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The EALING COMEDIES is an informal name for a series of comedy films produced by the London-based Ealing Studios during the period 1947 to 1957. Hue and Cry (1947) is generally considered to be the earliest of the cycle, and Barnacle Bill (1957) the last, although some sources list Davy (also 1957) as the final Ealing comedy.

CONTENTS

* 1 History

* 1.1 Comedies * 1.2 Later comedies * 1.3 Personnel

* 2 Legacy * 3 List of Ealing comedy films * 4 References * 5 Bibliography

HISTORY

Relatively few comedy films were made at Ealing Studios until several years after World War II. The 1939 film Cheer Boys Cheer featuring the rivalry between two brewing companies, one big and modernist the other small and traditional, has been characterised as a prototype of later films. One of the few other films that can be seen as a direct precursor to the Ealing comedies
Ealing comedies
is Saloon Bar (1940), in which the regulars of a public house join forces to clear the name of the barmaid's boyfriend who has been accused of murder. Other wartime comedies featuring actors such as Tommy Trinder , Will Hay and George Formby were generally in a broader music hall tradition and had little in common with the later Ealing comedy films. Ealing made no comedy films at all in 1945 and 1946.

COMEDIES

T.E.B. Clarke wrote the screenplay for Hue and Cry (1947), about a group of schoolboys who confront a criminal gang, which proved to be a critical and commercial success. It was followed by three films with Celtic themes: Another Shore (1948), about the fantasies of a bored Dublin
Dublin
customs official, A Run for Your Money (1949), depicting the adventures of two inexperienced Welshman in London for an important rugby international, and Whisky Galore! (1949) about Scottish islanders during the Second World War who discover that a freighter with a large cargo of whisky has run aground.

Kind Hearts and Coronets (1949) is a dark comedy in which the son of an impoverished branch of the aristocratic D'Ascoyne family murders eight other members, all of whom are played by Alec Guinness , in order to inherit the family Dukedom and gain revenge on his snobbish relations. In Passport to Pimlico
Passport to Pimlico
(1949) the inhabitants of the London neighborhood of Pimlico attempt to create their own independent nation state and end rationing , leading to a variety of unexpected problems and diplomatic incidents with the British government.

The Magnet (1950), set in Liverpool
Liverpool
, is about a boy whose acquisition of a magnet leads to a series of adventures in the city. In The Lavender Hill Mob (1951) a timid bank clerk gets together an unlikely gang of accomplices to snatch a delivery of gold bullion . The armed robbery proves surprisingly successful, but things start to go wrong when they attempt to melt down their haul into model Eiffel Towers . The Man in the White Suit
The Man in the White Suit
(1951) features the efforts of a zealous young scientist to create a new kind of clothing material that will never get dirty and never wear out - an invention that threatens the livelihoods of both big business and the trade unions who join forces to try and prevent the publication of this new discovery.

The Titfield Thunderbolt (1953) echoes the theme of Passport to Pimlico, switched to a rural setting, with a small community standing up for their local interests when their branch line is threatened with closure by British Railways in a forerunner of the Beeching cuts a decade later. The villagers join forces to keep their railway running, but face competition and sabotage from a rival bus company .

Meet Mr. Lucifer (1953) follows a television set as it is passed on from one owner to another, causing dissatisfaction wherever it goes. The film serves as a warning about the effects of rapidly expanding television use.

The Love Lottery (1954) sees a matinee idol Hollywood Star, played by David Niven , agree to take part in a "love lottery ". The Maggie (1954) features a clash of culture and wills between a wily Scottish boat captain and a vigorous American business tycoon who has mistakenly contracted the boat to carry a cargo for him. In The Ladykillers (1955) a gang of criminals let a room from the elderly Mrs Wilberforce while they're pretending to be a String quintet
String quintet
looking for a space to practice. They plan to use the house to stage a robbery at nearby King\'s Cross railway station . On the brink of escape, they are thwarted by the Mrs Wilberforce who discovers their true purpose. The gang agree that she has to be murdered before she can go to the police, but prove incapable of doing this, and begin turning on each other instead.

LATER COMEDIES

Who Done It? (1956) was the final comedy made at Ealing Studios, before it was sold to the BBC
BBC
. It parodies detective fiction with a young man setting himself up in business as a private detective after receiving a windfall of £100. His confused efforts to solve a crime lead to him becoming entangled in cold war espionage. The film was closer in style to traditional 1930s comedy, rather than the type of films Ealing had become known for over the previous decade.

Two final comedies were released under the Ealing banner, but made at Elstree Studios
Elstree Studios
. Barnacle Bill (1957) follows Captain Ambrose who, after leaving the navy, buys a run-down pier on the English seaside. Ambrose tries to revive the pier crossing swords with the local council who have a scheme to redevelop the entire seafront, personally enriching themselves while ruining him. Ambrose battles them by severing his connection with the shore, registering his pier as a ship under a foreign flag, and marketing it as a tourist destination for those too seasick to go on cruises. In Davy (1958) a promising entertainer tries to decide whether to strike out on his own, or stay with his family's struggling music hall act. No further comedies were made by Ealing, and after the thriller Siege of Pinchgut (1959), the brand was absorbed into the wider Rank Organisation . The previous year Rank had released Rockets Galore! , a sequel to Whiskey Galore , but its production was unconnected with Ealing.

PERSONNEL

Many of the films were built around a repertory group of actors, screenwriters, directors and technicians. Directors were Alexander Mackendrick , Charles Crichton
Charles Crichton
, Robert Hamer , Charles Frend , Anthony Pelissier and Henry Cornelius . Notable actors who became prolific in these films included Stanley Holloway
Stanley Holloway
, Alec Guinness , Raymond Huntley and Alastair Sim . A number of actors also appeared frequently in smaller roles such as Philip Stainton
Philip Stainton
and Edie Martin .

LEGACY

Though Ealing Studios has come to be remembered for its comedies, they were only a tenth of its productions. Conversely, Gainsborough Pictures is associated with the Gainsborough melodramas though it also produced many comedies.

Two Ealing comedies
Ealing comedies
were adapted for radio and broadcast over BBC Radio 4 : Kind Hearts and Coronets in 1990 starring Robert Powell and Timothy Bateson and in 2007 starring Michael Kitchen and Harry Enfield , and The Ladykillers in 1996 starring Edward Petherbridge .

LIST OF EALING COMEDY FILMS

* Hue and Cry (1947) * Another Shore (1948) * Passport to Pimlico
Passport to Pimlico
(1949) * Whisky Galore! (1949) * Kind Hearts and Coronets (1949) * A Run for Your Money (1949) * The Magnet (1950) * The Lavender Hill Mob (1951) * The Man in the White Suit
The Man in the White Suit
(1951) * The Titfield Thunderbolt (1953) * Meet Mr. Lucifer (1953) * The Love Lottery (1954) * The Maggie (1954) * The Ladykillers (1955) * Who Done It? (1956) * Barnacle Bill (1957) * Davy (1958)

REFERENCES

* ^ Parkinson, David. Radio Times Guide to Films 2010, BBC Worldwide, 2009. ISBN 978-0-9555886-2-4 * ^ http://www.britmovie.co.uk/studios/Ealing-Studios Ealing Studios Filmography * ^ Murphy p.209 * ^ Murphy p.209-210 * ^ Murphy p.211 * ^ Murphy p.211 * ^ Burton & O'Sullivan p.21-22 * ^ Sweet p.157

BIBLIOGRAPHY

* Burton, Alan ;background:none transparent;border:none;-moz-box-shadow:none;-webkit-box-shadow:none;box-shadow:none;">v

* t * e

Cinema of the United Kingdom

* Culture of the United Kingdom

FILMS BY YEAR

* Pre 1920 * 1920 * 1921 * 1922 * 1923 * 1924 * 1925 * 1926 * 1927 * 1928 * 1929 * 1930 * 1931 * 1932 * 1933 * 1934 * 1935 * 1936 * 1937 * 1938 * 1939 * 1940 * 1941 * 1942 * 1943 * 1944 * 1945 * 1946 * 1947 * 1948 * 1949 * 1950 * 1951 * 1952 * 1953 * 1954 * 1955 * 1956 * 1957 * 1958 * 1959 * 1960 * 1961 * 1962 * 1963 * 1964 * 1965 * 1966 * 1967 * 1968 * 1969 * 1970 * 1971 * 1972 * 1973 * 1974 * 1975 * 1976 * 1977 * 1978 * 1979 * 1980 * 1981 * 1982 * 1983 * 1984 * 1985 * 1986 * 1987 * 1988 * 1989 * 1990 * 1991 * 1992 * 1993 * 1994 * 1995 * 1996 * 1997 * 1998 * 1999 * 2000 * 2001 * 2002 * 2003 * 2004 * 2005 * 2006 * 2007 * 2008 * 2009 * 2010 * 2011 * 2012 * 2013 * 2014 * 2015 * 2016

Production companies and studios

ACTIVE

* Aardman Animations
Aardman Animations
* BBC
BBC
Films * Big Talk Productions * British Lion Films * DNA Films * Double Negative (VFX) * Ealing Studios * Elstree Studios
Elstree Studios
* Eon Productions
Eon Productions
* Film4 Productions * Framestore * Goldcrest Films * Hammer Film Productions * HandMade Films
HandMade Films
* Heyday Films * The Imaginarium Studios * London Films * Palace Pictures * Passion Pictures * The Pinewood Studios Group ( Pinewood Studios * Shepperton Studios ) * Recorded Picture Company * Scott Free Productions
Scott Free Productions
* Syncopy Inc. * S4C Films * Thin Man Films * Vertigo Films * Warner Bros. Studios, Leavesden * Warp Films * Wimbledon Studios * Working Title Films

FORMER

* Amicus Productions * Associated British Picture Corporation * Astra Films
Astra Films
* British Instructional Films * British National Films Company * Butcher\'s Film Service * Clarendon Film Company * Bryanston Films * The Danzigers * Denham Film Studios * Eagle-Lion Films * Eros Films
Eros Films
* G. B. Samuelson Productions * Gainsborough Pictures * General Film Distributors * Halas and Batchelor
Halas and Batchelor
* Hemdale Film Corporation * Ideal Film Company * Mancunian Films * MGM-British Studios * Merton Park Studios
Merton Park Studios
* Rank Organisation * Southall Studios
Southall Studios
* Stoll Pictures * Tempean Films
Tempean Films
* Tigon British Film Productions
Tigon British Film Productions
* Warwick Films
Warwick Films
* Woolf border-left-width:2px;border-left-style:solid;width:100%;padding:0px">

* BAFTA * British Board of Film Classification * British Film Institute * BFI National Archive * BFI Southbank * British Society of Cinematographers * Children\'s Film Foundation * Cinema Exhibitors\' Association * National Film and Television School * National Science and Media Museum * Northern Ireland Screen * Scottish Screen * UK Film Council

PEOPLE

* Actors and actresses * Directors

OTHER

* British Academy Film Awards * British Independent Film Awards
British Independent Film Awards
* British New Wave * Carry On * Cinematograph Films Act 1927 * Documentary Film Movement
Documentary Film Movement
* Eady Levy * Ealing comedies * Edgar Wallace Mysteries
Edgar Wallace Mysteries
* Free Cinema * Gainsborough melodramas * Harry Potter * History of British film certificates * Home Video Charts * James Bond * London Film Festival * Look at Life * London in film * National Theatre Live * Telecinema

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