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Ealing Comedies

MUBI Special

Revisit the golden era of post-war British comedies with a series of films produced by London-based Ealing Studios. Frequently starring Alec Guinness, these comic treasures include such wry classics as The Ladykillers (later remade by the Coen brothers) as well as Kind Hearts and Coronets.

Kind Hearts and Coronets

Robert Hamer United Kingdom, 1949


Our Ealing comedies series concludes with the studio’s (and director Robert Hamer’s) uncontested finest 1 hour and 46 minutes. Unlike most of the Ealing films that preceded it, this comedy is ink-black, the politics subversive, and the values amoral. Starring Alec Guinness in 8 different roles!

The Lavender Hill Mob

Charles Crichton United Kingdom, 1951


Long before Ocean’s 11 (the original!), director Charles Crighton and Ealing Studios assembled a lovable cast of eccentrics for a hectic and unpredictable bank heist you won’t soon forget. The Lavender Hill Mob is brilliantly spry entertainment, which exemplifies the British comedy at its finest.

The Maggie

Alexander Mackendrick United Kingdom, 1954


After the incisive satire of The Man in the White Suit, the great Alexander Mackendrick continued his cinematic project regarding the struggles with modernity of the working class, but this time on the open sea. The Maggie is yet another perfectly pitched humanist comedy from Ealing Studios.

The Man in the White Suit

Alexander Mackendrick United Kingdom, 1951


We continue our trip into the comic world of Ealing Studios with a Kafka-esque fable of exploitation, doubling as an ode to creation. Starring Alec Guinness long before his newfound fame with Star Wars, this concise comedy is composed of nothing less than brilliance, character, and style.

Whisky Galore!

Alexander Mackendrick United Kingdom, 1949


With an alluring scenario involving the recovery of a booty of (the titular) whiskey, Whiskey Galore! has the perfect charm found in so many of Ealing Studio’s productions. This is one of the most renowned British comedies for good reason: its hilarity and satirical edge are both truly singular.

The Ladykillers

Alexander Mackendrick United Kingdom, 1955


Today we launch a retrospective devoted to the film company behind the golden era of post-war British comedies, Ealing Studios. We begin with one of the very best: Forget the misguided Coen brothers remake, Alexander Mackendrick’s 1955 gem starring Alec Guinness is a wickedly funny classic.

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