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The Ladykillers (1955)

7.9
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Ratings: 7.9/10 from 18,320 users  
Reviews: 121 user | 66 critic

Five diverse oddball criminal types planning a bank robbery rent rooms on a cul-de-sac from an octogenarian widow under the pretext that they are classical musicians.

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Title: The Ladykillers (1955)

The Ladykillers (1955) on IMDb 7.9/10

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 2 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Director: Peter Glenville
Stars: Alec Guinness, Jack Hawkins, Wilfrid Lawson
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Cecil Parker ...
Claude (a.k.a. 'Major Courtney')
...
Louis (a.k.a. 'Mr. Harvey')
...
Danny Green ...
Jack Warner ...
The Superintendent
...
Philip Stainton ...
Frankie Howerd ...
The Barrow Boy
Edit

Storyline

A gang planning a 'job' find themselves living with a little old lady, who thinks they are musicians. When the gang set out to kill Mrs Wilberforce, they run into one problem after another, and they get what they deserve. Written by Rob Hartill

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Be kind to your friends - Don't disclose the ending See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Crime

Certificate:

See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

24 February 1956 (Belgium)  »

Also Known As:

The Lady Killers  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording)

Color:

(colour) (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Mrs Wilberforce laments the fact that her 21st birthday party was curtailed by the arrival of the news that "The old Queen had died." Queen Victoria died in the evening of 22nd January 1901. Allowing for the fact that most people in Britain would have heard the news the next day, this means that Mrs Wilberforce was born on 23rd January 1880, and was 75 (two years younger than Katie Johnson) at the time the film portrays. See more »

Goofs

When the Professor and Louis are fighting on wasteland towards the end of the film, a 'white-shirted' man can be seen watching the action from a warehouse window in the distance. Moment's later when shot from a different angle, the man is gone. See more »

Quotes

[Professor Marcus hears the parrots chattering downstairs]
Professor Marcus: What's that? Who's talking?
Mrs. Louisa Wilberforce: Well, it's only General Gordon. He belonged to my late husband. I had four.
Professor Marcus: Husbands?
Mrs. Louisa Wilberforce: No, parrots. And now I've only three.
Professor Marcus: Parrots!
See more »

Crazy Credits

During the opening credits, roses are shown, to highlight the fact that William Rose wrote the screenplay. See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Unknown Peter Sellers (2000) See more »

Soundtracks

Minuet in E major
(uncredited)
Written by Luigi Boccherini, arranged for string ensemble
[playing on the phonograph whenever the robbers are pretending to be practicing]
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
A golden classic of British comedy cinema.
24 March 2000 | by (London) – See all my reviews

When film studios are churning out rubbish like 'The Full Monty' and 'American Pie' under the heading of comedy, you have to wonder what sort of brainless morons are filling cinemas with laughter. It is nothing short of tragic that gargantuan amounts of cash are being expended on useless blow-outs like Titanic,Star Wars- The Phantom Menace, and just lately, The Beach. When Ealing Studios ceased production, the cinema world was suddenly very much poorer.

The Ladykillers is undoubtedly one of the finest comedies ever made, certainly the best Ealing film of them all. Here is a film from the golden age of British cinema that will forever amuse and entertain. It is easy to be nostalgic about these old films but they are still held in high regard for a good reason-they were made by people who knew the art of film making. Moreover, they were made at a time when a trip to the cinema was still a special occasion. So they were made with love and care and with respect for the audience.

The Ladykillers is unusual for an Ealing comedy, being made in colour. It would have worked just as well in black and white, possibly even etter.( I have watched it in black and white on TV by turning the colour controls off!) The location shots, which were done around the back of King's Cross station in London, capture forever something of the old London I used to know as a child.

I suppose they best description for this film is a comedy of a bank robbery gone wrong. The ensemble acting is of the highest order; Katie Johnson as Mrs. Wilberforce just about steals the film from Alec Guinness. The hilarious script leaves you wanting more, even though a lot of the comedy is based on sight gags; the extended scene when the supposed 'musicians' come downstairs one by one while the Boccherini Quintet continues playing is wonderful, as are the moments involving General Gordon the parrot. The cinematography is beautifully realised and so British.

Having read all of the comments on this film, I was suprised that so many American film lovers liked this film - British comedy like this doesn't usually travel well across the water. So a sincere big thank you to all of you guys over there who commented favourably on The Ladykillers.

I don't think that we will ever see the return of institutions like Ealing Studios again, so The Ladykillers should be watched, enjoyed and loved by generations of film lovers to come.


88 of 96 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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I knew this new Ladykillers was a remake!! dominb01
Alistair Sim bradallengm
Favourite Sellers Film Olga_baikova
Weird cut in the film... JamesTCT
Free DVD copy kerravon
What's the Music?? Not Boccherini Op11/no5 but............???? gentlemedusa1
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