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The Lavender Hill Mob (1951)

7.8
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Ratings: 7.8/10 from 7,892 users  
Reviews: 54 user | 48 critic

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 Eifel Towers.

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(original screenplay)
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Title: The Lavender Hill Mob (1951)

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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
Sidney James ...
Alfie Bass ...
Marjorie Fielding ...
Edie Martin ...
Miss Evesham
John Salew ...
Parkin
Ronald Adam ...
Turner
Arthur Hambling ...
Wallis
Gibb McLaughlin ...
Godwin
John Gregson ...
Farrow
Clive Morton ...
Station Sergeant
Sydney Tafler ...
Clayton
Marie Burke ...
Senora Gallardo
...
Chiquita
Edit

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 | france | souvenir | gold shipment | See more »

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:

The Lavender Hill Mob  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

"Of all sad words of tongue or pen, the saddest are these - it might have been" is a taken from 'Maud Muller', a poem by John Greenleaf Whittier. See more »

Goofs

Early in the film, when the gold is being poured into the mold to make bars, the position of the tongs holding the crucible of liquid gold is inconsistent. At first the tongs grab the crucible near the top, and then the film cuts to the men pouring the gold into the mold, at which time the tongs are closer to the bottom of the crucible. During the pour the camera angle changes and the tongs are moved closer to the top of the crucible again. See more »

Quotes

Henry Holland: Mr. Richards, with gold at 240 shillings per fine ounce, that particle, estimating its value at, .025, would entail a loss at approximately six shillings.
See more »

Connections

Featured in The Many Faces of...: Sid James (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

Auld Lang Syne
(1788) (uncredited)
Traditional Scottish ballad
Words by Robert Burns
Sung a cappella by the gang in celebration
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
"Run Dutch, Run"
14 October 2005 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

Ealing studios in Great Britain had a reputation for producing some very droll comedies in the post World War II years and this one was done when Ealing was at its height.

Alec Guinness is once again playing a mild mannered schnook of a man who no one notices at all. In fact his own superiors at his job, tell him to his face that his only virtue is a dull, honest dependability with a lack of imagination.

Boy how they were wrong. Guinness's job is to supervise the transfer of gold bullion from where it is smelted into bars to the Bank of England. Every working day he accompanies the gold in an armored truck to the bank. And Sir Alec's imagination has been working overtime as to how a robbery could be accomplished.

As he's discovered a long time ago, the problem isn't the robbery, it's the fencing of the loot. Well, bigger and more professional criminals have failed to lick that one on occasion.

Into Guinness's life walks Stanley Holloway who's the owner of a small foundry that makes lead souvenirs for sale. Another man with a dull life, looking for adventure. Guinness recognizes both a kindred spirit and a solution to his problem.

What makes The Lavendar Hill Mob work is the chemistry between Guinness and Holloway. It's so understated, but at the same time, so droll, funny, and touching. These two middle-aged men are living out a fantasy we'd all like to live, even if it means a touch of robbery. Guinness's character name is Henry Holland and Holloway is Alfred Pendlebury. As the friendship grows, they stop referring to each other as Mr. Holland and Mr. Pendlebury. Holloway even gives Holland the gangster nickname of Dutch.

They pick up two other amiable allies in petty crooks Sidney James and Alfie Bass. The robbery comes off pretty much as planned, but afterward things don't quite work out.

They use Holloway's foundry to make solid gold statues of the Eiffel Tower and send them to Paris to get them out of the country. What follows after that is some pretty funny situations, a mad run down the real Eiffel Tower and also one of the wildest police chase scenes ever filmed.

The run down the Eiffel Tower has always been a favorite of mine. When I was a lad, my parents took the family to Washington, DC for a sight seeing tour and I got the brilliant idea of walking down the Washington Monument to see the various commemorative stones in the wall of the Monument. Even after walking down, my whole family felt just like Guinness and Holloway.

Sir Alec Guinness got his first Oscar nomination for The Lavendar Hill Mob, but lost the big sweepstakes to Gary Cooper for High Noon. the Lavendar Hill Mob won an Oscar for the screenplay.

I understand there will be a remake of it coming out next year. I can't conceive of any remake possibly duplicating the chemistry between Guinness and Holloway.


10 of 11 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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