The Lavender Hill Mob (1951)
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Charles Crichton directed this Ealing caper comedy, with a witty script by T.E.B. Clarke that won an Academy Award. Alec Guinness is Henry Holland, an unassuming transporter of gold bullion who, after working for twenty years with no rewards in sight for his faithful service to his company, decides to reward himself by stealing one million pounds worth of gold. Calling on his old friend Pendlebury (Stanley Holloway), a manufacturer of paperweights and an amateur sculptor, and a couple of Cockney crooks, Lackery (Sidney James) and Shorty (Alfie Bass), they conspire to lift a gold shipment. After absconding with the gold, Henry melts the gold into a collection of souvenir Eiffel Towers, which he then ships off to Paris. But chaos reigns when a group of English schoolgirls purchase the gold towers, and the gang now become embroiled in a wild goose chase to recover their stolen gold. ~ Paul Brenner, Rovi … More
as Henry Holland
as Alfred Pendelbury
as Lackery Wood
as Shorty Fisher
as Mrs. Chalk
as Miss Evesham
as Station Sergeant
as Cafe Owner
as Joe the Gab
as Senora Gallardo
as Kiosk Girl
as Customs Official
as Customs Official
as Deputy Commander
as Inspector Talbot
as P.C. Williams
as City Policeman
as Customs Official
as Detective Superinten...
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Critic Reviews for The Lavender Hill Mob
You are left wanting more rather than thinking less would have been better.
It's tremendously good fun, though lighter in tone than Ealing's two scabrous masterpieces Kind Hearts and Coronets and The Ladykillers...
Both a joyous comedy and a tense thriller. Indeed, its climactic car-chase sequence is easily as dramatic as any of those found in today's summer blockbusters.
Inflation may have dented the allure of its 1m bullion heist, but this 1951 Ealing comedy is still 24-carat gold.
Alec Guinness received a well deserved Oscar nomination for this hilarious British comedy
The real joy of the movie is less about the caper than these two invisible, workaday men discovering the thrills of attempting something extraordinary - even if it is felonious.
Charles Crichton's direction is subtle but inventive - check out the snaking, near-single-take opening in a Rio cabana - and the performances, writing and plotting are faultless.
All time classic Guiness comedy.
The genre of the caper-gone-wrong crime comedy may have been invented circa 1950 in Ealing Studios Mob avoids most of what became the clichés of the genre.
Alec Guinness was great before Star Wars.
Delightful if mostly forgettable farce about an unexpected robbery, with nimble if showy multiple performance by Alec Guinness.
An amusingly giddy heist flick.
A wonderful, fun classic, not to be missed.
Funny, but not one of Ealing's best.
Audience Reviews for The Lavender Hill Mob
Guinnes creates an ordinary man striving for a dream, a mad and illegal one, but a dream anyhow. Contagiously charming and funny.More
The Lavender Hill Mob, one of the Ealing Studios classics was definitely amusing and had a few hysterical moments, but I didn't love it. The humor was witty and drier than Kafka in the Sahara. The movie has a reputation of being an absolute laugh riot (at least from what I've heard) but I didn't feel like the movie lived up to that expectation. Alec Guinness was as always superb, but the movie was nothing to flip out over. The 30 seconds of a young Audrey Hepburn definitely helped though...More
Brilliant Ealing comedy, this pitch-perfect crime caper stars Alec Guinness in one of his finest performances, a timid clerk who decides to claim himself a fortune with a motely crew including Ealing mainstay Stanley Holloway. The film is probably the template for all bungling crime films, but mercifully lacks the slapstick of its imitators. Pacy and highly comical, this is definately worth your while. Watch out as well for Audrey Hpburn's tiny role as Chiquita in the first scene as well!More
Alec Guinness' other heist-comedy ("The Ladykillers") might have a slight edge over this one, but funnily enough, I prefer the actual heist from this movie. Guinness is a mild-mannered bank supervisor who oversees the gold bullion shipments for the bank of England. When a frustrated artist (who makes lead paperweight replicas of the eiffel tower to sell to tourists in Paris) moves into his building, he gets an idea on how to smuggle stolen bullion out of the country. With the help of two criminal-type accomplices, the heist is planned out and executed to perfection. The police are quite perplexed and unsuspecting of Guinness, until one exceptionally clever member of scotland yard begins to suspect him. There are a few madcap chases in the movie which incorporate screwball comedy elements, but mostly the film's comedy relies on sublty rather than broad strokes. Guinness is fine, as usual, but the film itself isn't life-altering or mind-blowing in any way. Oh, it's perfectly serviceable, especially if you're looking for a mildly amusing crime-comedy, but I certainly wouldnt' call it a must-see.More
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