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 Monday 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 releases available this week include Ben Stiller’s action comedy parody Tropic Thunder and Julie Walters and Michael Caine in Educating Rita
Also released this week, a collection of classic movies from the 30s, 40s and 50s which are available on iPlayer for over a year, which includes the original King Kong, Bringing Up Baby and the iconic, often-called the greatest film ever made, Citizen Kane.
Disappearing soon … catch them while you can! (Available til 26th May 2020)
Daniel Radcliffe fully shakes off the role he’s best known for. He stars as Nate Foster, a young FBI agent who goes undercover to take down a radical white supremacy group.
The Elephant Man (1980)
Anthony Hopkins, John Hurt and Anne Bancroft star in David Lynch’s historical drama, about a severely deformed man in late 19th century London, which garnered eight Academy Award nominations.
King Lear (2018)
Set in an alternate reality 21st century, as the sovereign King Lear announces the end of his reign and division of his kingdom among his three daughters and the tragedy that follows.
Available til 30th May 2020….
Great Expectations (2012)
Adaptation of Charles Dickens’ 1861 novel of the same name, as young orphan Pip is invited to visit the wealthy and reclusive spinster Miss Havisham and her adopted daughter Estella.
Tropic Thunder (2008)
For a group of actors shooting a big budget war movie, life imitates art as they are drawn into a genuine conflict. A hilarious send-up of the Hollywood machine.
Available til 1st June 2020….
Based on the true story of Special Operations Executive French agent Odette Sansom, living in England, who was captured by the Germans in 1943 and sentenced to death.
The Company You Keep (2012)
Directed, produced by and starring Robert Redford, this political thriller centres on Jim Grant; wanted for bank robbery and murder but successfully hidden from the FBI for over 30 years, until his true identity is exposed by an aggressive young reporter.
Tommy’s Honour (2016)
Historical drama detailing the complex relationship between pioneering Scottish golf champions, and father-and-son, Old Tom Morris and Young Tom Morris.
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society (2018)
Author Juliet Ashton is promoting her latest book, when she receives a letter from a man from The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society book club. Fascinated by the concept, Juliet meets with the club and asks permission to write an article about the elusive society and its origins…
Available til 2nd June 2020….
The King’s Speech (2010)
Colin Firth received a Best Actor Academy ward for his portrayal of Prince Albert, Duke of York (the father of Queen Elizabeth II) struggling to cope with a debilitating stammer, and his dealings with Australian speech and language therapist Lionel Logue, before and after his sudden ascension to the throne, becoming King George VI.
Available til 3rd June 2020….
Reach for the Sky (1956)
Nothing to do with Woody from Toy Story, this biographical drama about aviator Douglas Bader chronicles him joining the RAF as a Flight Cadet in 1928, through to the fifth anniversary f the Battle of Britain.
Available til 5th June 2020….
The Wooden Horse (1950)
A reference to the legendary Trojan horse of myth and legend, an escape attempt was made by POWs in a German prison camp by using a vaulting horse.
Available til 6th June 2020….
Florence Nightingale (2008)
Short BBC film detailing the early years of British social reformer, statistician and the founder of modern nursing Florence Nightingale, portrayed in this by Laura Fraser.
Available til 7th June 2020….
The Battle of the River Plate (1956)
In 1939, during World War II, a naval battle commenced between a Royal Navy force of three cruisers and a German pocket battleship called Admiral Graf Spee.
Kinky Boots (2005)
In a struggling shoe factory in Northampton, strait-laced owner Charlie is desperate to revive the company’s flagging fortunes, and forms an unlikely partnership with local drag queen Lola to produce custom footwear for the drag community.
City of Tiny Lights (2016)
Riz Ahmed and Billie Piper star in this crime thriller about a private detective tasked to investigate the disappearance of a Russian prostitute
Available til 8th June 2020….
The Lunchbox (2013)
The late Irfan Khan stars as Saajan, a widower about to retire from his accountancy job, who receives a lunch box delivery from a young woman meant for her husband, and they find they have a connection….
Mississippi Grind (2015)
Before they directed Captain Marvel for Marvel Studios, Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck directed Ryan Reynolds (and Captain Marvel co-star Ben Mendelsohn) in a road movie about addiction.
Also known as The Senator, Chappaquiddick details the 1969 Chappaquiddick incident in which Senator Ted Kennedy drove his car into a pond, leading to the death of his passenger Mary Jo Kopechne.
The Eagle Has Landed (1988)
Michael Caine, Donald Sutherland and Robert Duvall star in a tense adventure about a team of German paratroopers sent to England in an attempt to kidnap Prime Minister Winston Churchill.
Available til 9th June 2020….
The Importance of Being Earnest (2002)
Rupert Everett and Colin Firth star as two gentlemen in 1890’s London using the same pseudonym, Ernest, to court Gwendolyn and Cecily respectively.
The Heroes of Telemark (1965)
Based on the true story of the Norwegian heavy water sabotage during the Second World War, Kirk Douglas and Richard Harris star as resistance fighters trying to prevent the Nazis producing an atomic bomb.
Available til 10th June 2020….
The Belles of St. Trinian’s (1954)
The arrival of Fatima, daughter of the Sultan, at England’s most famous and prestigious school for young ladies heralds chaos, as the girls at St. Trinian’s are more interested in horse racing and betting, than school work.
Available til 11th June 2020….
Blue Murder at St. Trinian’s (1958)
To further the aims of the St. Trinian’s Marriage Bureau, the school contrives to win a competition with a European goodwill trip as a prize.
Available til 13th June 2020….
Brief Encounter (1945)
Housewife Laura Jesson meets Dr Alec Harvey at a café on a railway station. Though they are both already married, they continue to meet and gradually fall in love with each other, knowing all the while that their love is forbidden.
The Pure Hell of St. Trinian’s (1960)
When the pupils of St Trinian’s are found guilty of burning the school to the ground, they are sent to a child psychiatrist and are soon kidnapped and on their way to Arabia.
Available til 14th June 2020….
Pawn Sacrifice (2017)
During the height of the Cold War, American chess prodigy Bobby Fischer finds himself caught between two superpowers when he challenges the Soviet Empire.
The high school class president election is approaching and it looks like Tracy Flick is going to win, unopposed. However, teacher Jim McAllister has other plans. He convinces jock Paul Metzler to run against Tracy, sparking off an interesting chain of events.
Available til 15th June 2020….
Now Is Good (2012)
Tessa Scott (Dakota Fanning) is dying of leukaemia and compiles a list of things she’d like to do before passing away. Topping the list is her desire to lose her virginity.
The Commune (2016)
Erik inherits his father’s large old house in Copenhagen. His wife Anna hopes to evade the boredom that has begun to seep into their marriage and suggests they invite friends to live with them. Before long, a dozen women, men and children move into the country house.
Made in Dagenham (2010)
Based on the true girl power story of the Ford sewing machinists strike of 1968 that caused significant law reform in achieving equal pay for women.
Down Among the Big Boys (1993)
Part of the Screen One anthology series. Louie, the Glasgow detective son of a policeman, is about to marry the daughter of the accomplished robbery chief JoJo. Billy Connolly stars.
Available til 16th June 2020….
Educating Rita (1983)
Michael Caine and Julie Walters star, as young working-class housewife Rita joins a literature course to complete her education and is taught by an alcoholic upper-class professor.
Paint Your Wagon (1969)
Clint Eastwood stars. Two unlikely prospector partners share the same wife in a California gold rush mining town
Available til 21st June 2020….
When a team of reporters delves into allegations of abuse in the Catholic Church, their year-long investigation uncovers a decades-long cover-up at the highest levels of Boston’s religious, legal, and government establishment.
Available til 22nd June 2020….
Great Expectations (1946)
Adaptation of Charles Dickens’ 1861 novel of the same name, as young orphan Pip is invited to visit the wealthy and reclusive spinster Miss Havisham and her adopted daughter Estella.
The Age of Shadows (2016)
Set in the late 1920s, The Age of Shadows follows the cat-and-mouse game that unfolds between a group of resistance fighters trying to bring in explosives from Shanghai to destroy key Japanese facilities in Seoul, and Japanese agents trying to stop them.
The Program (2015)
An Irish sports journalist becomes convinced that Lance Armstrong’s performances during the Tour de France victories are fuelled by banned substances. With this conviction, he starts hunting for evidence that will expose Armstrong.
Mrs Brown (1998)
Queen Victoria, deeply depressed after the death of her husband Prince Albert, disappears from public. Her servant, John Brown, cares for her and encourages her to return to public life, but their relationship creates scandal and is likely to lead to monarchical crisis.
Available til 23rd June 2020….
Good Vibrations (2012)
Set during the middle of Northern Ireland’s bitter troubles. Idealistic rocker Terri Hooley opens a record shop, Good Vibrations, to help bring reggae music to his city to help encourage some harmony.
Available til June 2020….
Steve McQueen: The Man and Le Mans (2015)
Documentary on film star Steve McQueen’s attempts to take control of his career after Bullitt and The Thomas Crown Affair, as his passion project, a movie about Le Mans, flops.
Available til July 2020….
Burton & Taylor (2013) (Available until 22nd Jul)
Legendary acting duo and married couple Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor prepare for a 1983 theatrical production of the play “Private Lives”.
Available til Autumn 2020….
Paranormal Activity (2007) (Available until September 2020)
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!
Lara Croft: Tomb Raider (2001) (Available until September 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 September 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 October 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 October 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 October 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 October 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 October 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 October 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.
The Jackal (1997) (Available until November 2020)
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.
Available til early 2021….
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.
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….
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.
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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