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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(story and screenplay)
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 2 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
Claude (a.k.a. 'Major Courtney')
...
Louis (a.k.a. 'Mr. Harvey')
...
...
Jack Warner ...
The Superintendent
...
Philip Stainton ...
The Sergeant
...
The Barrow Boy
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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:

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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) (uncredited)

Color:

(Colour by) (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Richard Attenborough was originally considered for the role of Harry, by director Alexander Mackendrick. See more »

Goofs

During the parrot chase scene, Mr. Lawson is seen to fall over breaking the chair he is stuck in. Immediately after Mr. Harvey breaks the gramophone record the same shot is reused and Mr. Lawson apparently falls over breaking the same chair for a second time. See more »

Quotes

[after Louis has 'dealt' with the Major on the roof']
Professor Marcus: Well, where is he? Where *is* the Major? Is he up there still?
Harry: No, no, he, uh, he come down.
Professor Marcus: Well bring him here!
Harry: He come down... with the chimney-pot.
Professor Marcus: With the chimney- ?
[chuckles]
Professor Marcus: Is he hurt?
Louis: I shouldn't think he felt a thing.
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 Forever Ealing (2002) See more »

Soundtracks

Silver Threads Among The Gold
(1873)
Music by H.P. Danks
Lyrics by Eben E. Rexford
(played and sung in the parlour of Mrs. Wilberforce's house)
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Superlative
17 August 2002 | by (Deming, New Mexico, USA) – See all my reviews

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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