January 2, 2017


Sidney Gilliat (1908-1994) b. Edgeley, Cheshire, England.

Sidney Gilliat

Sidney Gilliat entered the industry in 1927 and became screenwriter on such classics as The Ghost Train (1931), Rome Express (1932) and Bulldog Jack (1935). Later he began a long and successful partnership with Frank Launder as screenwriters, their early joint credits include Seven Sinners (1936), Alfred Hitchcock’s The Lady Vanishes (1938), Carol Reed‘s Night Train to Munich (1940) and The Young Mr Pitt (1942). From 1945 onward they set up their own production company, the Rank-financed Individual Pictures, writing a batch of excellent films including The Rake’s Progress (1945), I See a Dark Stranger (1946) and Green for Danger (1946). Whilst Launder demonstrated a flair for suspense and intrigue, there was always a strong element of humour in Gilliat’s work, scarcely rich enough to be called satire, but not broad enough for slapstick either. The style is exemplified in The Green Man (1956), Left Right and Centre (1959) and the St. Trinian’s films.

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