Adelphi Films

Adelphi Films Limited was a British film production company. With its sister company Advance, it produced over 30 films in the 1940s and 1950s and distributed many more. Adelphi linked Gainsborough Pictures and the raw “kitchen sink” dramas of the early 1960s.

Adelphi Films Limited
Founded1939 (1939)
FounderArthur Dent
OwnerKate Lees

Adelphi Films was founded in 1939 by Arthur Dent and is now managed by his granddaughter Kate Lees.[1]


Adelphi is an archive of British feature films. The Adelphi film collection comprises over 40 British films, stored for decades in a London suburban garage. Dating mainly from the 1940s and 1950s, the Adelphi film collection features many British stars of the period, including James Mason, Max Bygraves, Spike Milligan, Diana Dors, Peter Sellers, Petula Clarke, Prunella Scales, Sid James, Wilson, Keppel and Betty and Rolf Harris’ screen debut. Dorothy Squires’ only film appearance was in Stars in Your Eyes (1956) which was co-scripted by Talbot Rothwell before he wrote scripts for the Carry On movies.

The collection holds many long unavailable films including featuring The Goons, first released in 1951, with Peter Sellers, Spike Milligan, Harry Secombe, Bill Kerr and Alfred Marks (Penny Points to Paradise and Let's Go Crazy).[2] These films were released on DVD in August 2009.

Adelphi owns the copyright of the collection, (although several were released by other associated companies). In 2009, the company donated 30 reels of film to the BFI National Archive for restoration.[3] Mainly shot in black and white, the films generally run between 80 and 90 minutes.

People involved

The list of players reads like a ‘who's-who’ of British acting and comedy talent of the period – Ronnie Corbett, Dennis Price, Hermione Baddeley, Fred Emney, Cardew Robinson, Freddie Frinton, Ted Ray, Dora Bryan, Rachel Roberts, Tommy Trinder, Brian Rix, Vera Day, Joan Hickson, Joan Sims, Harry Fowler, Diana Dors John Gregson, and David Tomlinson.


  1. "The Adelphi Films story". Adelphi Films. Retrieved 14 April 2011.
  2. Brooks, Richard (June 14, 2009). "Lost Peter Sellers films on screen after 50-year intermission". The Sunday Times.
  3. "Outing for restored comedy films". BBC News. 15 June 2009.
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