1948, Rialto Pictures, 95 min, UK, Dir: Carol Reed

Carol Reed, one of England’s most celebrated directors, probes the complexity and callousness of human relationships in this Oscar-nominated adaptation of a story by Graham Greene. Told through the naive eyes of an upper-class boy, the film centers on his idealization of his father’s butler, Baines, who entertains him with extravagant (and fictional) accounts of heroic adventures. Contrasting this is the reality of Baines’s unhappy, loveless marriage and his dreams of escaping his lot in life. Top-shelf performances from Ralph Richardson, Michèle Morgan, and young Bobby Henrey fuel this suspenseful, exceptionally written story of loyalty, betrayal, and everything in between.

1958, Warner Bros., 98 min, USA, Dir: George Pal

In this charming Brothers Grimm musical fantasy, a woodcutter and his wife are magically granted their wish for a son – but the boy is the size of a thumb. Russ Tamblyn is at his acrobatic best in the title role, and there’s some top comedic talent lurking in supporting roles, with Peter Sellers and Terry-Thomas as a pair of thieves and Stan Freberg supplying the voice of an animated toy. Oscar winner for Best Special Effects.

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