Frank Launder (28 January 1906 – 23 February 1997) was a British writer, film director and producer, who made more than 40 films, many of them in collaboration with Sidney Gilliat.
|Born||28 January 1906|
Hitchin, Hertfordshire, England
|Died||23 February 1997 (aged 91)|
|Occupation(s)||Film director, producer, writer|
|Spouse(s)||Bernadette O'Farrell (1950–1997; his death)|
Early life and careerEdit
He was born in Hitchin, Hertfordshire, England and worked briefly as a clerk before becoming an actor and then a playwright.
He began working as a screenwriter on British films in the 1930s, contributing the original story for the classic Will Hay comedy Oh, Mr Porter! (1937).
Launder first collaborated with Gilliat in 1936 on the film Seven Sinners. After writing a number of screenplays with Gilliat, including The Lady Vanishes (1938) for Alfred Hitchcock, and Night Train to Munich for Carol Reed; the two men wrote and directed the wartime drama Millions Like Us (1943).
After founding their own production company Individual Pictures, they produced a number of memorable dramas and thrillers including I See a Dark Stranger (1945) and Green for Danger (1946), but were best known for their comedies including The Happiest Days of Your Life (1950) and most famously, the St Trinian's series, based on Ronald Searle's cartoons set in an anarchic girls school.
After The Happiest Years of Our Life Launder focused entirely on comedy.
According to the British Film Institute 'over a hundred films feature either or in the credits, nearly forty feature both' but this large number was not 'at the expense of quality'.
He was married secondly to actress Bernadette O'Farrell from 1950 until his death in Monaco. The couple had two children. Launder also had two children from his first marriage.
- Under the Greenwood Tree (1929) writer
- Children of Chance (1930) writer
- The W Plan (1930) writer
- Hobson's Choice (1931) writer
- Keepers of Youth (1931) writer
- The Woman Between (1931) writer
- Children of Fortune (1931) writer
- After Office Hours (1932) writer
- Josser in the Army (1932) writer
- For the Love of Mike (1932) writer
- Hawley's of High Street (1933) writer
- Facing the Music (1933) writer
- A Southern Maid (1933) writer
- Those Were the Days (1933) writer
- Get Off My Foot (1935) writer
- Rolling Home (1935) writer
- The Black Mask (1935) writer
- Emil and the Detectives (1935) writer
- Educated Evans (1936) writer
- Twelve Good Men (1936)
- Where's Sally? (1936) writer
- Don't Get Me Wrong (1937) writer
- Oh, Mr Porter! (1937) story
- The Lady Vanishes (1938) writer
- Night Train to Munich (1940) writer
- They Came by Night (1940) writer
- The Young Mr. Pitt (1942) writer
- Millions Like Us (1943) writer/director/producer
- Two Thousand Women (1944) writer/director
- I See a Dark Stranger (1945) writer/director
- Green for Danger (1946) producer
- Captain Boycott (1947) writer/director
- The Blue Lagoon (1949) writer/director/producer
- The Happiest Days of Your Life (1950) writer/director/producer
- Folly to Be Wise (1952) writer/director/producer
- The Story of Gilbert and Sullivan (1953) producer
- The Belles of St. Trinian's (1954) writer/director/producer
- The Constant Husband (1955) producer
- Geordie (1955) co-writer/producer
- The Green Man (1956) writer/producer
- Blue Murder at St Trinian's (1957) writer/director/producer
- Left Right and Centre (1959) writer/producer
- The Bridal Path (1959) writer/director/producer
- The Pure Hell of St Trinian's (1960) writer/director/producer
- Joey Boy (1965) writer/director
- The Great St Trinian's Train Robbery (1966) writer/director
- The Wildcats of St Trinian's (1980) writer/director
- ^ "BFI Screenonline: Launder, Frank (1906-1997) Biography". www.screenonline.org.uk. Retrieved 8 June 2021.
- ^ a b "Frank Launder".
- ^ a b "Obituary: Frank Launder". The Independent. 24 February 1997. Retrieved 27 September 2020.
- ^ "BFI Screenonline: Oh, Mr Porter! (1937)". www.screenonline.org.uk.
- ^ a b c "Frank Launder obituary". The Times. No. 65821. 24 February 1997.
- ^ a b "BFI Screenonline: Launder and Gilliat". www.screenonline.org.uk. Retrieved 8 June 2021.
- ^ "BFI Screenonline: Millions Like Us (1943)". www.screenonline.org.uk.
- ^ "Individual Pictures".
- ^ "BFI Screenonline: Launder and Gilliat". www.screenonline.org.uk.
- ^ "Robin Hood's courageous sweetheart".