Wednesday, May 11, 2016

The Lavender Hill Mob (1951)

Director: Charles Chrichton

Writer: T.E.B. Clarke

Composer: Georges Auric

Starring:  Alec Guinness, Stanley HOlloway, Sidney James, Alfie Bass, Marjorie Fielding, Edie Martin, John Salew, Ronald Adam, Arthur Hambling, Gibb McLaughlin, John Gregson, Audrey Hepburn, Peter Bull, Desmond Llewelyn, Robert Shaw

More info: IMDb

Tagline:  He stole $3,000,000 in gold and that's a lot of BULLion!

Plot:  Holland, a shy retiring man, dreams of being rich and living the good life. Faithfully, for 20 years, he has worked as a bank transfer agent for the delivery of gold bullion. One day he befriends Pendlebury, a maker of souvenirs. Holland remarks that, with Pendlebury's smelting equipment, one could forge the gold into harmless-looking toy Eiffel Towers and smuggle the gold from England into France. Soon after, the two plant a story to gain the services of professional criminals Lackery and Shorty. Together, the four plot their crime, leading to unexpected twists and turns.

My rating:  8.5/10

Will I watch it again?  YES!!!

I adore this picture and even more so than THE LADYKILLERS (1955).  It's adorable as hell and it's the delightful performances and comedic moments that make it so special.  And the pacing is lightning fast once the heist has been pulled.  I never realized it until tonight on watching this that one of the things I love about Alec Guinness is that his performances feel so effortless.  He glides through his roles like the lightest of dancers.  It didn't occur to me until just now.  He's simply a marvel to watch.  The rest of the cast is fun but it's Guinness and Holloway that take the lion's share of the stage.  I enjoy Ealing Studios comedies from this period.  For me they represent the golden age of British comedy.  The Anchor Bay DVD has only one extra and that's the US trailer.  I'd swear that's Clifton James doing the voice over on it but I can't prove it. 

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