The Ladykillers (1955)

The Ladykillers (1955)

GENRESComedy,Crime
LANGEnglish
ACTOR
Alec GuinnessPeter SellersCecil ParkerHerbert Lom
DIRECTOR
Alexander Mackendrick

SYNOPSICS

The Ladykillers (1955) is a English movie. Alexander Mackendrick has directed this movie. Alec Guinness,Peter Sellers,Cecil Parker,Herbert Lom are the starring of this movie. It was released in 1955. The Ladykillers (1955) is considered one of the best Comedy,Crime movie in India and around the world.

A gang planning a 'job' find themselves living with a little old lady, who thinks they are musicians. When the gang set out to kill Mrs Wilberforce, they run into one problem after another, and they get what they deserve.

The Ladykillers (1955) Reviews

  • not just the perfect comedy

    Jeremy-931999-10-30

    One of the Ealing studio's finest achievements, this immensely entertaining crime caper looks at first glance to be pure, inconsequential entertainment. But it doubles as a sly, subtle rummage around the psychology of the respectable, old-fashioned middle classes, with Katie Johnson deserving top billing alongside Alec Guinness (she doesn't get it) for her remarkable turn as the lady in question, the redoubtable Mrs Wilberforce. No less than the not-quite-ruthless-enough gang of criminals who scheme in her house, she lives in her own private universe with its own particular rules and values. Though she begins the film as the stereotype of a maddeningly officious pillar of local society, it gradually emerges that there is a freer as well as shrewder spirit locked in there than meets the eye. The umbrella she is always losing (she herself suggests that she unconsciously _wants_ to lose it), the escapologist parrot, and most poignantly the memory of a 21st birthday party interrupted by the end of the Victorian age, all hint at an inner life that the comic plot could easily have done without. The screenplay, deservedly Oscar-nominated, has the genius and economy to provide us with all these hints without ever slowing down a tightly-edited and superbly directed narrative. The other characters are a good deal simpler, but Alec Guinness is in impressively seedy form as 'Professor' Marcus and Cecil Parker makes an appealing Major. Peter Sellers and Herbert Lom don't have a great deal to do and don't try to hog the limelight, but there's a nice cameo from Frankie Howerd. Ealing went out on a high.

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  • A real classic

    jrichards2-12004-10-23

    Alec Guiness has to be one of the greatest actors of all time, and his role in The Lady Killers does not buck the trend. From the first moment I saw his dark shape looming through the doorway, I knew the character would be well creepy. And boy was it! With that horrible grin, those horrible teeth and that horrible laugh, it's little wonder that even the grim Herbert Lom starts to get a little freaked out. Nevertheless, Katie Johnson as the infuriating Mrs Wilberforce almost succeeds in stealing the show. There cannot be a more annoying person in the world, from the point of view of policemen, criminals and baggage handlers alike. The best scene of all, in my opinion, is the very last one, but I won't spoil it for you if you haven't seen it. I haven't actually watched the re-make of the film, and I'm certainly a big Tom Hanks fan, but I think it must be hard-pressed to beat this hilarious original. 8 out of 10. Obviously, it's rather old-fashioned and might not appeal to everyone's sense of humour. Ko, Izzy.

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  • A golden classic of British comedy cinema.

    terraplane2000-03-24

    When film studios are churning out rubbish like 'The Full Monty' and 'American Pie' under the heading of comedy, you have to wonder what sort of brainless morons are filling cinemas with laughter. It is nothing short of tragic that gargantuan amounts of cash are being expended on useless blow-outs like Titanic,Star Wars- The Phantom Menace, and just lately, The Beach. When Ealing Studios ceased production, the cinema world was suddenly very much poorer. The Ladykillers is undoubtedly one of the finest comedies ever made, certainly the best Ealing film of them all. Here is a film from the golden age of British cinema that will forever amuse and entertain. It is easy to be nostalgic about these old films but they are still held in high regard for a good reason-they were made by people who knew the art of film making. Moreover, they were made at a time when a trip to the cinema was still a special occasion. So they were made with love and care and with respect for the audience. The Ladykillers is unusual for an Ealing comedy, being made in colour. It would have worked just as well in black and white, possibly even etter.( I have watched it in black and white on TV by turning the colour controls off!) The location shots, which were done around the back of King's Cross station in London, capture forever something of the old London I used to know as a child. I suppose they best description for this film is a comedy of a bank robbery gone wrong. The ensemble acting is of the highest order; Katie Johnson as Mrs. Wilberforce just about steals the film from Alec Guinness. The hilarious script leaves you wanting more, even though a lot of the comedy is based on sight gags; the extended scene when the supposed 'musicians' come downstairs one by one while the Boccherini Quintet continues playing is wonderful, as are the moments involving General Gordon the parrot. The cinematography is beautifully realised and so British. Having read all of the comments on this film, I was suprised that so many American film lovers liked this film - British comedy like this doesn't usually travel well across the water. So a sincere big thank you to all of you guys over there who commented favourably on The Ladykillers. I don't think that we will ever see the return of institutions like Ealing Studios again, so The Ladykillers should be watched, enjoyed and loved by generations of film lovers to come.

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  • Classic dark comedy with lots of mood and style

    Poseidon-32002-12-16

    Soon after this atmospheric black comedy begins, aged widow Johnson putters around her house (situated near a railyard) as an imposing shadow seems to peer at her from every window (accented by dramatic music.) When she opens the door, there stands Guinness, in one of his amusingly creepy personas. He rents a room from the lady and arranges to have his cronies come over to practice their quintet. Unfortunately, he has something else in mind and the quintet is merely a cover for a greater plan. The film has detail, wit and character to spare. Guinness (and his friends, played by legendary character actors like Sellars and Lom) are a funny, motley lot. However, the story really belongs to Johnson. Shamefully underbilled and unsung, she perfectly embodies the role at hand and is incredibly memorable in her understated sweetness and supposed vulnerability. This is a woman who looks for the best in everything and everyone and fights injustice whenever she encounters it. Johnson gives a quiet, yet towering performance and it is astonishing how disrespectful her billing is in the film and how little she's been given even in recent packaging. There is nothing wrong with Guinness's work, but this is Johnson's film. (Ironically, according to Robert Osborne, a younger actress was cast in the film, to be made up as older, because the producers felt that the sometimes demanding director would be too much for Johnson to bear. However, that actress died before filming, so Johnson was used and got on fine!) It is truly the type of film that won't be made again. (It may be RE-made, but never with the same quaint, understated style, nor with such polished actors.)

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  • Brilliant. Absolutely Brilliant.

    bluenotejazz2004-01-17

    Where did they dig up Katie Johnson? How she balances the act of a sweet old lady who is respected yet still patronized with the toughness of a strong woman who upholds justice is a joy to watch. All the while completely unawares of the true danger surrounding her. Her performance is simply great and side-splittingly funny. The rest of the cast display their usual talents, particularly the fumbling of Cecil Parker and the mean looking Herbert Lom. It's also interesting to see a very young Peter Sellers who would soon hit his stride a few years later. The dark lighting and moody scenes are perfect for this comedy and are very typical of British films of the era, so the look is familiar right away as you begin to watch. The "Tea Party" scene is just a riot. Odd to see so many negative comments on the film - it's one of if not the best Ealing film and deservedly regarded as one the best comedies of all time. They just dont make them like this anymore.

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