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Rank and File

"As a member of the Rank organisation," Donald Sinden once recalled, "I began receiving invitations to film premieres. Diana and I had been seeing a lot of Ava Gardner and one day I told her that we were attending the premiere of the latest comedy from Ealing Studios, The Titchfield Thunderbolt. 'I love those Ealing films. Do you think I could come?' I telephoned the office and asked if I could have an extra ticket. 'Not a hope.' 'Not even one?' 'No. It is also the night of the British Film Academy Awards. All the seats were allocated weeks ago.' 'Oh dear, do you think there will be any returns?' 'I doubt it. Why do you want another ticket?' 'Ava Gardner wants to come.' After a stunned silence -- 'I'll call you back.' A little later, 'You've got your extra ticket -- we've moved J. Arthur Rank."
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