20 Episodes

Cofounded by former Beatle George Harrison in 1978, the storied production studio and distribution company HandMade Films gave new life to British cinema in the 1980s, taking chances on risky projects and first-time directors to bring audiences future classics like THE LONG GOOD FRIDAY, WITHNAIL AND I, and Terry Gilliam’s TIME BANDITS. Guided by the idiosyncratic visions of artists like Neil Jordan (MONA LISA), Nicolas Roeg (TRACK 29), and Bob Hoskins (THE RAGGEDY RAWNEY), the projects that HandMade championed were not always financially successful, but, in an era increasingly dominated by blockbusters and franchises, they struck a blow for fiercely original storytelling and creative independence.

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HandMade Films
  • HandMade Films Teaser

    Episode 1

  • The Long Good Friday

    Episode 2

    Directed by John Mackenzie • 1980 • United Kingdom

    Bob Hoskins delivers a powerhouse performance in his breakthrough film role as a London crime boss fast losing control of his gangland empire. Cockney mobster Harold Shand (Hoskins) is on the cusp of completing a massive deal with the American M...

  • Time Bandits

    Episode 3

    Directed by Terry Gilliam • 1981 • United Kingdom
    Starring John Cleese, Sean Connery, Shelley Duvall

    In this fantastic voyage through time and space from Terry Gilliam, a boy named Kevin (Craig Warnock) escapes his gadget-obsessed parents to join a band of time-traveling dwarfs. Armed with a map...

  • Withnail and I

    Episode 4

    Directed by Bruce Robinson • 1986 • United Kingdom
    Starring Paul McGann, Richard E. Grant, Richard Griffiths

    London. The 1960s. Two unemployed actors—acerbic, elegantly wasted Withnail (Richard E. Grant) and the anxiety-ridden “I” (Paul McGann)—drown their frustrations in booze, pills, and light...

  • Track 29

    Episode 5

    Directed by Nicolas Roeg • 1988 • United Kingdom
    Starring Theresa Russell, Gary Oldman, Christopher Lloyd

    The ever-provocative Nicolas Roeg brings his flair for the strange, the kinky, and the surreal to this outré Oedipal psychodrama. Unhappily married to a neglectful husband (Christopher Lloy...

  • Mona Lisa

    Episode 6

    Directed by Neil Jordan • 1986 • United Kingdom
    Starring Bob Hoskins, Cathy Tyson, Michael Caine

    The brilliant breakthrough film by writer-director Neil Jordan journeys into the dark heart of the London underworld to weave a gripping, noir-infused love story. Bob Hoskins received a multitude of ...

  • How to Get Ahead in Advertising

    Episode 7

    Directed by Bruce Robinson • 1988 • United Kingdom, United States
    Starring Richard E. Grant, Rachel Ward, Richard Wilson

    Richard E. Grant is the endlessly suave Dennis Bagley, a high-strung advertising executive whose shoulder sprouts an evil, talking boil. The boil speaks only to Bagley, is sil...

  • Powwow Highway

    Episode 8

    Directed by Jonathan Wacks • 1989 • United Kingdom, United States
    Starring A Martinez, Gary Farmer, Joanelle Romero

    The road-movie genre gets a lyrical twist shot through with Native American spirituality in this bittersweet portrait of two Cheyenne men on a journey through the American West and...

  • The Lonely Passion of Judith Hearne

    Episode 9

    Directed by Jack Clayton • 1987 • United Kingdom
    Starring Maggie Smith, Bob Hoskins, Wendy Hiller

    Maggie Smith delivers a tremendously moving performance as a woman grappling with loneliness, love, and faith in this sensitive character study adapted from the novel by Brian Moore. Middle-aged spi...

  • A Private Function

    Episode 10

    Directed by Malcolm Mowbray • 1984 • United Kingdom
    Starring Maggie Smith, Michael Palin, Bill Paterson

    Harkening back to the classic Ealing comedies, this shrewd social satire (scripted by Alan Bennett) features marvelous performances from Maggie Smith and Michael Palin as Joyce and Gilbert Chi...

  • The Raggedy Rawney

    Episode 11

    Directed by Bob Hoskins • 1988 • United Kingdom
    Starring Dexter Fletcher, Bob Hoskins, Zoë Nathenson

    Acclaimed actor Bob Hoskins made a striking directorial debut with this curiously captivating fable that plays freely with gender, fantasy, and magic. Stationed somewhere in Eastern Europe, a you...

  • Intimate Relations

    Episode 12

    Directed by Philip Goodhew • 1996 • United Kingdom
    Starring Rupert Graves, Julie Walters, Laura Sadler

    A most unusual love triangle takes shape in this diabolically dark comedy based on a shocking true crime. In a small town in 1950s England, sailor Harold Guppy (Rupert Graves) takes a room in t...

  • Bullshot

    Episode 13

    Directed by Dick Clement • 1983 • United Kingdom
    Starring Alan Shearman, Ronald E. House, Diz White

    This goofily good-natured slapstick parody of the popular gentleman-adventurer series Bulldog Drummond (played on film, perhaps most famously, by Ronald Colman in the 1930s) brings us the decidedl...

  • Five Corners

    Episode 14

    Directed by Tony Bill • 1987 • United States
    Starring Jodie Foster, John Turturro, Tim Robbins

    Youthful idealism collides with matter-of-fact violence in a working-class Bronx neighborhood in the early 1960s in this captivatingly offbeat urban mosaic featuring an extraordinary ensemble cast. A w...

  • Cold Dog Soup

    Episode 15

    Directed by Alan Metter • 1990 • United Kingdom
    Starring Randy Quaid, Frank Whaley, Christine Harnos

    A Zen taxi driver, a dead dog, and one memorably surreal night . . . This singularly eccentric black comedy casts Randy Quaid as the enigmatic, koan-spouting cabbie whose fare for the night (Fran...

  • Scrubbers

    Episode 16

    Directed by Mai Zetterling • 1982 • United Kingdom
    Starring Chrissie Cotterill, Amanda York, Elizabeth Edmonds

    Something of a companion to Alan Clarke’s youth-in-revolt bombshell SCUM (both were written by playwright Roy Minton), SCRUBBERS is a viscerally gritty immersion into the harrowing worl...

  • Privates on Parade

    Episode 17

    Directed by Michael Blakemore • 1983 • United Kingdom
    Starring John Cleese, Denis Quilley, Patrick Pearson

    This gloriously gay adaptation of the play by Peter Nichols centers on the exploits of SADUSEA (it’s pronounced “sad you see”)—the Song and Dance Unit, Southeast Asia, a theatrical troupe s...

  • Water

    Episode 18

    Directed by Dick Clement • 1985 • United Kingdom
    Starring Michael Caine, Valerie Perrine, Bill Persky

    A typically sharp comic performance from Michael Caine is at the center of this nutty satire of Britain’s colonial exploits (partially inspired by the then-recent invasion of the Falkland Island...

  • Checking Out

    Episode 19

    Directed by David Leland • 1989 • United States
    Starring Jeff Daniels, Melanie Mayron, Michael Tucker

    “Why don’t Italians like barbecues?” When his best friend drops dead in the middle of telling this groaner, it brings about an existential fear of death for successful airline executive and fami...

  • An Accidental Studio

    Episode 20

    Directed by Bill Jones, Kim Leggatt, and Ben Timlett • 2019 • United Kingdom
    Starring Michael Palin, Terry Gilliam, George Harrison

    This heartfelt tribute to the little studio that could charts the unlikely rise of HandMade Films—the independent producer/distributor that revitalized the 1980s Br...