Who needs Netflix and Prime? Turns out that BBC iPlayer has a terrific collection of films to watch – here’s our fully updated list.
Whilst all eyes tend to be on streaming services such as Netflix and Amazon Prime when it comes to movie updates, on the quiet the BBC iPlayer service continues to play host to a limited, diverse selection of films. What’s more, a good number of them you can download to your tablet to watch on the move.
So, without further ado, welcome to the weekly updated iPlayer film list. This list will be updated every Wednesday with the latest available data from the BBC, in order of how long you have left to watch (so you can prioritise your viewing pleasure)
Big movies new this week include more terrifying tales ready for your Halloween viewing pleasure. The Babadook and The Shining are now streaming!
Disappearing soon … catch them while you can! (Available til 25th October 2020….)
The Midwife (2017)
Claire works as a midwife at a maternity hospital, which is soon to be shut down. One day, her late father’s former mistress, whom Claire resents for having abandoned him shortly before he died, decides, out of the blue, to come back into her life.
Mystify: Michael Hutchence (2019)
A journey into the heart and soul of Michael Hutchence, internationally renowned lead-singer of INXS, a complex and shy man who spent the bulk of his life in the public eye, rarely revealing his true self to anyone except his very close friends.
Available til 24th October 2020….
Lavish retelling of Shakespeare’s tragedy that sees an illicit affair between two star-crossed lovers ignite a bitter rivalry between Verona’s ruling families.
Available til 25th October 2020….
At the train station of Sparta, Mississippi, a solitary black man from out of town is arrested for the murder of a rich northern industrialist. Police chief Gillespie has no experience of a murder inquiry and subjects the suspect to a bigoted, insolent interrogation. But when the arrested man reveals himself to be a top city homicide cop, his is just the assistance Gillespie can do without.
A fresh start for Will (Daniel Craig) and his young family in their new home takes a disturbing turn when he learns the house was the scene of a multiple murder, but police dismiss his requests for help when a mystery man starts lurking outside. So Will must take matters into his own hands, with tragic consequences.
Available til 26th October 2020….
Man Up (2015)
Nancy, 34 years old and single, is travelling across London to toast another ten years of her parents’ magical marriage. She runs into a 40-year-old divorcee, Jack, who mistakes her for his blind date. Nancy decides to go with it and starts the most chaotic journey of her life.
The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas (2008)
The tale of an unlikely friendship between Bruno, the son of a Nazi commandant, and Shmuel, a Jewish boy held captive in a concentration camp. Though the two are separated physically by a barbed-wire fence, their friendship grows and their lives become inescapably intertwined.
Available til 27th October 2020….
North by Northwest (1959)
Classic Alfred Hitchcock thriller. When advertising executive Roger Thornhill is mistaken for the mysterious Mr Kaplan by a ruthless espionage ring, he soon faces deadly peril, framed for murder. On the run, Thornhill seeks Kaplan, the one person who can verify his story.
Available til 29th October 2020….
The Water Diviner (2014)
Drama. An Australian farmer travels to Turkey after the Battle of Gallipoli to try and locate his three missing sons. He discovers that one of his sons may actually still be alive.
Available til 2nd November 2020….
West Is West (2010)
Culture-clash comedy drama set in 1976, the sequel to hit film East Is East. Sulky, Salford-born teenager Sajid, transported to rural Pakistan with his father, is an alien amidst this other family. However, dad George is almost equally troubled by what their visit stirs up.
A Hard Day’s Night (1964)
Anarchic and offbeat 1960s story of 36 hours in the lives of The Beatles, as they travel to a TV show in London. The film uses a variety of cinematographic styles including documentary, surrealism and neorealism to create one of the milestone pictures of the decade.
Crime drama directed by Idris Elba, centring on the life of a young Jamaican man who has never fully recovered from the murder of his older brother Jerry Dread.
Seachd – The Inaccessible Pinnacle (2008)
A young man visits his dying grandfather in order to learn the truth behind his family history and his grandfather’s ancient tales.
Available til 3rd November 2020….
The Searchers (1956)
Classic John Ford western. Believing the Comanche have abducted his young niece, embittered Ethan Edwards sets out to save her, accompanied by hot-headed Martin. But their long quest takes its toll.
Available til 8th November 2020….
Southside with You (2016)
Chronicles the 1989 summer afternoon when the future President of the United States, Barack Obama, wooed his future First Lady, Michelle Robinson, on a first date across Chicago’s South Side.
Available til 9th November 2020….
Rio Bravo (1959)
Holding a killer spells trouble for Sheriff Chance in a remote Texan town. The jailed man’s brother has money and men, while Chance’s few allies include an alcoholic and a shady lady.
Ghost Stories (2017)
Professor Philip Goodman, famous for debunking hoaxes and ghost sightings, is given a dossier of three terrifying, unsolvable cases by his hero and role model Charles Cameron, who has been missing, presumed dead, for years. Can Goodman explain what even Cameron could not?
Shankly: Nature’s Fire (2017)
Documentary looking at the life and times of Bill Shankly, Liverpool FC’s legendary Scottish manager. Gaining promotion from the old English second division, Shankly forged two great sides at Liverpool, winning numerous trophies along the way. A product of his working-class roots in Ayrshire, his career in management spanned a period when football was very much the people’s game.
As An Eilean (From the Island) (1992)
Scottish drama in which a gifted boy who is preparing to leave his island home to go to university on the mainland falls madly in love with a girl from the neighbouring village. Similarly, his teacher, involved in a photographic study of village life, becomes preoccupied with the young island nurse. Together the stories reflect the fragile balance of human relationships in an isolated rural community.
Available til 10th November 2020….
A United Kingdom (2016)
Based on a true story. On the eve of his return from his studies in London to Bechuanaland where he is to become king, Prince Seretse Khama falls in love and marries Ruth Williams, a white woman from south London. Facing obstacles from all sides, the couple find comfort in the love they share for each other.
The Guardians (2017)
France 1915. The Paridier farm. A mother and her daughter take over when their men leave for the front. They work tirelessly, their lives marked by hard work and their men’s rare visits on leave. When Hortense hires Francine, a young ward of the estate to help them, Francine believes she has finally found a family.
Available til 15th November 2020….
Claire and Laura have been best friends since primary school. Claire is determined to fulfil a promise she made before Laura’s premature death, that she would help Laura’s widowed husband David to bring up their infant daughter on his own. But when she walks into his home unannounced, Claire discovers that David has been keeping a secret.
Don and his friends persuade their employer to lend them a London bus for their summer holiday. En route to the south of France, the boys run into some girls and offer them a lift to Athens. Then, they pick up an American boy who isn’t exactly what he seems but who is running away from an exploitative mother.
Available til 16th November 2020….
When writer Jack Torrance, who has a history of alcoholism and child abuse, takes a job as winter caretaker at a hotel high in the Rocky Mountains, the accumulated power of evil deeds committed at the hotel begins to drive him mad. Now there may be no escape for his wife and son in this story of madness, memory and family violence.
Armed with a multitude of crazy inventions, and alongside his eccentric allies Colonel Dedshott, Mrs Flittersnoop and young apprentice Connie, Branestawm, the original mad professor, takes on scheming businessman Mr Bullimore and officious local councillor Harold Haggerstone, to try to stop their plans to bulldoze his workshop to make way for a giant munitions factory right in the middle of town.
Available til 17th November 2020….
Kathryn Bigelow’s fact-based dramatisation of Detroit’s Agliers Motel incident, which saw a police raid degenerate into racially motivated brutality during the riots of 1967.
Available til Autumn/Winter 2020….
Lara Croft: Tomb Raider (2001) (Available until November 2020)
Angelina Jolie is Lara Croft (until Alicia Vikander anyway), as the eponymous heroine of the classic video games races against time to find an ancient relic before the planets align for the first time in 5,000 years. Can she save the day? The sequel’s below so chances are, she might….
Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life (2003) (Available until November 2020)
Angelina Jolie is Lara Croft, again. Lara discovers that the mythical Pandora’s Box is no myth, and must once again race against time to prevent an evil billionaire bio-weapons dealer from finding it and unleashing its plague onto the world. Can she save the day once more?
Twelve Monkeys (1995) (Available until December 2020)
A deadly virus, believed to be released by a group known as the Army of the Twelve Monkeys, wipes out almost all of humanity in 1996. In 2035, James Cole is sent back in time to find the original virus to find a cure. Bruce Willis, Madeleine Stowe and Brad Pitt lead this neo-noir science fiction cult favourite.
The Relic (1997) (Available until December 2020)
A container of findings from a Natural History Museum expedition in South America is sent to Chicago, and coincidentally a series of violent murders occurs soon after. Turns out it’s a lizard-like monster who’s eating people.
Primary Colors (1998) (Available until December 2020)
No red, blue or yellow in sight, this is actually John Travolta at a career best as Jack Stanton, a governor running an election campaign for President. Based on an anonymous insider novel on the 1992 Clinton campaign.
Man on the Moon (1999) (Available until December 2020)
Biopic on the life of idiosyncratic comedian Andy Kaufman, star of Taxi and self-declared Intergender Wrestling Champion of the world. A rare non-comedic performance from Jim Carrey.
A Simple Plan (1998) (Available until December 2020)
Directed by Sam Raimi (of The Evil Dead and the first Spider-Man trilogies), three blue collar workers in Minnesota randomly come across $4 million and hatch a plan to keep their haul from authorities
Wonder Boys (2000) (Available until December 2020)
Michael Douglas is Grady Tripp, an English Professor who tries to deal with his wife leaving him, the arrival of his editor who has been waiting for his book for seven years, and the various problems that his friends and associates involve him in.
Don’t Take Me Home (2020) (Available until December 2020)
The remarkable story of how Wales rose through the FIFA world rankings and onto their first international tournament for 58 years
One Deadly Weekend in America (2017) (Available until December 2020)
Documentary showing the stories of several young people who were shot by friends, enemies, or law enforcement, and the aftermath that ensued.
Available til early 2021….
Wallace and Gromit: A Close Shave (1995) (Available until January 2021)
Oscar-winning claymation comedy thriller from Nick Park, featuring the popular inventor and his dog. Wallace’s whirlwind romance with the proprietor of the local wool shop puts his head in a spin, and Gromit is framed for sheep rustling in a fiendish criminal plot, meeting a sheep named Shaun along the way. Will Wallace snap out of his daze in time to rescue his canine companion?
It Follows (2017) (Available until January 2021)
Psychological horror about a young woman pursued by a supernatural entity after having sex. It’s enough to make you never want it again.
The Jackal (1997) (Available until January 2021)
Fictitious story based upon Carlos the Jackal, Bruce Willis stars as The Jackal, a master of disguise assassin hired to carry out a hit on a high profile American government target as retaliation for the US meddling in Russian business.
Night of the Living Dead (1968) (Available until February 2021)
The classic low budget horror masterpiece from George A Romero, which spawned numerous imitations and parodies. A group of young people barricade themselves in an old farmhouse as the dead rise as zombies, hungry for their flesh.
Kate Nash: Underestimate the Girl (2018) (Available until February 2021)
Singer/songwriter Kate Nash burst onto the pop scene with overnight success in 2007 with her song Foundations, (the one about eating lemons and being bitter). This documentary details her rise to fame and subsequent nervous breakdown and bankruptcy as she struggles to re-establish herself in Los Angeles.
Adam Curtis – HyperNormalisation (2016) (Available until February 2021)
BBC Documentary, arguing that governments, financiers and technological utopians have given up on the real world due to its complexity, and have instead built a fake world they can control.
A High School Rape Goes Viral: Roll Red Roll (2018) (Available until February 2021)
True crime documentary investigating the societal and media-fuelled norm of ‘boys will be boys’ culture that underpins sexual assault at high schools across America.
Cat People (1942) (Available until February 2021)
Serbian Irena arrives in New York and meets Oliver. They soon fall in love and marry, but Irena fears she suffers from an ancient curse from her homeland that means they can never be intimate, or she might literally kill him.
The Curse of the Cat People (1944) (Available until February 2021)
Sequel to Cat People (so probably best to watch the above movie first!). Young Amy Reed makes an imaginary friend; her fathers dead first wife Irena.
I Walked With a Zombie (1943) (Available until February 2021)
Young Canadian nurse Betsy comes to the West Indies to care for the wife of a plantation manager in an offbeat zombie horror movie. From the director of aforementioned Cat People.
Happy New Year, Colin Burstead (2018) (Available until February 2021)
A New Year’s Eve party is the setting for a fractious family comedy-drama, as Colin Burstead plans a lavish event for his extended family, which doesn’t exactly go to plan….
Minding the Gap: An American Skateboarding Story (2018) (Available until February 2021)
Oscar-nominated documentary shot in Rockford, Illinois following the story of three young men, all living in volatile family situations due to decades of recession.
The Queen of Versailles (2013) (Available until February 2021)
A beauty queen and her billionaire husband build their dream home, a replica of the Palace of Versailles in Florida and the largest residential property in America, as the economic crisis hits.
Simon Amstell: Carnage (2017) (Available until February 2021)
Mockumentary, set in 2067 when everyone is vegan and the population looks back to today and our meat-eating culture and future society’s guilt on eating animals.
Female Filmmakers: BBC Introducing Arts (2020) (Available until February 2021)
Janina Ramirez presents short films from talented emerging female artists, using comedy, drama and dance to tell stories from a uniquely female perspective.
Available til mid 2021….
Paranormal Activity (2007) (Available until April 2021)
The low budget horror that spawned six (seven next year!) sequels and found-footage imitations, a young couple believe they are being haunted and set up a camera to film at night. Full of suspense, jump scares – expect full-on heebie-jeebies from this. Don’t say I didn’t warn you!
Ella Fitzgerald: Just One of Those Things (2019) (Available until May 2021)
A celebration of the First Lady of Jazz, Ella Fitzgerald, from a talent contest in 1934, across five decades of remarkable talent and how her music because the soundtrack of the century.
Love Affair (1939) (Available until June 2021)
A French playboy and an American former nightclub singer fall in love aboard a ship. They arrange to reunite six months later, after he has had a chance to earn a decent living.
Kitty Foyle (1940) (Available until June 2021)
A hard-working, white-collar girl from a middle-class family meets and falls in love with a young socialite, but she soon clashes with his family.
Citizen Kane (1941) (Available until June 2021)
Following the death of publishing tycoon Charles Foster Kane, reporters scramble to uncover the meaning of his final utterance; ‘Rosebud’.
Bringing Up Baby (1938) (Available until June 2021)
While trying to secure a $1 million donation for his museum, a befuddled palaeontologist is pursued by a flighty and often irritating heiress and her pet leopard, Baby.
Vivacious Lady (1938) (Available until June 2021)
A professor marries a nightclub singer, much to the consternation of his family and friends back home.
The Velvet Touch (1948) (Available until June 2021)
A Broadway star unintentionally kills her impresario but keeps mum about it when the police investigator targets a rival actress.
The Sky’s the Limit (1943) (Available until June 2021)
Flying Tiger Fred Atwell sneaks away from his famous squadron’s personal appearance tour and goes incognito for several days of leave. He quickly falls for photographer Joan Manion, pursuing her in the guise of a carefree drifter.
She Wore a Yellow Ribbon (1949) (Available until June 2021)
Captain Nathan Brittles, on the eve of retirement, takes out a last patrol to stop an impending massive Indian attack. Encumbered by women who must be evacuated, Brittles finds his mission imperilled.
King Kong (1933) (Available until June 2021)
A film crew goes to a tropical island for an exotic location shoot and discovers a colossal ape who takes a shine to their female blonde star. He is then captured and brought back to New York City for public exhibition.
The Spanish Main (1945) (Available until June 2021)
After being wronged by the Caribbean authorities, a Dutch captain turns pirate to wage war.
Angel Face (1952) (Available until June 2021)
Ambulance driver Frank Jessup is ensnared in the schemes of the sensuous but dangerous Diane Tremayne.
My Favourite Wife (1940) (Available until June 2021)
Missing for seven years and presumed dead, a woman returns home on the day of her husband’s second marriage.
Mr Blandings Builds His Dream House (1948) (Available until June 2021)
A man and his wife decide they can afford to have a house in the country built to their specifications. It’s a lot more trouble than they think.
Blackbeard the Pirate (1952) (Available until June 2021)
Honest Edward Maynard finds himself serving as ship’s surgeon under the infamous pirate Blackbeard.
The Magnificent Ambersons (1942) (Available until June 2021)
The spoiled young heir to the decaying Amberson fortune comes between his widowed mother and the man she has always loved.
Wagon Master (1950) (Available until June 2021)
Two young drifters guide a Mormon wagon train to the San Juan Valley and encounter cut-throats, Indians, geography, and moral challenges on the journey.
Beautiful but Dangerous (1954) (Available until June 2021)
Lina, a music hall singer, has fallen in love with Sergei, a Russian prince. Maestro Doria, who gives her voice lessons and who hopes to make her his mistress, takes her to Paris where she becomes the star of the “Folies-Plastiques”.
Top Hat (1935) (Available until June 2021)
An American dancer comes to Britain and falls for a model whom he initially annoyed, but she mistakes him for his goofy producer.
Carefree (1938) (Available until June 2021)
A psychiatrist agrees to hypnotize his friend’s girlfriend in order to convince her to accept his proposals of marriage, but she ends up falling for the psychiatrist instead.
The Gay Divorce (1934) (Available until June 2021)
An American woman travels to England to seek a divorce from her absentee husband, where she meets – and falls for – a dashing performer.
Suspicion (1941) (Available until June 2021)
A shy young heiress marries a charming gentleman, and soon begins to suspect he is planning to murder her.
Fort Apache (1948) (Available until June 2021)
At Fort Apache, an honourable and veteran war captain finds conflict when his regime is placed under the command of a young, glory hungry lieutenant colonel with no respect for the local Indian tribe.
The Miracle of the Bells (1948) (Available until June 2021)
Granting her final request, a Hollywood press agent brings the dead body of an actress, who died after making her first and only film, back to her home town for burial. To arouse public interest, and to get the reluctant studio head to release the film, he asks all the local churches to ring their bells for three days.
The Australian Dream (2020) (Available until July 2021)
The inspirational story of Indigenous Australian Football League (AFL) legend Adam Goodes. A deep and powerful story about race, identity and belonging, the film centres on an incident where a 13-year-old opposition supporter called Goodes an ape during a football match. The film unpicks the unfolding events from 2013 to 2015, raising fundamental questions about the nature of racism and discrimination in society today.
Morvern Callar (2004) (Available until July 2021)
Drama based on the novel by Alan Warner. Following the suicide of her boyfriend, supermarket worker Morvern Callar passes off his unpublished novel as her own and heads to Spain.
Any One Of Us (2020) (Available until August 2021)
When professional mountain biker Paul Basagoitia experiences a devastating spinal cord injury, his life is changed in an instant. Discovering that he’s become paralysed, Paul begins an intense physical and emotional journey to recover and adapt, initially living in the hope of one day being able to walk again as he once did. His excruciating recovery unfolds in real time through raw, intimate footage- much of which was filmed by Paul himself- as we see him wrestle with the agonies of an unpredictable journey and uncertain future.
Papadopoulos and Sons (2012) (Available until September 2021)
After a financial market collapse, self-made millionaire Harry loses everything he has apart from an abandoned fish and chip shop half-owned by his estranged brother. With no alternative, Harry and his family are forced to abandon their old lifestyle and try to bring the old family business back to life.
Widow Amelia’s worries over her high-strung young son’s behaviour worsen when a mysterious pop-up book inspires fresh fears.
We’ve done our best to list all the available films on BBC iPlayer and the date they’re removed from the service as detailed by the BBC, but it goes without saying that the BBC probably reserve the right to add or remove films from their service at any time, for any reason. The BBC also list an expiration time for each film, which could be 6pm or 1am on the expiration date. We’re not including those for purely logistical reasons. We’ll try our best to keep this list as up to date as possible, though.
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