Star Archive


Alastair Sim (1900 - 1976) 

If British cinema excelled in one thing, it was in producing eccentric character actors. Alastair Sim was king of them all. With his great dome of a head and bulging eyes he had the features of a comic and also possessed the intelligence to use them to their full advantage.

He was born in Edinburgh and started his working life in the family tailoring business. The call of the stage proved too strong to resist and he was soon doing small parts in the West End. Pretty soon he was also doing small parts in Fox' quota quickies. As the parts got bigger the public took more notice and it was with the Inspector Hornleigh series that he really broke through, playing side-kick to Gordon Harker.

The golden period started in the mid-forties. He created a gallery of memorable characters such as Inspector Cockerill in Green For Danger, the spiritualist in London Belongs to Me and the headmaster battling against Margaret Rutherford in The Happiest Days of Your Life. One of his most distinctive roles was as the headmistress in The Belles of St Trinian's: all the familiar Sim gestures are present, but softened and feminised.   

With the advent of the swinging sixties the film roles dried up but he'd always had a thriving stage career so he was rarely out of work. From 1967-71 he did three series of the sit-com Misleading Cases as the judge presiding over Roy Dotrice's bizarre legal complaints (only four episodes of this series is known to exist).

Still from Alf's Button AfloatStill from Green for DangerStill from The Happiest Days of Your LifeStill from The Happiest Days of Your LifeOn the set of An Inspector CallsStill from Left, Right and Centre

Filmography

1935  The Case of Gabriel Parry
1935 Riverside Murder
1935 Private Secretary
1935 A Fire Has Been Arranged
1935 Late Extra
1936 Troubled Waters
1936 Wedding Group
1936 The Big Noise
1936 Keep Your Seats Please
1936 The Man in the Mirror
1936 The Mysterious Mr Davis
1937 Strange Experiment
1937 Clothes and the Woman
1937 Gangway
1937 The Squeaker
1937 A Romance in Flanders
1937 Melody and Romance
1938 Sailing Along
1938 The Terror
1938 Alf's Button Afloat
1938 This Man is News
1938 Climbing High
1939 Inspector Hornleigh
1939 This Man in Paris
1939 Inspector Hornleigh On Holiday
1940 Law and Disorder
1941 Inspector Hornleigh Goes To It
1941 Cottage to Let
1942 Let the People Sing
1944 Waterloo Road
1946 Green For Danger
1946 Hue and Cry
1947 Captain Boycott
1948 London Belongs to Me
1950 Stage Fright
1950 The Happiest Days of Your Life
1951 Laughter in Paradise
1951 Scrooge
1951 Lady Godiva Rides Again
1952 Folly to be Wise
1953 Innocents in Paris
1953 An Inspector Calls
1954 The Belles of St. Trinian's
1955 Escapade
1955 Geordie
1956 The Green Man
1957 Blue Murder at St. Trinian's
1959 The Doctor's Dilemma
1959 Left, Right and Centre
1960 The Millionairess
1960 School for Scoundrels
1972 The Ruling Class
1975 Royal Flash
1976 Escape from the Dark

 Alastair Sim at Amazon UK

 Alastair Sim at Amazon US