Directed by Michael Powell
Directed by Michael Powell
Contraband is a comedy thriller in the vein of Hitchcock's The Thirty-Nine Steps and The Lady Vanishes. The film is an early treasure from the writer-director team of Emeric Pressburger and Michael Powell (The Red Shoes, Stairway To Heaven), who have been hailed by critics as jewels in the crown of British cinema.
Set in England during the early days of WW II, Contraband stars Conrad Veidt (The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari) and Valerie Hobson (The Bride of Frankenstein) as a Danish sea captain and his enigmatic passenger who are kidnapped by a cell of Nazi spies operating from a basement in London's Soho. In evocatively Hitchcockian fashion, the plot progresses as a chase that puts the characters in one peculiar set of surroundings after another. What makes Contraband unique is that most of the story takes place under blackout conditions (original U.S. release title was Blackout), in which the great city becomes a mysterious dark labyrinth, a potent metaphor for the English population's general confusion at the start of the war. Moreover, the blackout provides director Powell a constant opportunity to pay subtle homage to Veidt's Germanic, expressionist heritage with chiaroscuro lighting and visual allusions to his classic films.
The masterly black and white cinematography is the work of celebrated cameraman Freddie Young, three-time Oscar winner for Lawrence Of Arabia, Doctor Zhivago, and Ryan's Daughter. This Kino on Video version of Contraband is eight minutes longer than the version originally released theatrically in the U.S.
"Conrad Veidt behaves with marvelous elan." - Bosley Crowther, The New York Times
RT' @kindertrauma': Made for TV horror is the foundation of my fandom so couldn’t pass up SCREAM PRETTY PEGGY(‘73) & THE VICTIM (‘72) from @…
RT' @filmsbyAmy': GODARD alert!' @KinoLorber' has a vast array. ' https://t.co/7zCAFJWEVq'' https://t.co/zqphXlNgaO'
RT' @KLStudioClassic': Coming Soon on Blu-ray! Brand New 2K Master! Tarantulas: The Deadly Cargo (1977) Starring Claude Akins, Tom Atkins, P…
RT' @crashpalace': One of my biggest guilty pleasure films from the 80's is finally in DVD format - with extras! Many thanks to' @KinoLorber…'
RT' @TheOtakuSpartan': Tonight’s Film I’m watching is one of Ralph Bakshi’s Adult/Mature Animated films in the US and that was Fritz The Cat,…
RT' @KLStudioClassic': Coming Soon on Blu-ray! Brand New 4K Master! Stunt Rock (1978) Starring Grant Page, Monique van de Ven & Phil Hartman…
RT' @KLStudioClassic': Coming February 1st! PRE-ORDER NOW!' https://t.co/vbkEZuXDBb...' Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978) • Newly Restored…
RT' @NastySilents': good morning! who else feels like smashing the patriarchy today?! 🔥' https://t.co/q2P0aixG3J'
Discover our December new releases and just added films available to rent or own on #KinoNow!…' https://t.co/R7pfMLLreK'
Inquiries & Press
333 W. 39th St., Ste. 503
New York, NY 10018
Tel. (800) 562-3330
Fax. (212) 714-0871
Press & Media
For publicity assistance and press inquiries please contact us by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 212-629-6880.