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
William Rose and Alexander Mackendrick quarreled violently during pre-production work on the film, with the result that Rose stormed off leaving his screenplay not quite finished. Mackendrick and a TV comedy writer, Larry Stevens, provided the finishing touches. Later, Rose apologized profusely to Mackendrick and praised his handling of the film lavishly. See more »
The card placed in the shop window advertising the rooms to let states "Apply within or to Mrs. Alexandra Wilberforce" and yet when Mrs. Wilburforce's friends arrive at her house they all refer to her as "Louisa". See more »
Mrs. Louisa Wilberforce:
...May I ask you where you studied?
...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 »
During the opening credits, roses are shown, to highlight the fact that William Rose wrote the screenplay. See more »
I won't go on about this, but I think this is one of the funniest comedies I've ever watched. So did my ten-year-old, with whom I've watched it many times on tape. I say "one of the funniest" deliberately because this is about as good as it gets, and other comedies have reached that same asymptotic height -- "Dr. Strangelove," for instance, or "Some Like it Hot," -- but none have, or is ever likely to, exceed it.
Most of what can be said about this Ealing Comedy has already been said and I won't repeat it. I will add, however, one generally overlooked point. The principal cockatoo, "General Gordon," sees Professor Marcus's shadow on the door and squawks "SOS" in Morse code. One of the scenes I find most amusing, in a film filled with amusing scenes, is when Peter Sellers returns to the old house to find his four thuggish friends trapped in a room full of chirping old ladies in lavender and frothy lace. The thieves hold a cup of tea in one hand and a pastry in the other, except for Guiness who is draped scowling over a player piano that is tinkling out "Silver Threads Among the Gold."
If you feel yourself falling into a funk, this is the one to watch. Well, okay, it's the one to watch anyway. A non pareil, light years better than my spelling of French.
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