The forties: Enter Ealing, 1940– 45
in Charles Crichton
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Chapter 3 recounts Charles Crichton’s activities during World War II. Crichton expected to be called up at the beginning of the conflict, but instead he was recruited by the Brazilian émigré film-maker Alberto Cavalcanti to edit a short documentary called Young Veteran (1940). This was to be the first in a series of such films that Crichton worked on at the new Ealing Shorts Unit. He made his feature-length debut for Ealing as editor of The Big Blockade (1942), and soon after was elevated to the role of ‘associate producer’ on the film Nine Men (1943). His directorial debut, the well-received For Those in Peril, followed in 1944, and he went on to direct Painted Boats and a segment of the Ealing classic Dead of Night (both 1945).


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