Charles Ashton and British Silent Films

British Silent Film Star – Charles Ashton

George Pearson

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Image of George Pearson, Director, Writer, Producer, is held at ScreenOnline


George Pearson, a former teacher and headmaster, became Film Producer in charge of Pathe’s tiny London studio in 1913 to focus on film for education.  From there he moved to Gaumont studios.  In 1918, Pearson joined Thomas Welsh to establish Welsh-Pearson in new studios at Craven Park.  Their four ‘Squibs’ comedy films (1921 -1923) ensured the company’s financial stability, and took Betty Balfour as their ebullient Cockney heroine to stardom.  Pearson was now a successful director.  Nothing Else Matters (1920), Love, Life and Laughter (1923), Reveille (1924) and The Little People (1926) followed.  Reveille, a meditation on the injustices of peacetime and ordinary people’s spirit of survival, was premiered in front of the Prince of Wales in 1924.  With the economic downturn of 1926, Craven Park was sold and Welsh-Pearson forced to seek American deals.  In 1934, Pearson parted from Welsh finding work on the quota quickies at Twickenham.  At the start of the Second World War, he became Director-in-Chief of the Colonial Film Unit and then ran film schools for budding Commonwealth film-makers.  In 1948 the Royal Photographic Society made him an Honorary Fellow, as did the British Film Academy in 1951, when he also received the OBE for his services to the film industry.

Taken from Biography at ScreenOnline

Image of George Pearson in his office at Gaumont’s film studios Lime Grove around 1915 from The Bioscope blog on “Studio of Fallen Women” dated 8 July 2012

Films with Charles Ashton

Reveille (1924) – see post about BFI’s most wanted films list.


Written by anneramsden

April 28, 2010 at 2:04 pm

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