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Malleson, Miles (1888-1969)

Actor, Writer

Main image of Malleson, Miles (1888-1969)

Miles Malleson was a prolific screenwriter during the '30s, in particular associated with historical subjects such as Nell Gwyn (d. Herbert Wilcox, 1934), Tudor Rose (d. Robert Stevenson, 1936) and the hugely successful Victoria the Great (d. Wilcox, 1937), all of which he also appeared in.

He was equally prolific as an actor. While his chinless features made him ideal casting as a bumbling or pompous fool, his intelligence and energy enabled him to endow these roles with genuine wit and vim. He is the theatre manager in Hitchcock's The 39 Steps (1935), the comic relief in several Hammer horrors, and the gentleman attempting to purchase pornographic 'views' in Peeping Tom (d. Michael Powell, 1960). He is also the hangman in Kind Hearts and Coronets (d. Robert Hamer, 1949) who contemplates retirement because, after hanging a duke with a silken rope, he could "never again be content with hemp".

Peter Hutchings, Encyclopedia of British Film

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Selected credits

Thumbnail image of 39 Steps, The (1935)39 Steps, The (1935)

Classic Hitchcock thriller about spies, secrets and Scotland

Thumbnail image of Carlton-Browne of the F.O. (1959)Carlton-Browne of the F.O. (1959)

Classic Foreign Office satire with Peter Sellers and Terry-Thomas

Thumbnail image of Dead of Night (1945)Dead of Night (1945)

Classic Ealing portmanteau film: five tales of the supernatural

Thumbnail image of Dracula (1958)Dracula (1958)

Christopher Lee stars in the first colour telling of the classic vampire tale

Thumbnail image of First of the Few, The (1942)First of the Few, The (1942)

Moving wartime biopic of R.J. Mitchell, designer of the Spitfire

Thumbnail image of Gentle Sex, The (1943)Gentle Sex, The (1943)

WWII drama about seven women in the Auxiliary Territorial Service

Thumbnail image of Heavens Above! (1963)Heavens Above! (1963)

Comedy of clerical misunderstanding starring an on-form Peter Sellers

Thumbnail image of Hound of the Baskervilles, The (1959)Hound of the Baskervilles, The (1959)

Typically full-blooded Hammer Sherlock Holmes, with Peter Cushing

Thumbnail image of I'm All Right Jack (1959)I'm All Right Jack (1959)

Peter Sellers is a militant trade unionist in this peerless workplace satire

Thumbnail image of Importance of Being Earnest, The (1952)Importance of Being Earnest, The (1952)

Glorious adaptation of Oscar Wilde's classic play

Thumbnail image of Kind Hearts and Coronets (1949)Kind Hearts and Coronets (1949)

Deliciously dark comedy, featuring no fewer than nine Alec Guinnesses

Thumbnail image of Knight Without Armour (1937)Knight Without Armour (1937)

Marlene Dietrich stars in a lavish Russian Revolution love story

Thumbnail image of Land of Promise (1946)Land of Promise (1946)

Inventive polemical documentary calling for a new approach to housing

Thumbnail image of Lion Has Wings, The (1939)Lion Has Wings, The (1939)

Patriotic drama made as propaganda for British air forces

Thumbnail image of Magic Box, The (1951)Magic Box, The (1951)

Star-studded biopic of British film pioneer William Friese-Greene

Thumbnail image of Man in the White Suit, The (1951)Man in the White Suit, The (1951)

Ealing classic with naive inventor Alec Guinness up against British industry

Thumbnail image of Nell Gwyn (1934)Nell Gwyn (1934)

Early role for Anna Neagle as Charles II's famous mistress

Thumbnail image of Peeping Tom (1960)Peeping Tom (1960)

Notorious horror film which all but ended Michael Powell's career

Thumbnail image of Queen of Spades, The (1949)Queen of Spades, The (1949)

Darkly stylish adaptation of the Pushkin classic

Thumbnail image of Saraband for Dead Lovers (1948)Saraband for Dead Lovers (1948)

Ealing's first Technicolor film, an uncharacteristic period melodrama

Thumbnail image of Scrooge (1951)Scrooge (1951)

Alastair Sim's definitive portrayal of Charles Dickens' curmudgeon

Thumbnail image of Thief of Bagdad, The (1940)Thief of Bagdad, The (1940)

Michael Powell co-directed Korda's lavish Arabian Nights fantasy

Thumbnail image of Midsummer Night's Dream, A (1964)Midsummer Night's Dream, A (1964)

ITV adaptation of the Shakespeare play, with Benny Hill as Bottom

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