Frank Launder

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Frank Launder
Born(1906-01-28)28 January 1906
Died23 February 1997(1997-02-23) (aged 91)
OccupationFilm director, producer, writer
Spouse(s) Bernadette O'Farrell (1950–1997; his death)
2 children

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. [1] [2]


Early life and career

He was born in Hitchin, Hertfordshire, England and worked briefly as a clerk before becoming an actor and then a playwright. [3]

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). [4]

Sidney Gilliat

Launder first collaborated with Gilliat in 1936 on the film Seven Sinners . [5] 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). [2] [6] [7]

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. [8] [9]

After The Happiest Years of Our Life Launder focused entirely on comedy. [3]

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'. [6]

Personal life

He was married secondly to actress Bernadette O'Farrell from 1950 until his death in Monaco. [5] The couple had two children. [10] Launder also had two children from his first marriage. [5]

Selected films

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  1. "BFI Screenonline: Launder, Frank (1906-1997) Biography". Retrieved 8 June 2021.
  2. 1 2 "Frank Launder".
  3. 1 2 "Obituary: Frank Launder". The Independent . 24 February 1997. Retrieved 27 September 2020.
  4. "BFI Screenonline: Oh, Mr Porter! (1937)".
  5. 1 2 3 "Frank Launder obituary". The Times (65821). 24 February 1997.
  6. 1 2 "BFI Screenonline: Launder and Gilliat". Retrieved 8 June 2021.
  7. "BFI Screenonline: Millions Like Us (1943)".
  8. "Individual Pictures".
  9. "BFI Screenonline: Launder and Gilliat".
  10. "Robin Hood's courageous sweetheart".