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In its heyday in the 40s and 50s this famous little studio in surburban west London was the independent home of scores of well-paced comedies featuring the likes of Will Hay and George Formby, and from 1948 on aspired a little higher, to quiet comedies of the British character, usually featuring a downtrodden group who rebelled against authority. The resulting films, including The Lavender Hill Mob, Whiskey Galore! and The Titfield Thunderbolt, became known the world over. The credit for these films is largely due to Michael Balcon as impresario, and often to T.E. B. Clarke as writer, and Alec Guinness as actor...
The studios were bought by the BBC in 1955, when Balcon put up a plaque: 'Here films were made projecting Britain and the British character.' The BBC sold them in 1992 to a film company which went into receivership, and the studios were acquired as a home for The National Film and Television School, though continuing to provide production facilities.
From Halliwell's Filmgoers
Companion 12th Ed.
|Foster on Film: Post-War British Comedy -- "Guinness appeared in thirteen of the movies, almost always as the star, including Last Holiday (1950), The Card (1952), The Captain's Paradise (1953), All at Sea (1957), The Horse's Mouth (1958), Our Man in Havana (1959), and the four I have on my list below. He made his greatest fame in David Lean epics (and as the Jedi knight Obi-Wan Kenobi in Star Wars), but his best work, his most interesting, complex, and entertaining portrayals, is in these ‘50s English comedies.|
|The Man In The White Suit||The Lavender Hill Mob|
|Kind Hearts & Coronets||The Ladykillers|