Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBB.
United Kingdom, 1951. Ealing Studios. Screenplay by T.E.B. Clarke. Cinematography by Douglas Slocombe. Produced by Michael Balcon. Music by Georges Auric. Production Design by William Kellner. Costume Design by Anthony Mendleson. Film Editing by Seth Holt.
Alec Guinness is a riot as a doddering bank employee who decides to pull off a heist and be rich for the rest of his life. Teaming up with a skilled robber (Stanley Holloway) and assembling a team of thieves, the lot of them concoct a plot to steal the gold bars that Guinness supervises the transfer of, coming up with a brilliant plan that lo and behold, is pulled off without a hitch! Or is it? Stealing the stuff is one thing, keeping it is another. Marvelous acting and a sparkling, Oscar-winning screenplay by T.E.B. Clarke make for a criminal comedy that has paved the way for many its wake, and is one of the many examples of Guinness’ incredible acting range—there was absolutely nothing this man couldn’t do. Features an early appearance by a very young Audrey Hepburn, who appears for a brief moment as a girl named “Chiquita”.
Academy Award: Best Story and Screenplay
Nomination: Best Actor (Alec Guinness)
Venice Film Festival: In Competition