Passport to Pimlico (1949)

Approved  |   |  Comedy  |  26 October 1949 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.2/10 from 2,796 users  
Reviews: 35 user | 30 critic

Residents of a part of London declare independence, when they discover an old treaty. This leads to the need for a 'Passport to Pimlico'.



(original screenplay)
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 nomination. See more awards »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Betty Warren ...
Barbara Murray ...
Paul Dupuis ...
John Slater ...
Frank Huggins
Jane Hylton ...
Raymond Huntley ...
Mr. Wix
Philip Stainton ...
Roy Carr ...
Benny Spiller
Sydney Tafler ...
Fred Cowan
Nancy Gabrielle ...
Mrs. Cowan
Malcolm Knight ...
Monty Cowan
Edie Randall
Roy Gladdish ...
Charlie Randall
Frederick Piper ...


When an unexploded WWII bomb is accidentally detonated in Pimlico, an area of London, it reveals a treasure trove and documents proving that the region is, in fact part of Burgundy, France and thus foreign territory. The British Government attempt to regain control by setting up border controls and cutting off services to the area. The 'Burgundians' fight back... Written by Stephen Parkin <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Pimlico is the home of hilarity! To Fun! To Laughter! See more »




Approved | See all certifications »




Release Date:

26 October 1949 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Pasaporte para Pimlico  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (2005 DVD release)

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The film is inspired by several true events. During World War II the Dutch royal family was forced to flee Holland to Canada after the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands. In 1943 Princess Juliana (who would one day become Queen Juliana) was pregnant with Princess Margriet. For Margriet to be born a Dutch Royal, the Canadian parliament agreed to pass a decree that temporarily made the maternity ward at an Ottawa hospital Dutch soil for the duration of the birth. Another source of inspiration was the Berlin Airlift. In 1948, due to escalating tensions with the West, the Soviets blocked off rail and road access to West Berlin, leaving the city with only a month's supply of food and fuel. The British and American governments responded by airlifting 5000-8000 tons of food and supplies to the city every day for the next 11 months. You can see some of that in this movie when Londoners defy the blockade by throwing supplies, and even parachuting pigs, over the barricade. See more »


Frank Huggins appears with a group of men refilling the reservoir with a hosepipe, while simultaneously refilling his goldfish tank back at the shop. See more »


Straker: Do you think we shall get more than two main dishes?
Gregg: Oh, I hope so. I haven't had a good feed since that last deadlock in Moscow.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Dedicated to the memory of Clothing Coupons and Ration cards. See more »


Remade as Family Guy: E. Peterbus Unum (2000) See more »


Music by Kenneth Leslie-Smith
Chappell Recorded Music Library
"Siege of Burgundy" newsreel in cinema
See more »

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User Reviews

Not always on target, but still an enjoyable slice of typically Ealing whimsy
2 May 2004 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

When an unexploded bomb goes up in a street in the London area of Pimlico, it exposes a cave containing goblets, gold, art and other valuable artefacts. The gold is immediately claimed by the crown, but expert Professor Hatton-Jones comes forward with a royal charter that proves the area is legally Burgundy. With their newfound independence, the residents scrap rationing, opening hours and adopt an altogether more continental lifestyle. However Whitehall cuts them off, leaving Pimlico overrun by undesirables seeking refuge from England's laws. Things get harder as the political tensions between the two `countries' increase.

In true Ealing fashion, this is a gently comic satire on the British way of rule. In Pimlico, the residents are fast to turn their back on England in favour of a life outside of rationing and rules. Needless to say things don't go quite as they planned. As a satire, it doesn't totally work as not all it's points and digs are on target - in fact at times I wasn't sure what it was aiming at. However this is not to say that it isn't consistently amusing because it is. The basic plot is enjoyably slick and reminded me in essence of The Mouse That Roared. The laughs are rarely belly laughs but it produced a consistent chuckle in me as it was rather disarming and enjoyable. The more fanciful it becomes the more whimsical it feels - it never gets silly because the tone is so well pitched throughout to avoid it being daft at any point.

I nearly fell off my seat when I read another review on this page that said the cast were a bunch of unknowns! If you don't recognise at least six or seven faces with ease then this must be your first ever British comedy made pre-1960. Holloway, Huntley, Tafler and all the leads are all as good as ever and the bonus of Margaret Rutherford and some really memorable dialogue just makes things better. Even for those only familiar with the Carry On chapter of British comedy we have Charles Hawtrey in a young looking appearance here. Everyone handles the material very well and many of them are blessed with some sparky dialogue.

Overall this is an enjoyable little film that has digs at the British government and way of life but ultimately acknowledges England as the best place to be - for all it's rain, low temperatures and taxation, it's better than going it alone! A witty little film that will please any audience that is in the mood for a bit of Ealing whimsy (and who isn't?).

38 of 41 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Post-production blot... what is it hiding? Peter_051151
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