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Passport to Pimlico (1949) Poster

Trivia

The outdoor scenes were shot in Lambeth, a mile away from Pimlico. A set was built on a large World War II bombsite just south of Lambeth at the junction of Hercules Road. This site is now the location for municipal flats build in the 1960s. However, the buildings on the junction of Hercules Road and Lambeth Road can still be recognized from the film, as can the railway bridge going over Lambeth Road, particularly from the scenes where food is thrown over the blockade.
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At the start of the film a radio announcement mentions Latin music performed by "Les Norman and his Bethnal Green Bambinos". This is an in-joke referring to Ealing producer Leslie Norman. Bethnal Green was an unattractive area in the East End of London.
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The original negatives of this and other Ealing comedies were lost in the Henderson's Film Laboratories fire in 1993.
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A placard can be seen that says "Forget that Cripps feeling": this refers to Stafford Cripps, who was at the time Chancellor of the Exchequer.
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The isolation of Pimlico and its support by the common people of London is a reference to the Berlin blockade of June 1948 - May 1949.
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When the traders invade Pimlico, a comment is made about it becoming "a spiv's paradise". A spiv is/was a minor criminal who dealt in stolen or black-market goods of questionable authenticity. Spivs were often well-dressed and were noted for offering goods at bargain prices, though the goods were generally not what they seemed or had been obtained illegally. The term was particularly used for black-market dealers during the Second World War and in the post-war period.
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Ealing appears on one of the signs, an obvious homage to the studio.
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Scripted by T.E.B. Clarke, a regular writer on the Ealing films. One of his trademarks was the logical development of absurd ideas.
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Made during the Berlin blockade.
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Alistair Sim turned down a role in the film.
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When the underground train is intercepted, the sign on the front of the train says it's on the District Line going to Wimbledon. That part of the District Line goes nowhere near Pimlico (or Lambeth).
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Inspired the likes of The Mouse That Roared (1959) and its sequel The Mouse on the Moon (1963) about ridiculously small independent nations, as well as the Swedish radio show "Mosebacke Monarki". A similar plot was the basis of the German film Die Dubrow Krise (1969) that depicts a fictional East German town joining West Germany. Many problems that eventually plagued the actual reunification 20 years later were accurately predicted by the film.
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The part of Prof. Hatton-Jones was written as a man and was offered to some male performers before it was decided to make the role female, and Margaret Rutherford was cast.
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Wix is referred to as a second Montagu Norman. Norman had served as Governor of the Bank of England from 1920-1944.
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Shirley's comment, "We'll fight them on the tramlines, we'll fight them in the local ..." is a take on Sir Winston Churchill's famous wartime speech, "We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills..."
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The last Duke of Burgundy was Charles de Valois, otherwise known as Charles "The Rash" or "The Bold" or "The Terrible. The 44-year-old Charles was killed in the Swiss War in 1477, and France annexed Burgundy. Burgundy's holdings outside of France passed to Charles' daughter Marie, and her marriage to an Archduke of Austria (who later became Maximilian I, Holy Roman Emperor) saw the Burgundian inheritance pass to the Habsburg dynasty.
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Charles Hawtrey, a veteran of the "Carry On" films. appears in this film. Other "Carry On" stars have appeared in subsequent Ealing comedies like Sidney James in The Lavender Hill Mob (1951) and or Frankie Howerd in The Ladykillers (1955).
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Directorial debut of Henry Cornelius.
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Screened at the 1949 Cannes Film Festival, but not entered into the competition.
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Some historians, for some reason, have considered this to be a borderline science-fiction film.
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In Spain -after a TV premiere (1973)- the film had a theatrical release (July 2015) 66 years later. Was released in 2 theaters (Madrid and Barcelona, Cines Verdi) in subtitled version and was only projected for 4 days.
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