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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.



(original screenplay)

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Won 1 Oscar. Another 3 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Sidney James ...
Alfie Bass ...
Marjorie Fielding ...
Edie Martin ...
Miss Evesham
John Salew ...
Arthur Hambling ...
Gibb McLaughlin ...
Clive Morton ...
Station Sergeant
Sydney Tafler ...
Marie Burke ...
Senora Gallardo


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


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


Comedy | Crime


Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





| |

Release Date:

10 September 1951 (Sweden)  »

Also Known As:

De l'or en barres  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Gaumont Kalee) (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Screenwriter Clarke is said to have come up with the idea of a clerk robbing his own bank while doing research for the film Pool of London (1951), a crime thriller surrounding a jewel theft. He consulted the Bank of England on the project and it set up a special committee to advise on how best the robbery could take place. See more »


After the raid we see the maroon (dark colored) bullion van being driven into an abandoned warehouse to be emptied (33mins 10 secs into the movie). In the next short shot of the van parking, the van has now become a light colored van. After that we see the dark colored van again. See more »


Turner: Paris, eh? You're stepping out, Holland. Wonderful, isn't it, what a little extra money will do?
Henry Holland: Yes, it's going to make a big difference to me.
See more »


Featured in Best of British: Ealing Comedies (1993) See more »


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Arranged by Ernest Irving
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Brilliant Ealing Comedy
19 July 2004 | by (Beverley Hills, England) – See all my reviews

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.

42 of 44 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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