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Alexander Mackendrick


1912 - 1993

Film director. The only child of Scottish parents, Mackendrick was born in Boston (USA) but in 1919 moved to Glasgow after the death of his father where he was raised by his grandfather. He was educated at Hillhead High School and trained at Glasgow School of Art. He began as an illustrator in the advertising industry, but was soon writing commercials for the cinema and this led him into making propaganda films and documentaries during World War II. His first film was the Ealing comedy Whisky Galore (1949), based on Compton Mackenzie's book of the same name and set in Eriskay. This was followed by a series of other classics, including The Man in the White Suit (1951), The Maggie (1954), also set in Scotland, The Ladykillers (1955) and, his first for Holywood, Sweet Smell of Success (1957).

Mackendrick was appointed Dean of the Film Department of the California Institute of the Arts in 1969.

He died in Los Angeles (California).


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