Tuesday, March 8, 2011

235. The Lavender Hill Mob (1951)

Running Time: 78 minutes
Directed By: Charles Crichton
Written By: T.E.B. Clarke
Main Cast: Alec Guinness, Stanley Holloway, Sid James, Alfie Bass


I'll admit that prior to a few hours ago, I had no idea what an Ealing Studios Production was. Now, having watched "The Lavender Hill Mob", a film that I recorded off of Turner Classic Movies months ago, I realize that Ealing Studios produced some very good comedies...well at least one for sure.

Alec Guinness is Henry Holland, a timid and meticulous bank clerk living in London and who has been in charge of gold bullion deliveries for the past twenty years. Making sure that every speck of gold is accounted for, Henry has made sure that his co-workers have noticed his anal retentive ways, as he would like to get rich and if the opportunity should present itself, he wants to make sure he's the last one they suspect, if he should decide to rob them. One day Henry meets Alfred Pendlebury (Holloway) and the two begin to chit chat. Alfred is in the business of making souvenirs and shipping them to foreign markets. One of Pendlebury's more popular items is a paper weight shaped like the Eiffel Tower. When Henry gets a look at the foundry where Alfred makes his small replicas of the Parisian landmark, he gets an idea. He and Alfred will rob the delivery truck and then melt the gold down and use the Eiffel Tower mold to disguise it. No one would ever suspect that a small replica of the Tower would be stolen gold. Once they have it melted down, they'll ship it to France and then go over and pick it up. Not a trace of evidence will be left in London and Henry, Alfred and their two recruited criminal cronies, will be free and clear.


It wasn't necessarily the comedy, but rather the fantastic script that I loved about this film. Everything seemed to mesh together perfectly and just when you thought that Henry and Al had it made in the shade, another roadblock would pop up and threaten to put our beloved main characters behind bars. Alec Guinness was great here and I really fell in love with his character early on. In fact, I'm hoping that allowing myself to get a little more fond of Guinness will also allow me to enjoy the Star Wars trilogy a little more when I get to it. Stanley Holloway was really great too and honestly guys, there's not a lot left to say about "The Lavender Hill Mob". It's a really funny comedy that has turned me on to the Ealing Comedies and after finishing it, I immediately rushed "Whisky Galore", "The Ladykillers" and "Kind Hearts and Coronets" to the top of my Netflix queue.

If you're in the mood to check out a really terrific comedy, with lots of laughs, a really smart plot and a lot of clever devices, then tune into Turner Classic Movies on Sunday, March 20, 2011 @ 2:15 pm and give it a look. Even if you're not a fan of comedies, it still may strike your fancy.

RATING: 7.5/10 WOW! That was a short one. Sometimes there's just not a lot to say/elaborate on, without sounding like a broken record. Good film, not just funny either.


March 8, 2011 2:29am

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