The Secret Life of Ealing Studios: Britain’s Favourite Film Studio

By Robert Sellers

Dean Street Press

As seen in:

“This lively, funny, moving history of a movie studio and the people who made it feels uncannily like … an Ealing comedy.” Martin Scorsese

A behind-the-scenes account of life at Ealing Studios – one of the great cinematic success stories of post-war Britain, and a byword for a particular strain of comic film-making that continues to inspire imitators over half a century on.

This is the only full narrative history of Ealing, focusing on its output in the 1940s and ’50s, when the movies made there were in astonishing (and revealing) synchronicity with the national mood. Told through the memories of the people who worked and performed there, The Secret Life of Ealing Studios explores how a small group of maverick film-makers, some of Britain’s most fondly-remembered movie stars, and a lot of unsung backroom boys and girls created pictures that presented a unique and enduring view of British identity, and which have since become classics.

The films include such evergreens as Hue and CryPassport to PimlicoKind Hearts and CoronetsWhisky GaloreThe Lavender Hill MobThe Man in the White Suit and The Ladykillers, along with war films such as The Cruel Sea.

At the heart of the story is the figure of Michael Balcon – perhaps the closest Britain has ever come to producing a movie mogul in the Hollywood mould – and iconic actors such as Peter Sellers, Alec Guinness, Margaret Rutherford and Sid James.

Available in paperback, hardback and Kindle edition.