Born in Birmingham, UK in 1896. Started in film as a regional distributor, and then founded a small film company making shorts for oil companies. Produced his first feature in 1923, Woman to Woman, and employed Alfred Hitchcock as art director and screenwriter. Later gave Hitchcock his first opportunity as a director.
Founded Gainsborough Pictures in 1924, and became production director for Gaumont-British in 1931 and MGM-British in 1936, continuing to work with Hitchcock.
From 1937-59 was the director and chief of Ealing Films. Died in 1977.