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IN THE NEWS
TOUR OF THE MONTH
ON THIS DAY IN LONDON
21st March 1968 Hill, Hawkins and Coghill's musical premieres in London
21st March 1963 David Hendon and Douglas Cross' musical premieres in London
21st March 1958 Actor Gary Oldman was born in New Cross, London.
21st March 1925 Born today: Peter Brook, London, director (1776)/TV writer
21st March 1888 Arthur Pinero's Sweet Lavender, premieres in London
21st March 1853 Alfred Cops, zookeeper at the Tower of London, died at the Tower of London 18 years after his menagerie closed.
21st March 1681 3rd Exclusion Parliament meets in London
Michael Balcon lived here
Michael Balcon's films include The 39 Steps and Dead of Night
Location: 57A Tufton Street, Westminster, London, SW1P 3QL
Description: The famous film maker Michael Balcon was born in Birmingham, producing his first film Woman to Woman (for which a young Alfred Hitchcock was art director) in 1923.
He went on found Gainsborough Pictures in 1928 a year after he moved in to this house; and became head of Gaumont-British in 1931, moved to MGM British in 1936 and from 1937 to 1959 was head of Ealing studios during its glory years.
Among his landmark films were, The 39 Steps, Dead of Night, Kind Hearts and Coronets, The Man in the White Suit, Dunkirk, Saturday Night Sunday Morning and Tom Jones. His track record is unrivalled.
Sir Michael Balcon was a man of unquenchable patriotism, honesty and decency who never relinquished his belief in the necessity for a British film industry reflecting our native culture. Among the major talents to whom he gave early opportunities was Alfred Hitchcock.
Balcon was knighted in 1948. He had lived in Tufton Street from 1927 until 1939 and died on 16 October 1977.