The Pleasure Garden

A playful and poetic ode to desire, filmed among the ruins of the Crystal Palace terraces.

Filmed among the ruins of the Crystal Palace terraces, The Pleasure Garden is a playful and poetic ode to desire, and winner of the Prix de Fantasie Poetique at Cannes in 1954. Made by the American poet James Broughton, the film features Hattie Jacques and Lindsay Anderson, with John le Mesurier as the bureaucrat determined to stamp out any form of free expression.

Lovers of the history of Crystal Palace will find much to treasure in this 1950s time capsule of a fim, which shows the Crystal Colonnade and the bandstand (both later demolished), the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve Memorial, and much of the statuary which was to be auctioned off in 1957.

The history of the Crystal Palace also comes alive in The Phoenix Tower, presented here as an extra. This rare 1957 film, about the building of the BBC Transmission Tower, was one of a number of short subject colour films to be shown on BBC2 as a ‘test trade transmission’, and has become something of a ‘lost’ film since.

Special features

  • The Phoenix Tower (1957, 39 min): a short documentary charting the construction of the BBC’s Crystal Palace Television Tower.
  • Fully illustrated booklet with film notes, an original review and a history of the Crystal Palace.
  • Fully uncompressed PCM mono audio.

Product information

    • Certificate

      U

    • Colour

      Black/white

    • Sound

      Sound

    • Running time

      37mins

    • Languages

      English

    • Subtitles

      English language, with optional hard-of-hearing subtitles

    • Original aspect ratio

      1.33:1

    • DVD region

      • 2 Europe (except Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus), Middle East, Egypt, Japan, South Africa, Swaziland, Lesotho, Greenland, French Overseas departments and territories

    • Blu-ray region

      • B - Includes most European and Middle-Eastern countries, all of Africa, Australia and New Zealand

    • Catalogue number

      BFIVD831

Buying options

Available to buy

  • Free Cinema

    Free Cinema

    The definitive collection of films from the 1950s Free Cinema movement, which reinvented British documentary making.

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