Passport to Pimlico - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Passport to Pimlico Reviews

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½ January 13, 2015
Another of those Ealing Studios comedies - this time without Alec Guinness - that takes an absurd premise to the nth degree. In this case, Stanley Holloway falls in the hole created by a newly exploded bomb (leftover from the war) and finds some buried treasure. Said treasure includes a royal decree providing land to the Duke of Burgundy for his own separate country - and thus the fine folks on a few streets in central London suddenly find themselves foreigners. As the Home Office (led by those two comic Brits from Hitch's The Lady Vanishes) struggles to figure out what to do, Burgundy becomes lawless. Then begins a series of battles with Britain over customs, immigration, and the like. As I said, the film crosses merrily into absurd territory and makes some points about British society and the recent period of austerity at the same time. Amusing, if not hilarious.
½ May 4, 2014
Brilliant cast, and a brilliant idea. Bombed-out London is exhausted from war, sick of rationing and dreaming of the land for for heroes.

They seize their opportunity to fulfill the dream of a better life. Superb.
January 3, 2014
Classic town planning movie
Harlequin68
Super Reviewer
½ September 8, 2013
"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?
August 17, 2013
During World War Two, a tiny overlooked section of London called Pimlico sets up their own country after they find a hidden treasure and a professor deems it their rightful possession and Pimlico part of Burdgundy in France. Though the concept is fresh and original, the humour is undoubtedly slightly outdated. Nevertheless, the overall appeal of the film and its structure make this one of the most solid representation of the particular brand of working class satirical comedy produced by Ealing Studios.
July 11, 2013
Not bad, interesting storyline with some political statements thrown in. Certainly an image of England and the English that, sadly, no longer exists.
½ June 11, 2013
A long, dry set-up that eventually becomes sweetly amusing in the second half. Also an interesting insight into immediate post-war Britain.
March 3, 2013
Mainio pikku komedia!
December 28, 2012
Not always on target, but still an enjoyable slice of typically Ealing whimsy--A fun comic romp with real-life allusions!!
September 7, 2012
An amusing Ealing comedy that is part interesting observation of post-war London and part political farce. Really enjoyable performances from a talented British cast.
August 27, 2012
Not as good as others
June 10, 2012
a great British comedy .
April 25, 2012
I'm only giving it three stars based on current tastes. This is a little period gem that would have been more significant to the viewers of the day. To appreciate the film you have to understand that much of Europe was still in ruins, and that rationing was in effect, even in the US, where agricultural products were being routed to Europe as part of the Marshall Plan. Here we have a group of classic British "characters" battling the indifferent government officials. They just want the recognition of proudly rejoining the British Empire, but the bottom-rung government types can't be bothered, so the citizens of Pimlico have to stand up for themselves. Their acts of defiance must have been a breath of fresh air to a populace that had been living for years under wartime government controls and fear of obliteration.
Check it out!
April 24, 2012
From Ealing Studios, with a high concept script by T.E.B. Clarke and directed by Henry Cornelius (who later directed Genevieve (1953)), this is a very good comedy with a good central idea that could happen anywhere in the world, luckily, Ealing kept it close to home and kept it very English. In Pimlico, a district of London, some kids playing with a large tyre cause it to roll down a hole, which sets off an unexploded bomb from World War 2. In the hole is access to a buried cellar which contains gold, jewelry and an old ancient royal parchment. The parchment is studied by Professor Hatton-Jones (Margaret Rutherford), who discovers it to be a royal charter going back to the time of Edward IV, which decrees that Pimlico is legally part of Burgundy in France. The residents of Pimlico, including shopkeeper Arthur Pemberton (Stanley Holloway) and his wife Connie (Betty Warren) and policeman P.C. Spiller (Philip Stainton) use this to their advantage, as the British government have no legal powers in Pimlico. So they drink after hours and tear up their ration books. Now the government have to find a solution to the Pimlico problem. It's a very funny idea, and it works well on screen with a good little ensemble, (look out for a young Charles Hawtrey as well), but this is what you'd expect from Ealing at that time, a group of people in an unusual situation, and using it to their advantage
Super Reviewer
February 4, 2012
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.
January 21, 2012
Light hearted enjoyable comedy from simpler times.
March 14, 2011
nice. but a little too old to be very funny.
January 22, 2011
Passport to Pimlico is the best early Ealing comedy and anticipated a run of near-flawless films in the Golden Age of the Ealing Studios. After an unexploded bomb goes off in the aftermath of World War II in a quiet street in Pimlico, London, a room of treasures is found in the crater of the explosion. An archaic deed is discovered and after Margaret Rutherford's Professor Hatton-Jones studies it (in typical Rutherfordian enunciations), Pimlico is found to be a region of Burgundy belonging to France. Because rationing and a limit on importing goods is still in practice, the people of 'Burgundia' decide to dismiss the rules of England and a form a utopia of anarchic consumption where law and order does not exist. Once other traders hear of the new found freedom enjoyed in this part of the land, they set up stall and ruin the chaotic harmony the Burgundians were enjoying. This to-ing and fro-ing goes all the way to the home Office and rules are created to put pressure on Burgundia's council headed by stanley Holloway and Betty Warren to return to English rule and civilization. Although Passport to Pimlico does not quite reach the heights of Ealing's best comedies such as the Ladykillers or Kind Hearts and Coronets, it deserves its place in the pantheon of British screwball comedy and is a rewarding documentation of post-war London.
December 30, 2010
good satire funny cheeky fun
½ October 13, 2010
Good, but could be so much funnier. Why this has never been re-made, I do not know.
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