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Sandy Mackendrick - Film Maker

Sandy Mackendrick had to leave Scotland to make his mark. It does happen. In fact, he was born in Boston, while his Scottish parents were on a trip to the United States in 1912. He studied at the Glasgow School of Art, then went into commercial art and worked at animating advertising films. He started writing film scripts in 1937, dabbled in documentaries and got work as a director during the Second World War. He was one of the bright people during the era of Ealing comedies. His Whisky Galore, first shown in 1948 and based on Compton Mackenzie's famous novel, will probably keep turning up on television for decades to come. The Man in the White Suit (1951) and The Ladykillers (1955) are undoubtedly both classic films of their decade.

Mackendrick's later pictures got a bit more serious. The Sweet Smell of Success (1957), starring Burt Lancaster and Tony Curtis, is a fairly bleakjob showing the corrupting power of the press and public relations industry. His other films include Sammy Gains; South (1962), A High Wind in Jamaica (1965) and Don't Make Waves (1967).

Mackendrick got the appointment as head of the film department of the California Institute of Arts. That took him out of active film-making. Although his output is not huge, a lot of his stuff is still remembered. As much at home in Hollywood as in London or Glasgow, he did his bit to make people laugh, or cry, or sit up.

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