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The Lavender Hill Mob (1951)

Approved | | Comedy, Crime | 10 September 1951 (Sweden)
A meek bank clerk who oversees the shipment of bullion joins with an eccentric neighbor to steal gold bars and smuggle them out of the country as miniature Eiffel Towers.

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Writer:

(original screenplay)
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Won 1 Oscar. Another 3 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Holland
...
Pendlebury
...
Alfie Bass ...
Marjorie Fielding ...
Edie Martin ...
Miss Evesham
John Salew ...
Parkin
...
Turner
Arthur Hambling ...
Wallis
Gibb McLaughlin ...
Godwin
...
Farrow
Clive Morton ...
Station Sergeant
Sydney Tafler ...
Clayton
...
Senora Gallardo
...
Chiquita
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Storyline

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 <rag.apa@email.apa.org>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

gold | bank | souvenir | france | champagne | See All (62) »

Taglines:

He stole $3,000,000 in gold and that's a lot of BULLion! See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Crime

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

| |

Release Date:

10 September 1951 (Sweden)  »

Also Known As:

De l'or en barres  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Gaumont Kalee) (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

First feature film of Frank Forsyth. See more »

Goofs

When Holland and Pendlebury ascend the stairs drunk, Pendlebury loudly recites a piece of prose, but his lips are obviously saying something completely different. See more »

Quotes

Henry Holland: The world is ours!
See more »

Connections

Featured in Forever Ealing (2002) See more »

Soundtracks

Rumba Rio
(uncredited)
Composed and performed by Ivor Mairants
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
The most exuberant of Ealing Comedies
5 August 2006 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

This is a gentle understated English comedy, a classic example of Ealing Studios' output of the 1950s. But paradoxically what makes it most remarkable is its sheer exuberance, the unconcealed glee of Holland and Pendlebury as they revel in the success of their audacious plan. Their first meeting after seeing each other at the police station, the drunken return to their rooms after their celebratory meal and of course the famous descent of the Eiffel Tower, their laughter echoing the giggles of the schoolgirls spiralling round and round before falling dizzily out at the bottom.

Painting and sculpture were Pendlebury's wings, his escape from his "unspeakably hideous" business occupation. But when Holland delicately introduces him to his own dream of twenty years' to escape - and not just metaphorically - from life as a nonentity, Pendlebury is drawn in. The scenes in the Balmoral Private Hotel in Lavender Hill are outstanding, and the sparse dialogue allows Alec Guinness and Stanley Holloway to shine as Holland suggests to Pendlebury how gold might be smuggled out of the country. "Hohohoho; By Jove, Holland, it is a good job we are both honest men." "It is indeed, Pendlebury."

Later in the film, the plot stands less well up to scrutiny but Guinness and Holloway are easily able to carry the viewers' attention. Chases that turn into farces often don't work in this style of British film, but here again Holland and Pendlebury carry such energy and excitement that they fit in well, and I am sure that even in nineteen fifties Britain, large numbers of the audience will have grasped the ironic humour of the policeman singing "Old MacDonald," in addition to those laughing at the straightforward ludicrousness of the scene.

Aficionados of British postwar comedy will enjoy this film, and because it lacks the dryness of say, "Kind Hearts and Coronets" or "The Ladykillers" it provides a more accessible introduction for those who are new to this most wonderful of genres.


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