The forties: 1946– 49
in Charles Crichton
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Chapter 4 covers Charles Crichton’s career in the latter part of the forties. Following the end of World War II, Alberto Cavalcanti, the man who had recruited Crichton, quit Ealing Studios, reportedly in a dispute over money. Studio boss Michael Balcon proceeded to outline an approach to film-making that aimed to explore all elements of post-war British society while keeping costs low enough to be sustainable on the domestic market alone. Crichton, meanwhile, remained busy racking up more directorial credits on the trail-blazing Ealing comedy Hue and Cry (1947), the ‘mistimed’ war film Against the Wind (1948) and the tonally inconsistent Another Shore (1948), a whimsical ‘comedy-tragedy’ that Crichton himself preferred to forget. One of his most important contributions to the Ealing brand, however, was his uncredited intervention in Alexander Mackendrick’s Whisky Galore (1949), which helped turn around a troubled production and led to what may be the studio’s biggest global hit.

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