The Ladykillers (1955)

ALEXANDER MACKENDRICK

Bil’s rating (out of 5):   BBBB.5United Kingdom, 1955.  , .  Story and Screenplay by .  Cinematography by .  Produced by .  Music by .  Production Design by .  Costume Design by .  Film Editing by .  Academy Awards 1955.  

Positively hysterical comedy that makes for one of the very best of the Ealing films made in Britain in the fifties. Alec Guinness, under heavy makeup and a false Cheshire cat grin, rents a room from a doddering old lady (), charming her with his gentlemanly ways. She insists that she does not mind when he asks if he can have his musician colleagues over for rehearsals, and she happily listens in her sitting room while the men upstairs play. Little does she know that they’re actually playing records while preparing for a robbery, one whose plan actually involves getting their hostess to help them (unwittingly), thinking her the world’s easiest dupe. When she begins to get wind of the situation, however, the tables are turned and just who is the smartest of them all is revealed. It works itself out with impeccably natural ease, chock full of witty sight gags and hysterical situations, plus it’s blessed by perfect performances. A real treat. Remade (vulgarly) by the Coen Brothers in 2004.

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