MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Down 6,635 this week

The Ladykillers (1955)

7.9
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.9/10 from 17,350 users  
Reviews: 119 user | 62 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.

Writer:

(story)
0Check in
0Share...

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 25 titles
created 06 Nov 2010
 
a list of 26 titles
created 06 Mar 2012
 
a list of 37 titles
created 17 Nov 2012
 
a list of 42 titles
created 20 Jan 2013
 
a list of 24 titles
created 3 months ago
 

Related Items

Search for "The Ladykillers" on Amazon.com

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: The Ladykillers (1955)

The Ladykillers (1955) on IMDb 7.9/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of The Ladykillers.

User Polls

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

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Comedy | Crime | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

An eccentric, if not charming Southern professor and his crew pose as a band in order to rob a casino, all under the nose of his unsuspecting landlord: a sharp old woman.

Directors: Ethan Coen, Joel Coen
Stars: Tom Hanks, Marlon Wayans, Irma P. Hall
Action | Comedy | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Comic caper movie about a plan to steal a gold shipment from the streets of Turin by creating a traffic jam.

Director: Peter Collinson
Stars: Michael Caine, Noel Coward, Benny Hill
Comedy | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

A drama critic learns on his wedding day that his beloved maiden aunts are homicidal maniacs, and that insanity runs in his family.

Director: Frank Capra
Stars: Cary Grant, Priscilla Lane, Raymond Massey
Family Plot (1976)
Comedy | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Lighthearted suspense film about a phony psychic/con artist and her taxi driver/private investigator boyfriend who encounter a pair of serial kidnappers while trailing a missing heir in California.

Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Stars: Karen Black, Bruce Dern, Barbara Harris
Get Shorty (1995)
Comedy | Crime | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A mobster travels to Hollywood to collect a debt and discovers that the movie business is much the same as his current job.

Director: Barry Sonnenfeld
Stars: Gene Hackman, Rene Russo, Danny DeVito
Go (1999)
Comedy | Crime | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Go! tells the story of the events after a drug deal, told from three different points of view.

Director: Doug Liman
Stars: Sarah Polley, Jay Mohr, Scott Wolf
Comedy | Crime | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Film noir parody with a detective uncovering a sinister plot. Characters from real noirs appear as scenes from various films are intercut.

Director: Carl Reiner
Stars: Steve Martin, Rachel Ward, Alan Ladd
Comedy | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

A detective must adopt the dog of a dead man to help him find the murderer.

Director: Roger Spottiswoode
Stars: Tom Hanks, Mare Winningham, Craig T. Nelson
Shallow Grave (1994)
Crime | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Three friends discover their new flatmate dead but loaded with cash.

Director: Danny Boyle
Stars: Kerry Fox, Christopher Eccleston, Ewan McGregor
Comedy | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A loser of a crook and his wife strike it rich when a botched bank job's cover business becomes a spectacular success.

Director: Woody Allen
Stars: Woody Allen, Tracey Ullman, Hugh Grant
Comedy | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

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.

Director: Charles Crichton
Stars: Alec Guinness, Stanley Holloway, Sidney James
Comedy | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

In 1920s New York, a struggling playwright is forced to cast a mobster's talentless girlfriend in his latest drama in order to get it produced.

Director: Woody Allen
Stars: John Cusack, Dianne Wiest, Jennifer Tilly
Edit

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 ...
The Sergeant
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:

Meet "The Unholy Five"...The Most Befuddled Set of Assorted Thugs That Ever Fouled Up a Million Dollar Bank Robbery!! See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Crime

Certificate:

See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

24 February 1956 (Belgium)  »

Also Known As:

The Ladykillers  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Premiere voted this movie as one of "The 50 Greatest Comedies Of All Time" in 2006. See more »

Goofs

When the gang block the van during the hold-up and one of the guards puts his head out of the window to remonstrate with them, what he says is out of synch with the movements of his mouth. See more »

Quotes

Mrs. Louisa Wilberforce: ...May I ask you where you studied?
One-Round: ...Well, I didn't really study any place, Lady... I just sort of... picked it up.
Mrs. Louisa Wilberforce: You know, I was so surprised when I heard what you were playing. It brought back something that, really, I'd completely forgotten all about: my 21st birthday party. You see, my father had engaged a string quintet to come in and play in the evening; and while they were playing Boccherini, someone came in and said the old queen had passed away. And everyone went home. And that was...
[...]
See more »

Crazy Credits

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

Connections

Featured in 50 Films to See Before You Die (2006) 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

Brilliant early dark comedy; much better than the remake
26 June 2004 | by (UK) – See all my reviews

London, 1955. Professor Marcus (Alex Guinness) plans to rob two armored cars with the help of a gang of crooks, played by an ensemble group of actors. They include: Louis (Herbert Lom), The Mayor (Cecil Parker), One-Round (Danny Green) and Harry (Peter Sellers). None of the men have previously met each other, but join together for the single heist.

Their strategic planning takes place in the upstairs of a Victorian home owned by Mrs. Wilberforce (Katie Johnson), a somewhat eccentric older woman who is under the impression that Professor Marcus and his "friends" are part of a music orchestra and unite daily to rehearse. This leads to a film comprised of misconceptions, confusion, and bumbling antics, as the Professor has to spend more of his time keeping Mrs. Wilberforce off their backs than devoting it to planning the robbery.

The film shares resemblance to Danny DeVito's "Duplex" in the scenes where Mrs. Wilberforce continuously interrupts the criminals' scheming, asking them to run errands for her. They reluctantly put up with her constant irritating questions and demands, since she is unknowingly a vital ingredient of their plan. They must use Mrs. Wilberforce in their robbery, and after a while she realizes this, then demands that they return the money, which leads them to the conclusion that they must kill the old woman or else risk losing their entire fortune. However, their constant mistakes and arguments only postpone the inevitable, and it soon seems that the group of tough guys aren't so tough after all. "I can't! I can't!" screams one of the criminals when he pulls the shortest toothpick and is handed the task of "whacking" the poor sweet lady.

All actors are at their peeks here -- Guinness as the Professor is superb, but Sellers in his screen debut is especially noteworthy. The script by William Rose relies on macabre humor rather than constant slapstick. Admittedly, I expected the former when I sat down to see the film, although I came away rather surprised at its sophistication.

The Coen Brothers remade the film in 2004, although the remake failed to capture the essence of this dark comedy. Made before political correctness (in the Coens' version there is the token black character of course), this is a delightfully irreverent black comedy. To be fair, most of the jokes don't hold up as well nowadays. It does not deliver a constant barrage of jokes, but rather a steady mix of black humor and plot -- a very good plot, too. One that keeps our interest and quite often manages to make us smile. "The Ladykillers" is a rare treat, better than the remake, a classic of the genre, and something that will be remembered years from now. It's a real gem of a movie, hard to devote long paragraphs to, much easier to devote 100 minutes of your life to.


35 of 45 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
I knew this new Ladykillers was a remake!! dominb01
Alistair Sim bradallengm
Weird cut in the film... JamesTCT
Favourite Sellers Film Olga_baikova
Free DVD copy kerravon
What's the Music?? Not Boccherini Op11/no5 but............???? gentlemedusa1
Discuss The Ladykillers (1955) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?