The Ealing Comedies - a social history

Ref: C2339101

The Ealing comedies (eg. Passport to Pimlico, Kind Hearts and Coronets) are a much loved body of work. But are they more than that? The course will explore how the films reflect the times in which they were made. We will also look at how the studio operated to produce a distinctive and very interesting set of films. Along the way we will look at the subtle differences between the films and at the personality and vision of Sir Michael Balcon who ran the studio as a kind of creative family. The course will lead to a richer response to the films and an enhanced appreciation of how significant they were and remain.

Course aim

The comedy films made by the Ealing Studios after the war are much loved.. But are they more than that? Enhance your enjoyment of some great films.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • No skills or experience needed

By the end of the course I should be able to:

  • Distinguish the qualities of Ealing comedies
  • Be able to distinguish between the directors who made the films.
  • Understand the way the studio operated and produced its films.
  • Talk about Michael Balcon - the man who ran the studios.
  • Appreciate more fully the the qualities of the films.

How will I be taught?

  • The WEA tutor will use a range of different teaching and learning methods and encourage you and the group to be actively involved in your learning
  • You may be asked to undertake additional work in your own time to support your learning

What kind of feedback can I expect?

  • You will have opportunities to discuss your progress with your tutor
  • You will be encouraged to share your work with the group and discuss your learning

What else do I need to know?

  • Nothing else is needed
  • It would be helpful if you had access to the internet (Mobile phone, tablet or computer at home or through a library etc.)

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • It would be helpful if could view some of the comedies before attending the course but this is not essential

What can I do next?

  • Progress to another WEA course
  • Progress to a course with another provider

Download full Course information sheet

The Ealing Comedies - a social history


You can if you meet all of the following requirements:

  • are paying the standard fee or are on any of the qualifying benefits
  • are paying with a credit/debit card or are not paying a fee because of a qualifying benefit
  • have a valid email address
  • have been resident in the UK, EU or EEA for the last 3 years
  • are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2017
  • have read and accept the standard terms and conditions
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