Theatrical Release Date: TBC
Home Ent. Release Date: 15 Oct 2006
Cert: Not Rated
FEATURING: KIND HEARTS AND CORONETS THE LADYKILLERS THE LAVENDER HILL MOB THE MAN IN THE WHITE SUIT THE MAGNET PASSPORT TO PIMLICO THE TITFIELD THUNDERBOLT WHISKY GALORE CHAMPAGNE CHARLIE DEAD OF NIGHT THE MAGGIE SCOTT OF THE ANTARCTIC NICHOLAS NICKELBY WENT THE DAY WELL HUE AND CRY IT ALWAYS RAINS ON A SUNDAY The re-release is launched on August 7th 2002 with a very special Gala Screening of The Ladykillers, hosted by the Evening Standard, UGC Cinemas and Optimum Releasing, and introduced by veteran star of the movie Herbert Lom with author of the acclaimed book Forever Ealing George Perry. Made in the 1940s and 1950s, the films feature the best of British comedy actors such as Alec Guinness, Sid James, Dennis Price, Herbert Lom, Peter Sellers, Cecil Parker, Frankie Howard and Joan Greenwood. These English comedy classics have hugely influenced filmmaking in the UK and around the world and have become an important part of world celluloid history. KIND HEARTS AND CORONETS (1949) Louis Mazzini's mother belongs to the aristocratic family D'Ascoyne, but she ran away with an opera singer. Therefore, the D’Ascoynes rejected her and Louis. Once adult, Louis (Dennis Price) decides to avenge his mother and him, by becoming the next Duke of the family. Murdering every potential successor – all famously played by Alec Guinness - is clearly the safest way to achieve his goal. Running time: 106 mins THE LADYKILLERS (1955) Starring Alec Guinness, Peter Sellers, Herbert Lom. A gang planning a 'job' find themselves living with a little old lady, who thinks they are musicians. When the gang set out to kill Mrs Wilberforce, they run into one problem after another, and they get what they deserve. The film won two BAFTAS and was nominated for Best British Film. Running time: 97 mins THE LAVENDER HILL MOB (1951) Holland (Alec Guiness), a shy retiring man dreams of being rich and living the good life. Faithfully, for 20 years, he has worked as a bank transfer agent for the delivery of gold bullion. One day he befriends Pendlebury (Stanley Holloway), a maker of souvenirs. Holland remarks that, with Pendlebury's smelting equipment, one could forge the gold into harmless-looking toy Eiffel Towers and smuggle the gold from England into France. Soon after, the two plant a story to gain the services of professional criminals Lackery (Sid James) and Shorty (Alfie Bass). Together, the four plot their crime, leading to unexpected twists and turns. Running time: 81 mins THE MAN IN THE WHITE SUIT (1951) Sidney Stratton (Alec Guinness), a humble inventor, develops a fabric, which never gets dirty or wears out. This would seem to be a boon for mankind, but the established garment manufacturers don't see it that way; they try to suppress it. Nevertheless, Sidney is determined to put his invention on the market, forcing the clothing factory bigwigs to resort to more desperate measures... Running time: 85 mins THE MAGNET (1950) The Magnet stars a very young James Fox as a small boy who cons a magnet off a smaller boy and then feels guilty after wrongly believing this has led to the other boy’s death. A wonderfully evocative portrait of the trials and tribulations of youth in post-War Liverpool. Running time: 79 mins PASSPORT TO PIMLICO (1949) When an unexploded WWII bomb is accidentally detonated in Pimlico, an area of London, it reveals a treasure trove and documents proving that the region is, in fact part of Burgundy, France and thus foreign territory. The British Government attempts to regain control by setting up border controls and cutting off services to the area. The film was nominated for both an Oscar and a BAFTA. Running time: 84 mins THE TITFIELD THUNDERBOLT (1953) When British Railways announce the closure of the Titfield to Mallingford branch line, a group of local village residents make a bid to run it themselves, backed by a monied member of the community who is attracted by the complete lack of licensing hours on trains. Unfortunately this puts them into direct competition with the local bus company... Running time: 84 mins WHISKY GALORE! (1949) Based on a true story. The name of the real ship, which sunk Feb 5 1941 - during WWII - was S/S Politician. Having left Liverpool two days earlier, heading for Jamaica, it sank outside Eriskay, The Outer Hebrides, Scotland, in bad weather, containing 250,000 bottles of whisky. The locals gathered as many bottles as they could, before the proper authorities arrived, and even today, bottles are found in the sand or in the sea every other year. Running Time: 82 mins CHAMPAGNE CHARLIE (1944) Champagne Charlie is an affectionate behind the scenes look at the colourful life and characters in the music halls of 1860s Victorian England directed by Ealing regular Alberto Cavalcanti (Nicholas Nickleby, Went the Day Well?). When word leaks out that the music halls are going to be closed down because of their boisterous and unruly reputation, two rivals join forces in a desperate attempt to save the hall from closure. Running Time: 107 mins DEAD OF NIGHT (1945) Starring Mervyn Johns, Michael Redgrave and Googie Withers, Dead of Night represented a departure for Ealing from the classic comedy mould and is instead a spooky psychological thriller made up of 5 chilling ghost stories. An architect visits a country house only to get trapped in recurring nightmare involving tales of the occult told by fellow guests at the manor. Dead of Night preyed masterfully upon the traumatized country’s post war paranoia. Running Time: 102 mins THE MAGGIE (1953) Also directed by Alexander Mackendrick is the well-crafted and heart warming comedy The Maggie. Beautifully photographed on location in Scotland, the film tells the story of a skipper who tricks a wealthy American into entrusting him to ship valuable cargo on a dilapidated old puffer boat called The Maggie. The American tycoon realises his mistake and tries to straighten it out, but he is up against the scheming crew of the Maggie who are determined to outwit the American and keep the contract. A thoroughly delightful comedy about the clash of the modern world with antiquated ways of life, The Maggie is one of Ealing Studio’s forgotten treasures and a must-see for fans of the genre. Running time: 92 mins SCOTT OF THE ANTARCTIC (1948) John Mills stars as Captain Robert Scott in this film of the explorer’s ill-fated expedition to be the first man to discover the South Pole. Directed by Charles Frend who went on to direct The Magnet, the film was nominated for both the Golden Lion in Venice and the BAFTA for Best British Film. NICHOLAS NICKLEBY (1947) Based on Charles Dickens’ novel, Nicholas Nickleby tells the story of the eponymous hero and his attempts to escape the clutches of his greedy moneylender Uncle Ralph by joining a troope of actors. Staying true to the dark mood of the book, Ealing stalwart Alberto Cavalcanti conjures up a triumphantly atmospheric adaptation of the literary classic featuring great performances from Cedric Hardwicke and Derek Bond, who went on to star in several other Ealing classics. WENT THE DAY WELL? (1942) Based on a story by Graham Greene, Went The Day Well tells the story of an English village occupied by disguised German paratroopers setting up an advance post for the planned invasion. Running time: 92 mins HUE AND CRY (1947) Hue and Cry has since become known as the first of the Ealing comedies proper, and was also the first to make brilliant use of post-war London outside locations. The story follows a boy who becomes convinced that a major heist is being planned and executed through the pages of boys’ weekly serial The Trump. Having been laughed out of the police station, he and the rest of his friends set about entrapping the culprits and exposing the plot. Running time: 82 mins IT ALWAYS RAINS ON SUNDAY (1947) Another break away from Ealing’s predominantly comedic output, It Always Rains on Sunday moves into the terrain of serious drama. Directed by Robert Hamer (Kind Hearts and Coronets), It Always Rains on Sunday stars Googie Withers as Rose Sandigate, a Bethnal Green housewife whose Sunday is turned upside down by the re-appearance of an old flame who is now an escaped convict seeking protection from the police. A detailed glimpse into life in London’s East End post WWII, It Always Rains on Sunday was Googie Wither’s last film for Ealing Studios and, due to her wonderful performance as a woman trapped in a claustrophobic domesticity, it remains one of her best. Running time: 92 mins Released in the decade spanning 1945 – 1955, these titles truly define the Golden Age of the world renowned Ealing Studios. Together for the first time in this box-set the films feature the cream of British acting talent and have a universal appeal that will simply never be surpassed.