7.8/10
21,732
130 user 75 critic

The Ladykillers (1955)

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.

Writers:

(story), (screenplay)
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ON DISC
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:

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 by) (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In an interview, Peter Sellers stated that this was "the first real film I made . . . I can remember all of that very well. I used to watch Alec Guinness, who is an absolute idol of mine, do everything, his rehearsals, his scenes, everything. It was fascinating. . . .Not that I could hope to be as good as Guinness. But he is my ideal . . . and my idol." 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

[Professor Marcus enters the phone booth right as the phone rings. On the other end, Claude is in another phone booth outside the train station, watching Mrs. Wilberforce collect their trunk]
Professor Marcus: Now, Major, before we start, let's press button A, shall we?... That's better... Major. Ma - Major! I want you to keep calm, speak quietly, and concentrate. Have you got that? Splendid. Mrs. W. should be coming into view just about...
[hums]
Professor Marcus: ... now... Now she's driving away.
[She does, but comes back]
Professor Marcus: . ...
[...]
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 50 Greatest Comedy Films (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

 
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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