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Michael Balcon

Sir Michael Elias Balcon (19 May 1896 – 17 October 1977) was an English film producer, known for his work with Ealing Studios. Born in Birmingham, Balcon was the youngest son and fourth of five children of Louis Balcon (c.1858–1946) and his wife, Laura Greenberg (c.1863–1934), Jewish immigrants from Eastern Europe who had met in England. Growing up in a respectable but impoverished setting, in 1907 Balcon won a scholarship to Birmingham's [George Dixon Grammar School] [now known as George Dixon International School] , where a plaque is erected, but had to leave in 1913 owing to his family's financial needs. He worked as a jeweller's apprentice, was turned down for service in World War I because of defective eyesight, and joined the Dunlop Rubber Company's huge plant at Aston Cross in 1915, rising to become personal assistant to the managing director. After the war, Balcon's friend Victor Saville suggested a partnership to establish a film distribution company. The company, Victory Motion Pictures, led to them settling in London, and an office in Soho was opened in 1921.


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