Director Billy Wilder salutes his idol, Ernst Lubitsch, with this comedy about a middle-aged playboy fascinated by the daughter of a private detective who has been hired to entrap him with the wife of a client.
Holland, a shy retiring man, dreams of being rich and living the good life. Faithfully, for 20 years, he has worked as a bank transfer agent for the delivery of gold bullion. One day he befriends Pendlebury, a maker of souvenirs. Holland remarks that, with Pendlebury's smelting equipment, one could forge the gold into harmless-looking toy Eiffel Towers and smuggle the gold from England into France. Soon after, the two plant a story to gain the services of professional criminals Lackery and Shorty. Together, the four plot their crime, leading to unexpected twists and turns. Written by
Rick Gregory <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Ealing Studios, planning a bank-robbery film, asked the Bank of England to devise a way in which a million pounds could be stolen from the bank. A special committee was created to come up with an idea, and their plan is the one used in the film. See more »
During the chase, the license plate on the armored truck is LKL238. The police officer correctly reports the license plate as LKL238. However, when the dispatcher repeats the license plate, he says LKL638. See more »
But surely you must have some suspicion. Who work the heist rackets in this territory?
Beg your pardon, lady?
Oh really! I can't make myself much plainer. Which hoodlums around here specialize in toby jobs?
See more »
Ealing studios are famous for making very dry and witty comedies; they're probably most famous for the excellent 'Kind Hearts and Coronets' and darkly comic 'The Ladykillers', but The Lavender Hill Mob, although not as good as the other two, is definitely worth a mention.
The Lavender Hill Mob is about a bank clerk (Alec Guinness) that, with the aid of his friend Alfred Pendlebury (Stanley Holloway), a man that makes paperweights in the shape of the Eiffel tower, has an ingenious idea of how to rob his own bank. The two realise that the bank cannot be robbed by just them, so they set a trap to catch a couple of criminals, and once they've recruited them; The Lavender Hill Mob is born.
Alec Guinness, a regular of Ealing comedies and a man that I think is worthy of the title "the greatest actor of all time" shines, as usual, in this movie. Alec Guinness manages to hit the tone of his character just right; he is suitably creepy, as he is, a criminal, and yet at the same time he's also eccentric enough to be considered an upstanding citizen and bank clerk. Guinness is, however, not the only actor who's performance in this movie is worthy of acclaim, the entire cast shine in their respective roles; Stanley Holloway is more subdued in his role, but that's also suited to his character. There are also excellent support performances from Sid James, who is mostly remembered for his work on the 'Carry on' films; Alfie Bass, whom fans of British comedy TV will remember from the series "Are You Being Served" and there's also a very small role for Audrey Hepburn, who's movie legacy is legendary.
The Lavender Hill Mob also features many memorable moments that will stick in the viewers' mind long after the film has ended. Parts of the film such as the chase on the Eiffel tower and the way that the two central characters manage to loose the entire police force are legendary. The Lavender Hill Mob is a small movie, but it's a movie that aims big and it works a treat. This movie also features a brilliant twist ending that rivals the one in the superb 'Kind Hearts and Coronets'.
Overall, The Lavender Hill Mob is, despite its low budget and short running time, a spectacular comedy film that should not be missed by anyone.
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