Frank Launder left his job as a civil servant because he wanted to entertain, and that he did as a director, screenwriter, and producer — usually in partnership with Sidney Gilliat — of scores of British productions from 1928 until 1980. He is particularly remembered for the “St. Trinian’s” series of films, which began with “The Happiest Days of Your Life” (writer-producer-director, 1950), and focused on a boisterous, unruly school for girls. Together with Gilliat, Launder also wrote “The Lady Vanishes” (1939) for director Alfred Hitchcock, one of the latter’s most successful movies during his British period. The film focused on the disappearance of an older woman and how a younger woman gets caught up in intrigue in the search for the old dame.
Launder joined the Brighton Repertory Company while working as a civil servant, and wrote a play produced by the company, “There Was No Signpost”. This led to a trial as a scriptwriter, beginning with the silent “Cocktails” in 1928. Launder… read more