Ealing Studios Comedy Collection
Ealing Studios’ output from the 1940s and 1950s helped define what was arguably the golden age of British cinema. Featuring contributions from Ealing regulars such as screenwriter T.E.B. Clarke (The Lavender Hill Mob, Sons and Lovers) and directors Charles Crichton (Dead of Night, A Fish Called Wanda) and Alexander MacKendrick (The Ladykillers, Sweet Smell of Success), this digitally restored 4-disc collection includes some of the most beloved comedy films of the postwar era.
Includes: WHISKY GALORE! (1948), PASSPORT TO PIMLICO (1949), THE TITFIELD THUNDERBOLT (1953), THE MAGGIE (1954)
- "Film Movement has been bringing out a steady supply of Ealing films, and this two-fer is another hugely welcome release. If you've ever seen either or both of these films, my hunch is you'll be generally very well pleased with the technical presentations, and the supplements on the Whisky Galore! disc are outstanding. Highly recommended. "
- "Both films are a product of their time, and while neither one completely knocked my socks off, I found them both to be relatively enjoyable. I’m sure there are people who fondly remember these films from their childhood, though, and they’ll appreciate finally having access to these films on home video. "
- "As usual for Ealing, the picture is brimming with delightful character portraits, from a dying man's (James Anderson) resurrection with the arrival of the stolen liquor, to mama's boy George's (Gordon Jackson) hilarious defiance of his stern, religious mother (Jean Cadell) after finding courage in several glasses of the newly-opened whiskey. Though a comedy, the film has exceptionally dramatic monochrome photography by Gerald Gibbs, images so good as to evoke memories of another classic of British cinema, Michael Powell's The Edge of the World (1937). The mostly Scottish cast includes perennial favorites like James Robertson Justice, Gordon Jackson, and Duncan Macrae (Finlay Currie narrates), but also eccentrically sexy Joan Greenwood"
- "Ostensibly, this most underestimated of Ealing comedies is a cross between Whisky Galore! and The Titfield Thunderbolt - a whimsical story about a crew of canny Clydebankers giving a brash American a torrid time after being assigned to carry his property aboard their clapped-out steamer. Don't be fooled, however, by the leisurely pace, the gentle humour and the relatively good-natured conclusion. In reality, it's a wicked little satire on the mutual contempt that underlies Euro-American relations, and few could have handled it with such incisive insight as American-born Scot Alexander Mackendrick."
- "It's hard not to be swept up in The Titfield Thunderbolt's communal spirit, the earnestness of its characters, and its love of old-fashioned trains (one featured in the film dates back to 1838!). There's a real sweetness that evokes a simpler time in the community's willingness to "get out and push" as it were, to preserve a mode of transportation vanishing from the English countryside as this was being made, just as The Maggie paid tribute to life aboard the nearly-extinct "puffers." You'll likely be rooting on the determined leads much like Titfield's residents. Douglas Slocombe's lush photography of Ealing's first in Technicolor is mesmerizing all by itself, and adds enormously to the film's richly rural atmosphere.... The cast is peerless, and there are many uniquely Ealing-esque moments throughout...."
- "Perhaps the most Ealingish of the Ealing comedies, celebrating the cosy sense of wartime togetherness recaptured when the inhabitants of Pimlico, discovering their hereditary independence from Britain, set up a restriction-free (but soon beleaguered and ration-hit) state. "
Awards & Recognition
Top Foreign Film
National Board of Review
Best British Film
Best Writing, Story & Screenplay
Cannes Film Festival