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Born in Edinburgh, Alastair Sim began life as the academic he was often to play on screen. Briefly in the family tailoring business, he was soon involved in teaching poetic drama in his native Edinburgh. In his late twenties Sim came to London, and friends, seeing him perform in amateur productions, urged him to turn professional. Sim came to the fore with the three popular Inspector Hornleigh comedy thrillers made between 1938 and 1941, they also marked the first major association between himself and the filmmaking partnership of Frank Launder and Sidney Gilliat, later to give him several of his best roles. Alongside Mario Zampi’s deliciously dark LAUGHTER IN PARADISE three of the Sim/Laundner/Gilliat partnerships are to be found in this collection.
Securing the public’s affection in films such as Hue and Cry, Scrooge and the whimsical farce FOLLY TO BE WISE, a project close to Sim’s heart, the 1950s saw Sim emerge as one of Britain’s biggest stars. GEORDIE ably demonstrated that the public would pay to see Sim even when he did not enjoy top billing, the film also demonstrating the actor’s ability to quietly impose himself on projects in supporting roles. Sim continued to have audiences eating out of his hand, doubling as the headmistress and her bookie brother in The Belles of St Trinian's, and becoming one of the world's least likely assassins in the irreverent THE GREEN MAN. At the end of the decade Sim established a notable rapport with Ian Carmichael – the pair reuniting the following year for the seminal School For Scoundrels – as an avaricious uncle in the political satire LEFT, RIGHT.
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