British director Philip Leacock was active in the movie industry from the age of 18. A disciple of documentary filmmaker John Grierson, Leacock assembled such above-average "reality" films as Island People (1946), Out of True (1951) and Festival in London (1951) before switching to non-documentary subjects in 1952. His British features of the 1950s are distinguished by Leacock's expertise at gently coaxing convincing performances from child actors: the best example of this was 1953's The Little Kidnappers (1953). In Hollywood from 1959, Philip Leacock continued to turn out theatrical features while devoting most of his energies to such top-rank television series as Route 66 and Gunsmoke; he also produced the 1974 series The New Land. Philip Leacock was the older brother of director Richard Leacock.