|Died||23 February 1997 91) (aged|
|Occupation||Film director, producer, writer|
|Spouse(s)|| Bernadette O'Farrell (1950–1997; his death)|
Frank Launder (28 January 1906 – 23 February 1997) was a British writer, film director and producer, who made more than 40 films, many of them in collaboration with Sidney Gilliat.
He was born in Hitchin, Hertfordshire, England and worked briefly as a clerk before becoming an actor and then a playwright.
He began working as a screenwriter on British films in the 1930s, contributing the original story for the classic Will Hay comedy Oh, Mr Porter! (1937).
Launder first collaborated with Gilliat in 1936 on the film Seven Sinners .After writing a number of screenplays with Gilliat, including The Lady Vanishes (1938) for Alfred Hitchcock, and Night Train to Munich for Carol Reed; the two men wrote and directed the wartime drama Millions Like Us (1943).
After founding their own production company Individual Pictures, they produced a number of memorable dramas and thrillers including I See a Dark Stranger (1945) and Green for Danger (1946), but were best known for their comedies including The Happiest Days of Your Life (1950) and most famously, the St Trinian's series, based on Ronald Searle's cartoons set in an anarchic girls school.
After The Happiest Years of Our Life Launder focused entirely on comedy.
According to the British Film Institute 'over a hundred films feature either or in the credits, nearly forty feature both' but this large number was not 'at the expense of quality'.
He was married secondly to actress Bernadette O'Farrell from 1950 until his death in Monaco.The couple had two children. Launder also had two children from his first marriage.
Sidney Gilliat was an English film director, producer and writer.
The Great St. Trinian's Train Robbery is a British comedy film, directed by Frank Launder and Sidney Gilliat, written by Sidney and Leslie Gilliat, and released on 4 April 1966. It is the last of the original series of films based on the St Trinian's School set of images and comics, and the only one to be produced in colour. The film stars a selection of actors from previous films in the series, including George Cole, Richard Wattis, Eric Barker, Michael Ripper, and Raymond Huntley, alongside Frankie Howerd, Reg Varney, Dora Bryan, and the voice of Stratford Johns.
Oh, Mr Porter! is a 1937 British comedy film starring Will Hay with Moore Marriott and Graham Moffatt and directed by Marcel Varnel. While not Hay's commercially most successful, it is probably his best-known film to modern audiences. It is widely acclaimed as the best of Hay's work, and a classic of its genre. The film had its first public showing in November 1937 and went on general release on 3 January 1938. The plot of Oh, Mr Porter was loosely based on the Arnold Ridley play The Ghost Train. The title was taken from Oh! Mr Porter, a music hall song.
Bernard Vorhaus was an American film director born in New York City, of German descent, who spent many decades living in the UK. He worked early in his career as a screenwriter and co-produced the film The Singing City. He was blacklisted in Hollywood for his communist sympathies, and returned to England, where he resumed his career; he was known alongside Michael Powell for his quota quickies, he had also worked in Europe.
The Happiest Days of Your Life is a 1950 British comedy film directed by Frank Launder, based on the 1947 play of the same name by John Dighton. The two men also wrote the screenplay. It is one of a stable of classic British film comedies produced by Frank Launder and Sidney Gilliat for British Lion Film Corporation. The film was made on location in Liss and at Riverside Studios, London. In several respects, including some common casting, it was a precursor of St. Trinian's films of the 1950s.
Michael George Ripper was an English character actor born in Portsmouth, Hampshire.
Marcel Varnel was a film director. He was born Marcel Hyacinthe le Bozec in Paris, France.
Basil Herbert Dean CBE was an English actor, writer, film producer/film director and theatrical producer/director. Together with Leslie Henson, he set up the Entertainments National Service Association, or ENSA, in 1939 to provide entertainment for British armed forces personnel during the Second World War.
Charles Herbert Frend was an English film director and editor, best known for his films produced at Ealing Studios. He began directing in the early 1940s and is known for such films as Scott of the Antarctic (1948) and The Cruel Sea (1953).
John Paddy Carstairs was a British film director (1933–62) and television director (1962–64), usually of light-hearted subject matter. He was also a comic novelist and painter.
Arthur Crabtree was a British cinematographer and film director. He directed several of the Gainsborough Melodramas.
Jameson Thomas was an English film actor. He appeared in 82 films between 1923 and 1939.
Donald Esme Clayton Calthrop was an English stage and film actor.
Edward Black was a British film producer, best known for being head of production at Gainsborough Studios in the late 1930s and early 1940s, during which time he oversaw production of the Gainsborough melodramas. He also produced such classic films as The Lady Vanishes (1938). Black has been called "one of the unsung heroes of the British film industry." In 1946 Mason called Black "the one good production executive" that J. Arthur Rank had. Frank Launder called Black "a great showman and yet he had a great feeling for scripts and spent more time on them than anyone I have ever known. His experimental films used to come off as successful as his others."
The Constant Husband is a 1955 British comedy film, directed by Sidney Gilliat and starring Rex Harrison, Margaret Leighton, Kay Kendall, Cecil Parker, George Cole and Raymond Huntley. The story was written by Gilliat together with Val Valentine, and the film was produced by Individual Pictures, Gilliat's and Frank Launder's joint production company. Because the film got caught up in the 1954 bankruptcy of British Lion Film Corporation, it was not released until more than seven months after it had been finished and reviewed by the British Board of Film Censors.
Walter Forde was a British actor, screenwriter and director. Born in Lambeth, south London in 1898, he directed over fifty films between 1919 from the silent era through to 1949 in the sound era. He died in Los Angeles, California in 1984.
Gordon Wong Wellesley was an Australian-born screenwriter and writer of Chinese descent. Born in Sydney in 1894 He wrote over thirty screenplays in the United States and Britain, often collaborating with the director Carol Reed. He began his career in Hollywood in the early 1930s and worked in Britain beginning about 1935. He was married to the scriptwriter Katherine Strueby. He was nominated for an Oscar for Best Writing, Original Story at the 1942 Oscars for Night Train to Munich, which was based on his novel, Report on a Fugitive.
Bernadette O'Farrell was an Irish actress. She was born in Birr, County Offaly, Irish Free State. She was married to the film writer, director and producer Frank Launder from 1950 until his death in 1997. They had two daughters together.
Jerome Jackson (1898–1940) was an American film producer and script writer.
Walter Charles Mycroft was a British novelist, screenwriter, film producer and director. In the 1920s he was film critic of the London Evening Standard, and a founder of the London Film Society, before joining the film industry.