Santa brought me the five disc collector’s edition of “The Best of Ealing Studios.” That’s because Santa knows that I now live about a mile away from this historic West London film production studio, which claims to be the world’s oldest film studio and began churning out silent pictures way back in 1902.
The studio’s glory years were the 1940s and 1950s when it produced a series of British film classics including “The Ladykillers” and “The Lavender Hill Mob” with stars such as Alec Guinness and Michael Redgrave.
After decades of little or no activity in the second half of the 20th Century, Ealing Studios is back. In 2000, it was purchased by filmmaker Barnaby Thompson and partners who launched the Studios’ comeback in 2002 with the release of “The Importance of Being Earnest” starring Judi Dench, Rupert Everett and Colin Firth.
It’s part of my Doolittle Project to absorb 2,000 years of British history and culture as quickly as possible. My “Best of Ealing Studios” collection is helping. Yesterday was “Kind Hearts and Coronets.” Tonight, “Passport to Pimlico.”
British Film Institute Online Interactive documentary on the Ealing Studios, narrated by controversial comedian and BBC television presenter Jonathan Ross (who’s on his best behavior here). http://www.screenonline.org.uk/tours/ross/tourross.html
BBC video interview with current Ealing Studios head Barnaby Thompson. Wikipedia, of course.