Sidney Gilliat biography

Sidney Gilliat

Screenwriter, Film director

1908 – 1994


Who was Sidney Gilliat?

Sidney Gilliat was an English film director, producer and writer.

He was born in the district of Edgeley in Stockport, Cheshire. In the 1930s he worked as a scriptwriter, most notably with Frank Launder on The Lady Vanishes for Alfred Hitchcock, and its sequel Night Train to Munich, directed by Carol Reed. He and Launder made their directorial debut co-directing the home front drama Millions Like Us. From 1945 he also worked as a producer, starting with The Rake's Progress, which he also wrote and directed. He and Launder made over 40 films together, founding their own production company Individual Pictures. While Launder concentrated on directing their comedies, most famously the four St Trinian's School films, Gilliat showed a preference for comedy-thrillers and dramas, including Green for Danger, London Belongs to Me and State Secret.

He wrote the libretto for Malcolm Williamson's opera Our Man in Havana, based on the novel by Graham Greene. He had also worked on the film.

He married Beryl Brewer in the early 1930s. He had two children: Joanna Gilliat, who is a journalist and is married to Edward Russell, a pilot and Caroline Gilliat, who was an opera singer and teacher, who was married to Anthony Cave Brown. He had 3 grandchildren, Amanda Eliasch, Toby Brown and Camilla Horn. He also had four great-grandchildren Charles and Jack Eliasch and Lara and Alicia Horn. He died in Wiltshire, England in May 1994 aged 86.


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Feb 15, 1908
Also known as
  • Sydney Gilliat
  • S. Gilliat
  • Sidney Gilliatt
  • Sidney Giliat
  • England
May 31, 1994

on July 23, 2013

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