Sidney Gilliat

Active - 1930 - 1972  |   Born - Feb 15, 1908   |   Died - May 31, 1994   |   Genres - Comedy, Drama, Crime, Mystery, Thriller

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Biography by Hal Erickson

The son of the editor of the London Evening Standard, Sidney Gilliat entered the British film industry as assistant to critic-turned-screenwriter Walter C. Mycroft. In 1929, Gilliat wrote the subtitles for the silent feature Under the Greenwood Tree, based on a novel by his future collaborator Frank Launder. After toting up solo writing credits on such profitable films as Rome Express (1932) and Bulldog Jack (1935), he teamed with Launder on a more-or-less permanent basis. Their joint screenwriting credits include Hitchcock's The Lady Vanishes (1938), Carol Reed's Night Train to Munich (1940) and The Young Mr. Pitt. From 1942 onward, Launder and Gilliat alternated producing and directing chores on most of their film projects; in 1945, they formalized their partnership by founding Individual Pictures. With Launder as producer, Gilliat directed Millions Like Us (1943), Waterloo Road (1944), The Rake's Progress (1945), Green for Danger (1946), State Secret (1950) and many others. While Launder evinced a preference for suspense and intrigue, Gilliat was more at home with comedy. In 1961, Gilliat was appointed chairman of Shepperton Studios. Sidney Gilliat is the brother of producer Leslie Gilliat.

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