January 2, 2017


Charles Crichton (1910-1999) b. Wallasey, Cheshire, England.

Charles Crichton

Born in Cheshire, England, Charles Crichton began as an editor between 1935-40 with London Films, working with Alexander Korda on Sanders of the River (1935) Things to Come (1936), and Elephant Boy (1937). A meticulous perfectionist, Crichton then started working for Ealing Studios, rising rapidly from editor to producer to director. He directed the comic chiller "The Golfing Story" in the classic horror anthology Dead of Night (1945). Crichton reached his height in comedy, most notably with the East End kids comedy Hue and Cry (1947), the Oscar-winning The Lavender Hill Mob (1951) and the eccentric railway comedy The Titfield Thunderbolt (1953). Crichton briefly left the confines of Ealing to direct the Dirk Bogarde melodrama Hunted (1952). After the closure of Ealing in 1959, Crichton made fewer feature films, becoming instead a prolific director of British television series. Crichton’s post-Ealing films were satisfactory but not particularly well received. Law and Disorder (1958) starred Michael Redgrave as a serial crook trying to prevent his son discovering his immoral past, and The Battle of the Sexes (1959), a Peter Sellers comedy about the hindrance of modernization at a traditional Scottish tweed factory. A black comedy, it misfires, portraying a negative view of women in business. He became a prolific director during the 60′s and 70′s with cult series such as Danger Man, The Avengers, Man in a Suitcase and Space 1999. Crichton continued to do more work in television, directing programmes such as The Professionals and Return of the Saint. Crichton returned to the big screen as the request of John Cleese, to direct A Fish Called Wanda (1988), a black comedy in the Ealing style of Crichton’s earlier work. This was to be his last film. Charles Crichton died in 1999.

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