Passport to Pimlico (1949)


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Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Movie Info

Passport to Pimlico is one of the most charmingly whimsical Ealing Studios comedies of the late 1940s-early 1950s. As a result of wartime bombing, an ancient parchment is uncovered, proving that the Pimlico section of London belongs to Burgundy, France. Long taken for granted by other Londoners, the tiny Pimlico populace decides to take advantage of its "foreign" status.

Rating: Unrated
Genre: Drama, Classics, Comedy
Directed By:
Written By: T.E.B. Clarke
In Theaters:
On DVD: Apr 5, 2005
Eagle-Lion Films



as Arthur Pemberton

as Connie Pemberton

as Shirley Pemberton

as Duke of Burgundy

as Frank Huggins

as Molly Reid

as Police Constable Ted...

as Benny Spiller

as Fred Cowan

as Mrs. Cowan

as Monty Cowan

as Edie Randall

as Charlie Randall

as Bert Fitch

as Professor Hatton-Jon...

as Straker

as Bagshawe

as Bashford

as Captain Willow

as Sergeant

as Sapper

as Customs Official

as Bus Conductor

as Commissionaire

as Conjurer

as Bill the Spiv

as Pompous Woman

as Central European on ...
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Critic Reviews for Passport to Pimlico

All Critics (13) | Top Critics (4)

Sustained, lightweight comedy scoring a continual succession of laughs.

Full Review… | January 11, 2008
Top Critic

A treat.

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

Full Review… | March 25, 2006
New York Times
Top Critic

Full Review… | February 9, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

A worthy restoration and a reminder of a (short) period when Britain were world leaders of thoughtful film comedy.

Full Review… | June 5, 2012
Little White Lies

An entertaining effort from the Ealing studios that sadly hasn't proved as enduring as its peers.

Full Review… | June 3, 2012
Empire Magazine

Audience Reviews for Passport to Pimlico


"Passport to Pimlico" starts innocently enough on a sweltering day in London, or as innocently as it can with an unexploded bomb in the vicinity. That's okay because the authorities have decided to leave it alone for now. And then having a bit of fun, a bunch of boys accidentally set it off, with thankfully no injuries. At least, until Arthur Pemberton(Stanley Holloway), a shopkeeper, stumbles down the hole to get a closer look and thinks he sees treasure. That is confirmed later when he and his daughter Shirley(Barbara Murray) have a closer look. They get even more information when Professor Hatton-Jones(the always delightful Margaret Rutherford) testifies at the inquest including one big surprise.

"Passport to Pimlico" is a funny bit of nonsense, albeit one that has some grounding in reality, from its slow start in the reality of post-war London(the movie is actually dedicated to ration books) to historical discoveries lying just underneath the ground.(Considering they just discovered the remains of Richard III, anything is possible, right?) And as much as it may feel like the movie is getting out of hand later, it is grounded in a remarkably astute Cold War satire that is still relevant today, as it possibly foresees free trade zones. After all, what can be sillier than borders that keep people apart?

Walter M.

Super Reviewer

I found the film a little dated and not as skillfully shot as later classic Ealing films but I enjoyed the central idea around the film and the lengths the members of Pimlico go to in order to make a stand against England. Maybe not as 'funny' as other well known Ealing films (The Lavender Hill Mob and Kind Hearts and Coronets for example) this is still an enjoyable British film made long before Richard Curtis started churning them out.

David Sayers
David Sayers

Super Reviewer

When it comes to Brit movies I prefer ones from the 60s but this was actually alright and better than I expected. Margaret Rutherford was rather funny too.

Emily B.

Super Reviewer

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