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The Ladykillers 1955 Film Review

Updated on September 7, 2019
Coffeequeeen profile image

I am a film enthusiast and enjoy reviewing films I have watched. I like all sorts of films but mainly black & white ones from the 50's & 60s

Actor
Character
Cecil Parker
Major Claude Courtney
Alec Guiness
Professor Marcus
Peter Sellers
Harry Robinson
Herbert Lom
Louis Harvey
Danny Green
'One-Round' Lawson
Katie Johnson
Mrs Louisa Wileberforce

About the film

Director: Alexander Mackendrick

Producer: Michael Balcon

Running time: 1 hr 31 mins

Genre: Crime, Comedy

Distributed by: The Rank Organisation


The Film

When Mrs Wilberforce is approached by a man claiming to be Professor Marcus asking if she has any rooms to rent, she willingly obliges. Little does she know that he and his gang are planning on doing a van robbery at Kings Cross Railway Station. They tell Mrs Wilberforce they are amateur musicians in a string quintet. They even take musical instruments with them to keep up the charade. While they are planning their robbery, they play a recording of Boccherini's Minuet, so Mrs Wilberforce thinks it's actually them that's playing.

What is funny, is that Mrs Wilberforce is often visiting the local police station with stories of incidents that are going on in her neighbourhood. Living alone, and being a rather eccentric old lady, she has a somewhat vivid imagination. So when she does go there to report an actual crime, it's a bit like the boy who cried wolf and they don't believe her. Being a dark comedy, there some comical moments in the film. What I found amusing is each time Mrs Wilberforce knocks on their room, the 5 men will quickly get into position with their instruments, and Professor Marcus will open the door, so she thinks they are rehearsing. After they do the robbery, they deceive Mrs Wilberforce into collecting the stolen money. No one would surly suspect a nice little old lady, would they?!

The film takes us through what this gang of 5 men do, and are willing to do, to get away with their crimes. These men are not youthful men. The five men are far from young men, which is probably why it is easier to fool Mrs Wilberforce into thinking they are musicians. There are some quirky little moments in the film, for instance, when Mrs Wilberforce has to bang on the pipes to get water out of them. And with the house subsiding, it makes it all the more interesting when watching the film.

My thoughts

This is a really good film, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. This was the last film to be made at Ealing Studios. It's a sort of bitter sweet feeling watching this now, as they made some excellent films there. Alec Guiness plays as excellent part as Professor Marcus. His voice is calm throughout, yet authoritative. The story, I thought, was well written and excellently acted out on screen.

As I said, this is a dark comedy, so there are a few little bits throughout the film that are funny. When Mrs Wilberforce knocks on their room, for instance, they whisper, "It's Mrs Wilberforce with the tea." So they quickly get into position with their musical instruments and opens the door. Quite funny, I thought!

Although made in 1955, I still think this film is enjoyable and amusing to watch. If you've not seen this classic movie yet, then I would highly recommend you do!

© 2018 Louise Powles

Comments

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    • ethel smith profile image

      Ethel Smith 

      2 years ago from Kingston-Upon-Hull

      Another film I love Louise. The characters and actors are perfect. There is the odd cameo such as Frankie Howerd. The old lady called. Mrs Lopsided by one of the gang is played to perfection.

    • Leland Johnson profile image

      Leland Johnson 

      2 years ago from Midland MI

      Louise- this film looks terrific! I've seen the remake,but didn't realize that it WAS a remake. I thought the one with Tom Hanks was the original. I've GOT to see this!!! It looks hilarious and also, I didn't realize Herbert Lom and Peter Sellers worked on projects outside of the Pink Panther films. Thanks for this great post!

    • Glecerio Tatoy profile image

      Cerio 

      2 years ago

      I'm looking forward to seeing this film. Classic film is always fascinating to watch.

      Thanks for sharing, Louise Powles!

    • Eurofile profile image

      Liz Westwood 

      2 years ago from UK

      This is a great review of an old classic. The days of Ealing Studios seem a long way ago now.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 

      2 years ago from USA

      You did a good job of reviewing this and making me want to see it. I like dark comedies.

    • Coffeequeeen profile imageAUTHOR

      Louise Powles 

      2 years ago from Norfolk, England

      Lol Frank, there are too many movies out there to watch. There are still so many I want to see!

    • Frank Atanacio profile image

      Frank Atanacio 

      2 years ago from Shelton

      another one I have to stream.. Peter Sellers is in this one? I love his acting.. Coffee you really make me deficient when it comes to classics, I thought I saw them all and now 2 for 2 on the ones I did not see :(

    • Coffeequeeen profile imageAUTHOR

      Louise Powles 

      2 years ago from Norfolk, England

      Thankyou Ioannis. God bless you too!

    • Coffeequeeen profile imageAUTHOR

      Louise Powles 

      2 years ago from Norfolk, England

      Thankyou Dora. I do enjoy watching them old films, and love to write about them.

    • Sean Dragon profile image

      Ioannis Arvanitis 

      2 years ago from Greece, Almyros

      Great job as always! Thank you, my dear, Louise, for the heart you put in those reviews!

      God Bless you!

      Sean

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 

      2 years ago from The Caribbean

      Thanks for introducing another interesting film. You're doing a great job of reviewing these oldies.

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 

      2 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      I have not yet seen this movie. It looks like one I'll enjoy watching. Thanks for the review.

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