Charles Crichton was one of Ealing's stalwarts and therefore his name is indelibly linked with the comedies. Yet his career was far more varied than this suggests.
He entered the industry as an editor working on some of London Films more prestigious productions such as The Private Life Of Henry VIII and Things to Come. He moved to Ealing in the war and got a chance to direct the air-sea rescue drama For Those in Peril. Painted Boats showed the gentle, lyrical side to his filmmaking which would be developed more fully later.
The joyous Hue and Cry really put him on the map and kicked off the Ealing Comedy cycle. The fifties were his most productive decade, but the changing fashions of the sixties left him behind. This was exacerbated by his leaving The Birdman of Alcatraz halfway through. TV was kind and he directed episodes of many series including The Avengers and Dick Turpin.
In the seventies he worked for Video Arts, the training film company part-owned by John Cleese. It was through Cleese he got involved in his final project: A Fish Called Wanda. Though listed as co-director, Cleese has always maintained that was a technicality due to the difficulties of insuring Crichton. This was his biggest success and brought him an Oscar nomination.
|1944||For Those in Peril|
|1945||Dead of Night (co.)|
|1947||Hue and Cry|
|1948||Against the Wind|
|1949||Train of Events (co.)|
|1951||The Lavender Hill Mob|
|1953||The Titfield Thunderbolt|
|1954||The Love Lottery|
|1954||The Divided Heart|
|1956||The Man in the Sky|
|1958||Law and Disorder|
|1958||Floods of Fear|
|1959||The Battle of the Sexes|
|1960||The Boy Who Stole a Million|
|1964||The Third Secret|
|1965||He Who Rides the Tiger|
|1968||Tomorrow's Island (short)|
|1970||London through My Eyes (short)|
|1983||Perishing Solicitors (short)|
|1988||A Fish Called Wanda (co.)|
Charles Crichton at Amazon UK
Charles Crichton at Amazon US