FOREVER EALING (2002) B/W & C 60m dir: Andrew Shell
narrated by Daniel Day Lewis
From the Turner Classic Movies website at turnerclassicmovies.com in December 2002: "Turner Classic Movies will celebrate the history and influence of England's Ealing Studios with the U.S. premiere of Forever Ealing. Narrated by Daniel Day-Lewis, whose grandfather, Sir Michael Balcon, ran the studio during its heyday, the documentary explores the enduring popularity of the quirky studio responsible for defining British comedy on the big screen. The documentary features interviews with Ealing Studios' stars, craftsmen, and contemporary filmmakers and actors who were influenced by the studio, as well as clips from many of the great films produced at Ealing. To accompany the documentary, TCM will also feature 17 of the best-known Ealing Studios films throughout the month, airing every Thursday. As Ealing Studios celebrates its centennial this year, Forever Ealing explores the studio's history from its origins in 1902 through its most prolific and popular decades of the 1940s and '50s, when it produced such films as THE LADYKILLERS (1955), arguably the most original film comedy ever made, in the story of innocence triumphing over evil as an elderly lady turns the table on her would-be assassins; THE LAVENDER HILL MOB (1951), a tongue-in-cheek crime comedy starring Sir Alec Guinness as a gold thief who eventually gets arrested for his troubles; and KIND HEARTS AND CORONETS (1949), in which Guinness plays numerous roles as different members of the snobbish D'Ascoyne family, each of whom eventually get exactly what they deserve at the hands of a disowned relative. The documentary also traces the studio's historic BBC television productions and ends by exploring the contemporary rebirth of Ealing as the home for films including, An Ideal Husband (1999) and The Importance of Being Earnest (2002), as well as the desire of the present owners to re-create the spirit of Ealing from the 1940s and '50s. Interviewees include Ealing actors Googie Withers and John McCallum watching their own films and commenting on their romantic relationship on &endash; and off &endash; screen. Oscar-winning screenwriter Tibby Clarke and cinematographer Douglas Slocombe will share stories about the creative atmosphere, the main goal of craftsmanship and quality filmmaking, as well as the contributions made by those who worked on films for the studio.
"Contemporary directors Martin Scorsese, Terry Gilliam, Stephen Frears, and John Landis, and stars Rupert Everett, Colin Firth, and Lord Richard Attenborough will discuss how the films made at Ealing have entertained and influenced them. Scorsese relates that KIND HEARTS AND CORONETS was an influence on his film Goodfellas (1990), and Gilliam discusses the inspiration THE MAN IN THE WHITE SUIT (1951) gave him for his film Brazil (1985). Landis shares his views of the studio, including the thought that 'Ealing created wit of an extremely refined, stylized level.' Other interviewees include Ealing actors Jill Balcon and Derek Bond, film historian Philip Kemp, and new studio head Barnaby Thompson. Clips include the only seconds remaining of Ealing's first feature, the 1902 film 60 Years A Queen; The Captive Heart (1946); SCOTT OF THE ANTARCTIC (1948); The Big Blockade (1941); THE CRUEL SEA (1953); and PASSPORT TO PIMLICO (1949)."