Ealing Studios output from the 1940s and 1950s helped define what was arguably the golden age for British cinema. It fostered great directors such as Alexander Mackendrick and Robert Hamer, while giving stars such as Alec Guinness and Peter Sellers the chance to shine.
These four classic films are testament to the studio's considerable influence on film-making both in the UK and beyond.
When 50,000 cases of whisky are stranded on a ship which runs aground, the inhabitants of a Scottish island cannot resist the temptation. Only an English Homeguard captain (played by the brilliant Basil Radford) stands in their way. Directed by Ealing stalwart Alexander Mackendric (The Ladykillers, The Man In The White Suit), Whisky Galore! is an 100% proof comedy classic.
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.
Directed by Alexander Mackendrick, The Maggie is a heart warming comedy set in Scotland, about 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 goes up against the scheming crew of the Maggie who are determined to outwit the American and keep the contract. The Maggie is one of Ealing Studios' forgotten treasures and a must-see for fans of the genre.
It Always Rains On Sunday:
Directed by Robert Hamer (Kind Hearts and Coronets), starring 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 rare glimpse into life in London's East End post WWII. It Always Rains on Sunday was Googie Withers' 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.
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