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
Interested in bringing Contraband to your school or library? If you'd like to have an in-class viewing, on-campus screening, or purchase the DVD for your library's collection, please contact Estelle Grosso or call (212) 629-6880 with your request.
Contraband may also be available with Public Performance Rights (PPR) and Digital Site Licensing (DSL) for colleges and universities. To purchase the DVD with PPR or DSL, please contact Estelle Grosso or call (212) 629-6880. Click here to learn more at Kino Lorber Edu.
RT' @gabrielecapo': Movies don’t get more French than A PARIS EDUCATION, that pitch-perfectly recreates dialogues & style of the French New W…
RT' @bmoviesd': A great film gets an equally great Mondo poster. Check it out:' https://t.co/xyPJCIuTJx'
'.@IndieWire's' got an exclusive clip from "genre-bending homage to exploitation films" LET THE CORPSES TAN (…' https://t.co/BMqy7DXmur'
RT' @StampShelley': Tomorrow' @LACMA': Lois Weber's TOO WISE WIVES, part of the previews for our' @KinoLorber' 6-disc set FIRST WOMEN FILMMAKERS…
20th anniversary special edition of DEEP RISING starring' @Rtreatwilliams' and #FamkeJenssen is now available on Blu-…' https://t.co/vM4uS4PVoz'
One of only two documentaries to ever win the Grand Prize at' @semainecannes' and an official selection of' @NDNF', Emm…' https://t.co/d868aJQ4t3'
RT' @bobfreelander': Now Watching: FOXES (1980). (Which btw is $8.99 right now as part of their sale:' https://t.co/Qcq8EZxoYD)'' https://t.co/…'
RT' @TheFilmStage': Take a look at the career of Stanley Kubrick from a different vantage point with #Filmworker, now available to stream: ht…
Shot in lush black and white, Jean Paul Civeyrac's A PARIS EDUCATION evokes the films of the French New Wave... Op…' https://t.co/NCECZvjuDh'
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 email@example.com or calling 212-629-6880.