MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Down 975 this week

The Ladykillers (1955)

7.8
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.8/10 from 19,320 users  
Reviews: 121 user | 67 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...

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Amazon Instant Video

ON DISC

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 33 titles
created 20 Feb 2011
 
a list of 43 titles
created 20 Jan 2013
 
a list of 25 titles
created 19 Mar 2013
 
a list of 21 titles
created 22 Apr 2013
 
a list of 21 titles
created 22 May 2014
 

Related Items

Search for "The Ladykillers" on Amazon.com

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: The Ladykillers (1955)

The Ladykillers (1955) on IMDb 7.8/10

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
    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 | Sci-Fi | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

An altruistic chemist invents a fabric that resists wear and stain as boon to humanity but both capital and labor realize it must be suppressed for economic reasons.

Director: Alexander Mackendrick
Stars: Alec Guinness, Joan Greenwood, Cecil Parker
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 classical ensemble in order to rob a casino, all under the nose of his unsuspecting but sharp old landlady.

Directors: Ethan Coen, Joel Coen
Stars: Tom Hanks, Marlon Wayans, Irma P. Hall
Comedy | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

A distant poor relative of the Duke of D'Ascoyne plots to inherit the title by murdering the eight other heirs who stand ahead of him in the line of succession.

Director: Robert Hamer
Stars: Dennis Price, Alec Guinness, Valerie Hobson
High and Dry (1954)
Certificate: Passed Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

An American businessman in Scotland is conned into shipping a valuable load of cargo to a Scottish island via a coal powered boat.

Director: Alexander Mackendrick
Stars: Paul Douglas, Alex Mackenzie, James Copeland
Whisky Galore (1949)
Comedy | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Scottish islanders try to plunder 50,000 cases of whisky from a stranded ship.

Director: Alexander Mackendrick
Stars: Basil Radford, Joan Greenwood, Catherine Lacey
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Residents of a part of London declare independence, when they discover an old treaty. This leads to the need for a 'Passport to Pimlico'.

Director: Henry Cornelius
Stars: Stanley Holloway, Betty Warren, Barbara Murray
Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

Powerful but unethical Broadway columnist J.J. Hunsecker coerces unscrupulous press agent Sidney Falco into breaking up his sister's romance with a jazz musician.

Director: Alexander Mackendrick
Stars: Burt Lancaster, Tony Curtis, Susan Harrison
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

The bigamist captain of a ferry boat between the restricted British colony in Gibraltar and Spanish Morocco has a woman of differing appeal and temperament in each port.

Director: Anthony Kimmins
Stars: Alec Guinness, Yvonne De Carlo, Celia Johnson
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A somewhat vulgar but dedicated painter searches for the perfect realization of his artistic vision, much to the chagrin of others.

Director: Ronald Neame
Stars: Alec Guinness, Kay Walsh, Renee Houston
Adventure
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Ten year old Sammy travels 4500 miles on his own from the Suez Canal to Durban, South Africa.

Director: Alexander Mackendrick
Stars: Edward G. Robinson, Fergus McClelland, Constance Cummings
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Mandy Garland was born deaf and has been mute for all of her life. Her parents believe she is able to speak if she can only be taught and enroll her with a special teacher.

Director: Alexander Mackendrick
Stars: Phyllis Calvert, Jack Hawkins, Terence Morgan
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:

Who was that lady I saw you outwit last night? That was no lady...That was 'Mum' Wilberforce, a lovely old doll, well known to the police, and landlady to the shadiest bunch of characters in London! 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 Lady Killers  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording)

Color:

(colour) (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Alec Guinness has said that he based his characterisation on theatre critic Kenneth Tynan. 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. Moments later when shot from a different angle, the man is gone. See more »

Quotes

Professor Marcus: One-Round, there is a wheelbarrow outside, could you fetch it? The Major has a train to catch.
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 100 Years of Comedy (1997) 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.


40 of 51 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Has anyone else found stardom in their 70s? ganglehog
I knew this new Ladykillers was a remake!! dominb01
Alistair Sim bradallengm
Favourite Sellers Film Olga_baikova
What's the Music?? Not Boccherini Op11/no5 but............???? gentlemedusa1
Weird cut in the film... JamesTCT
Discuss The Ladykillers (1955) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?