Michael Balcon


Executive, Producer

About

Also Known As
Sir Michael Balcon
Birth Place
Birmingham, England, GB
Born
May 19, 1896
Died
October 16, 1977

Biography

Influential production executive who gave Alfred Hitchcock his first solo directing job ("The Pleasure Garden" 1925) and later founded Gainsborough Pictures, which produced many of Hitchcock's early classics as well as Robert Flaherty's "Man of Aran" (1933). He also headed Gaumont-British and MGM-British during the 1930s and helmed Ealing Studios from 1937 till 1959, during which time it...

Family & Companions

Aileen Leatherman
Wife
Married in 1924.

Notes

He was Knighted in 1948.

Biography

Influential production executive who gave Alfred Hitchcock his first solo directing job ("The Pleasure Garden" 1925) and later founded Gainsborough Pictures, which produced many of Hitchcock's early classics as well as Robert Flaherty's "Man of Aran" (1933). He also headed Gaumont-British and MGM-British during the 1930s and helmed Ealing Studios from 1937 till 1959, during which time it produced the famous postwar series of comedies including "Kind Hearts and Coronets" (1949), "Whisky Galore" (1949), "The Man in the White Suit" (1951) and "The Lavender Hill Mob" (1952). Balcon later founded Bryanston Films, and took over production at British-Lion in 1964 after a much-publicized battle. Father of former actress Jill Balcon, whose son is actor Daniel Day-Lewis.

Filmography

 

Producer (Feature Film)

A Boy Ten Feet Tall (1965)
Executive Producer
The Long and the Short and the Tall (1961)
Producer
The Scapegoat (1959)
Producer
Nowhere to Go (1959)
Executive Producer
All at Sea (1958)
Executive Producer
Davy (1958)
Executive Producer
Dunkirk (1958)
Executive Producer
Decision Against Time (1957)
Executive Producer
The Divided Heart (1955)
Producer
The Square Ring (1955)
Executive Producer
The Night My Number Came Up (1955)
Producer
The Ladykillers (1955)
Producer
The Feminine Touch (1955)
Producer
Lease of Life (1954)
Producer
The Cruel Sea (1953)
Producer
Mandy (1952)
Producer
The Lavender Hill Mob (1952)
Producer
Ivory Hunter (1951)
Producer
The Man in the White Suit (1951)
Producer
The Blue Lamp (1950)
Producer
The Magnet (1950)
Producer
Passport to Pimlico (1949)
Producer
Whisky Galore! (1949)
Producer
Kind Hearts and Coronets (1949)
Producer
Scott of the Antarctic (1948)
Producer
Saraband for Dead Lovers (1948)
Producer
It Always Rains on Sunday (1947)
Producer
Frieda (1947)
Producer
Nicholas Nickleby (1947)
Producer
Hue and Cry (1947)
Producer
The Overlanders (1946)
Producer
Dead of Night (1945)
Producer
Champagne Charlie (1944)
Producer
The Bells Go Down (1943)
Producer
Went the Day Well? (1942)
Executive Producer
Next of Kin (1942)
Producer
Convoy (1940)
Producer
A Yank at Oxford (1938)
Producer
All In (1936)
Producer
Windbag the Sailor (1936)
Producer
Things Are Looking Up (1935)
Producer
The Camels Are Coming (1934)
Producer
Faithful Heart (1933)
Producer
After the Ball (1933)
Producer
The Good Companions (1933)
Supervisor
Falling For You (1933)
Producer
Sleeping Car (1933)
Producer
The Stronger Sex (1931)
Producer
Woman To Woman (1929)
Producer
The First Born (1928)
Producer
Downhill (1927)
Producer
The Lodger (1927)
Producer
Easy Virtue (1927)
Producer
The Mountain Eagle (1926)
Producer
The Pleasure Garden (1925)
Producer
The Passionate Adventure (1924)
Producer
The White Shadow (1923)
Producer
Woman to Woman (1923)
Producer

Production Companies (Feature Film)

A Boy Ten Feet Tall (1965)
Company
They All Died Laughing (1964)
Company
Nowhere to Go (1959)
Company
All at Sea (1958)
Company
Dunkirk (1958)
Company
Davy (1958)
Company
Decision Against Time (1957)
Company

Life Events

1919

First job as distributor

1923

First film as producer, "Woman to Woman"

1928

Founded Gainsborough Pictures

1931

Appointed head of production at Gaumont-British Studios

1936

Named head of production for MGM-British

1937

Was chief of production and director of Ealing Studios

1959

Founded Bryanston Films

1964

Took over British-Lion Pictures

Videos

Movie Clip

Scapegoat, The (1959) - Traitorous Animals, Cats Melancholy vacationing English teacher Barratt (Alec Guinness) at first doesn't realized he's being shadowed, his first night in a French country town, early in The Scapegoat, 1959, from a Gore Vidal script, co-starring Bette Davis.
Scapegoat, The (1959) - An Emptiness In The Heart Opening the MGM-British production, with affecting narration by Alec Guinness, from Gore Vidal’s screenplay based on Daphne Du Maurier’s novel, as English teacher Barratt, arriving on the ferry at Port Boulogne, Calais, then reaching Le Mans (though the city is never named) and it’s famous cathedral, briefly meeting Peter Bull, in The Scapegoat, 1959, co-starring Bette Davis.
Scapegoat, The (1959) - Lie To Me Later Alec Guinness, who really is Barrat, an English teacher just in from Paris, meets daffy French countess Du Gue (Bette Davis) who believes he's her look-alike nephew, who has disappeared, leaving his troubles to his twin, in The Scapegoat, 1959, from a Daphne Du Maurier novel.
Dunkirk (1958) - There's A Flap On! Tight opening with newsreels and comic shorts establishing late March, 1940, in Belgium British forces including John Mills as Corporal Binns, with Robert Urquhart as witty Mike, and privates Meredith Edwards and Ray Jackson, speculating about the folks back home, in Dunkirk, 1958, from Ealing studios, also starring Richard Attenborough.
Dunkirk (1958) - Be Like Dad -- Keep Mum! In London, March 1940, irritated with sketchy news from the Ministry Of Information, journalist Foreman (Bernard Lee) at his local, joined by his wife (Maxine Audley), tangling with machine shop owner Holden (Richard Attenborough), whom he considers a profiteer, a merchant seaman (Victor Maddern) joining in, early in Dunkirk, 1958.
Dunkirk (1958) - You're Under Orders Now Now in Sheerness, Kent, having sailed their commandeered boats from London, journalist Foreman (Bernard Lee) realizes British forces in France are being routed, tells the naval officer (Michael Gwynn) he’s willing to sail across himself, inspiring young Frankie (Sean Barrett) and previously timid Holden (Richard Attenborough) to volunteer as well, in Dunkirk, 1958.
Yank At Oxford, A (1938) - The Mother In You After colliding again with the dean (Edmund Gwenn), Robert Taylor (as American student Lee Sheridan) visits a bicycle shop where he begins his first-ever scene with Vivien Leigh (as frisky faculty wife "Mrs. Craddock"), in the MGM-British production A Yank At Oxford, 1938.
Let George Do It! (1940) - Good Evening, Herr Hitler Late in the feature and maybe a spoiler, George Formby (as accidental hero-spy Hepplewhite) has been drugged by under-cover Nazis (Garry Marsh, Romney Brent), and dreams of thwarting their schemes, rescuing pretty colleague Mary (Phyllis Calvert) and finally slugging der Führer, in the Formby vehicle Let George Do It!, 1940.
Let George Do It! (1940) - Mr. Wu's A Window Cleaner Now letgeorgedoit_mrwusawindowcleanernow_FC
Let George Do It! (1940) - Have You Anything To Declare? Thinking he’s arriving in Blackpool (not Bergen, Norway!) singer George (Formby) discovers he’s further-accidentally bunked with the wife (Helena Pickard) of mysterious traveling magician Oscar (Bernard Lee), and is helped by a steward (Johnnie Schofield) and a baffled customs official, in the spy-comedy Let George Do It!, 1940.
Let George Do It! (1940) - Grandad's Flannelette Nightshirt Bumbling at the port, George Formby (as traveling banjo-lele player Hepplewhite) vamps (song by Formby, Harry Gifford and Fred E. Cliffe) while bandmate Alf (Hal Gordon) hustles, early in the wartime Formby vehicle Let George Do It!, 1940, also released as To Hell With Hitler (U.S.A.) and DInky-Doo (U.S.S.R.!).
Dead Of Night (1945) - So It Isn't A Dream This Time? Basil Dearden directs this opening bit, as architect Craig (Mervyn Johns), greeted by Foley (Roland Culver) meets Mary Merrall, Googie Withers, Frederick Valk, Antony Baird and Sally Ann Howes, mystery already, in the Ealing Studios light-horror anthology Dead Of Night, 1945.

Trailer

Family

Jill Balcon
Daughter
Actor. Born in 1925.
Daniel Day-Lewis
Grandson
Actor. Mother Jill Balcon.

Companions

Aileen Leatherman
Wife
Married in 1924.

Bibliography

Notes

He was Knighted in 1948.