Michael Balcon

Film Producer
Born May 19, 1896

Sir Michael Elias Balcon was an English film producer, known for his work with Ealing Studios.

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1896 Birth Born on May 19, 1896.


1907 11 Years Old Growing up in a respectable but impoverished setting, in 1907 Balcon won a scholarship to Birmingham's George Dixon Grammar School, where a plaque is erected, but had to leave in 1913 owing to his family's financial needs.
1915 19 Years Old He worked as a jeweller's apprentice, was turned down for service in the First World War because of defective eyesight, and joined the Dunlop Rubber Company's huge plant at Aston Cross in 1915, rising to become personal assistant to the managing director. After the war, Balcon's friend Victor Saville suggested a partnership to establish a film distribution company. The company, Victory Motion Pictures, led to them settling in London, and an office in Soho was opened in 1921. … Read More


1924 28 Years Old On 10 April 1924, Balcon married Aileen Freda Leatherman (1904–1988), daughter of Max Jacobs and Beatrice Leatherman, born in Middlesex, but brought up in Johannesburg. … Read More


1931 35 Years Old Still, between 1931 and 1936, Balcon produced a number of classics, including a string of Hitchcock successes (like The 39 Steps) and Man of Aran, known as 'Balcon's folly' for going well over budget.
1934 38 Years Old He also helped individuals escape Nazi Germany, including the actor Conrad Veidt, who had starred in his 1934 film Jew Suss.


1936 40 Years Old By 1936, Gaumont was looking for an entry into the American market, and Balcon spent several months in the country forming links with the big Hollywood studios. … Read More
1938 42 Years Old When Balcon was invited by an old associate of his, Reginald Baker to head Ealing Studios in 1938, he readily agreed. … Read More


1948 52 Years Old Besides Hitchcock, he worked with Basil Dearden, Michael Relph and many other significant figures of British film. He was knighted in 1948. … Read More


1956 60 Years Old As a result, Balcon left Rank in 1956 and set up the production company Ealing Films, striking a distribution and production deal with MGM. … Read More
1959 63 Years Old In 1959 Balcon became chairman of Bryanston Films, a subsidiary of British Lion Films.
1963 67 Years Old The firm went bankrupt in 1963 with Balcon taking over British Lion Films. … Read More
1977 81 Years Old Balcon was an avid theatre and opera goer, loved travel (especially to Italy), and had a wide circle of friends. In 1977, he died peacefully at Upper Parrock, the 15th century house set on a Sussex hilltop near the Kent border where he and his wife had lived since the Second World War. … Read More
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