Star Archive

Charles Crichton (1910 - 1999)

Charles Crichton was one of Ealing's stalwarts and therefore his name is indelibly linked with the comedies. Yet his career was far more varied than this suggests.

He entered the industry as an editor working on some of London Films more prestigious productions such as The Private Life Of Henry VIII and Things to Come. He moved to Ealing in the war and got a chance to direct the air-sea rescue drama For Those in Peril. Painted Boats showed the gentle, lyrical side to his filmmaking which would be developed more fully later.

The joyous Hue and Cry really put him on the map and kicked off the Ealing Comedy cycle. The fifties were his most productive decade, but the changing fashions of the sixties left him behind. This was exacerbated by his leaving The Birdman of Alcatraz halfway through. TV was kind and he directed episodes of many series including The Avengers and Dick Turpin.

In the seventies he worked for Video Arts, the training film company part-owned by John Cleese. It was through Cleese he got involved in his final project: A Fish Called Wanda. Though listed as co-director, Cleese has always maintained that was a technicality due to the difficulties of insuring Crichton. This was his biggest success and brought him an Oscar nomination.

Still from Hue and CryStill from Hue and CryPressbook cover for Train of EventsStill from The Lavender Hill MobStill from HuntedPoster for The Titfield Thunderbolt

Filmography (as director)

1944 For Those in Peril
1945 Painted Boats
1945 Dead of Night (co.)
1947 Hue and Cry
1948 Against the Wind
1948 Another Shore
1949 Train of Events (co.)
1950 Dance Hall
1951 The Lavender Hill Mob
1951 Hunted
1953 The Titfield Thunderbolt
1954 The Love Lottery
1954 The Divided Heart
1956 The Man in the Sky
1958 Law and Disorder
1958 Floods of Fear
1959 The Battle of the Sexes
1960 The Boy Who Stole a Million
1964 The Third Secret
1965 He Who Rides the Tiger
1968 Tomorrow's Island (short)
1970 London through My Eyes (short)
1983 Perishing Solicitors (short)
1988 A Fish Called Wanda (co.)

 Charles Crichton at Amazon UK

 Charles Crichton at Amazon US