11 of the Best Ealing comedies

Last updated on the 29 March 2024 by Maeve

Ealing Comedies

Image of Ealing comedies

The Ealing comedies were a series of British films produced by Ealing Studios between 1947 and 1957, known for their wit, satire and often eccentric characters.

 

Passport to Pimlico (1949)

Passport to Pimlico (1949)

 

The first of our the Ealing comedies is Passport to Pimlico. It revolves around the discovery of an ancient document that declares a small London neighborhood as an independent state, leading to conflicts with the British government and other communities, resulting in humorous chaos and a spirited fight for freedom and identity.

Top cast: Stanley Holloway, Betty Warren, Barbara Murray, Paul Dupuis, John Slater, Jane Hylton, Raymond Huntley.

 

Hue and Cry (1947)

Hue and Cry (1947)

 

Our next Ealing comedy is Hue and Cry. It follows a group of youngsters who stumble upon hidden clues in a comic that reveal an underground criminal gang operating in their city, leading them on an exciting adventure to uncover the truth and bring the criminals to justice with their clever wit and determination.

Top cast: Alastair Sim, Harry Fowler, Douglas Barr, Joan Dowling, Jack Warner, Valerie White, John Hudson.

 

The Ladykillers (1955)

The Ladykillers (1955)

 

The Ladykillers follows a group of eccentric criminals who pose as musicians and rent a room from an unsuspecting old lady, but their plans go awry when she discovers their true intentions, leading to hilarious and suspenseful situations as they try to silence her without raising suspicion.

Top cast: Alec Guinness, Cecil Parker, Herbert Lom, Peter Sellers, Danny Green, Katie Johnson, Jack Warner, Philip Stainton, Frankie Howerd.

 

The Man in the White Suit (1951)

The Man in the White Suit (1951)

 

The next of the Ealing comedies is The Man in the White Suit. A satirical comedy about Sidney, a maverick scientist who invents an indestructible fabric. However, his creation threatens the livelihood of textile workers and puts him at odds with both employers and trade unions. Chaos ensues as everyone tries to control or destroy the revolutionary invention.

Top cast: Alec Guinness, Joan Greenwood, Cecil Parker, Michael Gough, Ernest Thesiger, Howard Marion-Crawford, Vida Hope, Miles Malleson.

 

Kind Hearts and Coronets (1949)

Kind Hearts and Coronets (1949)

 

“Kind Hearts and Coronets” is a black comedy that follows the cunning Louis Mazzini, who seeks revenge on his aristocratic family by eliminating eight relatives standing between him and the dukedom they wrongfully possess. With charm and wit, he methodically plots their demise to claim his rightful place in society.

Top cast: Dennis Price, Valerie Hobson, Joan Greenwood, Alec Guinness, Audrey Fildes, Miles Malleson, Clive Morton, John Penrose.

 

The Lavender Hill Mob (1951)

The Lavender Hill Mob (1951)

 

The Lavender Hill Mob revolves around a mild-mannered bank clerk who hatches an audacious plan to steal gold bullion by melting it into miniature Eiffel Towers, but his heist takes unexpected turns as the lovable criminals find themselves embroiled in a series of comedic misadventures.

Top cast: Alec Guinness, Stanley Holloway, Sidney James, Alfie Bass, Marjorie Fielding, Edie Martin, John Salew.

 

His Excellency (1952)

His Excellency (1952)

 

In the midst of a tumultuous period involving local dockyard workers, George Harrison, known for his straightforward demeanor, is appointed as the governor of Arista, a Spanish-speaking Mediterranean island under British rule. Upon arrival, he finds himself entangled in conflicts with both his own staff and the defiant workers who incessantly strike and riot, refusing to heed his authority.

Top cast: Eric Portman, Cecil Parker, Helen Cherry, Susan Stephen, Edward Chapman, Clive Morton, Alec Mango, Geoffrey Keen, John Salew.

 

The Magnet (1950)

The Magnet, Ealing Comedies

 

In this captivating tale from Ealing comedies , we follow the mischievous escapades of a young boy named Johnny Brent. In an act of cunning, he manages to deceive another student at his school into relinquishing a powerful magnet. Little does Johnny know that this seemingly harmless acquisition will soon lead him down a path filled with unforeseen consequences.

Top cast: James Fox, Kay Walsh, Stephen Murray, Meredith Edwards, Gladys Henson, Thora Hird, Michael Brooke, Wylie Watson, Julien Mitchell.

 

A Run for Your Money (1949)

A Run for Your Money (1949)

 

“A Run for Your Money” is an Ealing Comedies film that follows two Welsh coal miners who win a trip to London and get caught up in various misadventures while trying to spend their prize money. The film showcases the clash of cultures between rural Wales and urban London, resulting in comic situations and witty dialogue.

Top cast: Donald Houston, Meredith Edwards, Moira Lister, Alec Guinness, Hugh Griffith, Clive Morton, Leslie Perrins, Joan Rice.

 

The Titfield Thunderbolt (1953)

The Titfield Thunderbolt

 

This Ealing comedies story revolves around a group of villagers who fight to save their beloved railway line from closure by running it themselves. With humour and determination, they face various challenges while trying to keep the titular steam locomotive thundering along the tracks.

Top cast: Stanley Holloway, George Relph, Naunton Wayne, John Gregson, Hugh Griffith, Gabrielle Brune, Sid James, Godfrey Tearle.

 

Whisky Galore! (1949)

Whisky Galore! (1949)

 

Our final of the Ealing Comedies id Whisky Galore! It tells the humorous tale of a Scottish island community during World War II, where the locals try to salvage and hide a shipwreck’s cargo of whisky from authorities, leading to comedic escapades as they navigate strict regulations and moral dilemmas.

Top cast: Basil Radford, Joan Greenwood, Catherine Lacey, Bruce Seton, Wylie Watson, Morland Graham, Jean Cadell, James Robertson Justice.

 

External Links

Ealing Studios website

Ealing Studios @ Wikipedia

 

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