Mr. Leslie Gilliat -Producer of many classic British films- A documentary by David Allen

Aug 06, 2014, 11:33 AM

A documentary by David Allen is about Mr. Leslie Gilliat -Location Manager and Producer of many classic British films including three of the fondly remembered St. Trinian's films.

With the new St. Trinian's film directed by Oliver Parker and Barnaby Thompson due for release this autumn, what a wonderful opportunity to look back on the long and distinguished career of Mr. Leslie Gilliat [1917 -] Leslie having worked in the camera department, and as Location Manager and Producer of many films including three of the fondly remembered St. Trinian's films of the 50's and 60's that many now regard as British comedy classics.

Born in 1917, Leslie worked for Gainsborough Pictures between 1936 and 1939 with such comedy stars as Will Hay on Oh, Mr. Porter! [1937] Bud Flanagan, Chesney Allen and the famous comedy troupe The Crazy Gang on Alf's Button Afloat [1938]. Leslie also worked with Alfred Hitchcock as a cameraman on the classic comedy thriller The Lady Vanishes [1938] starring Michael Redgrave and Margaret Lockwood, which was made shortly before Hitchcock moved to Hollywood to film Rebecca [1940] for David O. Selznick.

After serving his country in the Second World War, Leslie joined his older brother Sydney who had formed a prolific writing and directing partnership with his lifelong collaborator Frank Launder, who had both written the screenplay for The Lady Vanishes. The Gilliat brothers and Launder team went on to collaborate on many great British films, such as The Blue Lagoon [1948] starring Jean Simmons, The Green Man [1956] with George Cole, Terry-Thomas and the lugubrious Alistair Sim, The Smallest Show on Earth [1957] with Margaret Rutherford and Peter Sellers, and of course the St. Trinian's films, which starred Alistair Sim in drag as the headmistress Miss Fritton, Terry-Thomas as Captain Romney Carlton-Ricketts, Joyce Grenfell as the hapless Police Sergeant Ruby Gates and George Cole as the lovable rogue Flash Harry.

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Production Team: David Allen - Interviewer & Associate Editor/Producer. Josephine Bloom - Assistant Editor. Nigel Killick - Executive Producer.

We would also like to thank Mr. Leslie Gilliat & Mr. Julian Fox for their help in making this documentary.

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