A film researcher from the University of East Anglia is viewing and blogging the entire back catalogue of movies from Ealing Studios – home of some of the most loved British classic films.
The studio is best known for its prolific output across the 1930s, 40s and 50s which featured stars such as Alec Guinness, George Formby, Jack Hawkins, and Sid James.
Famous titles include Kind Hearts and Coronets, The Lavender Hill Mob and Passport to Pimlico.
Dr Keith M. Johnston, a specialist on British cinema from the university’s School of Film and Television studies, is blogging the films in celebration of the studio’s 80th anniversary this year.
Viewing the films will take Dr Johnston around 200 hours and he plans to watch and write about two films a week.
While many of the movies are readily available on DVD, some will be harder to trace. He will be able to access unreleased material via Studiocanal, which owns the rights to all but a handful of the films.
Dr Johnston says: “I find the company fascinating because it is one of the few times in British cinema that a studio was able to produce a consistently strong series of films that were popular to domestic audiences.
“The films also span a fascinating period in British history – the second world war, a changing British political and cultural landscape, the growth of television as a ‘rival’ to film, and the introduction of new cinema technologies like colour and widescreen.
“Ealing was right in the middle of many of those debates, while at the same time producing a wide range of films from period drama to spy thrillers, supernatural horror to wartime comedy.
“There are huge tracts of Ealing’s output which are rarely talked about so I decided to make my own contribution to the 80th anniversary celebrations. “
To read Dr Johnston’s blog, visit www.keithmjohnston.blogspot.com.