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The Ladykillers (1955)

7.8
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Ratings: 7.8/10 from 19,156 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.

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Title: The Ladykillers (1955)

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

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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:

 »
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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) (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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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

The famous minuet heard frequently in the film (supposedly being rehearsed by the crooks) is from Luigi Boccherini's Quintet in E Major, Op.11, No. 5. Most string quintets (Mozart, Brahms, Mendelssohn, etc.) add a second viola to the conventional string quartet (two violins, viola, cello), and are referred to as "viola quintets." Boccherini, himself a cellist, wrote most of his 100+ string quintets for a combination of two violins, viola, and two cellos, or "cello quintet." The crooks in The Ladykillers -- posing as a viola quintet -- display the wrong combination of instruments for performing the Boccherini minuet, but this may have been intended as a mistake on the part of the crooks rather than the filmmakers. 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

Referenced in Creating 'The Upside of Anger' (2005) 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. Absolutely Brilliant.
17 January 2004 | by See all my reviews

Where did they dig up Katie Johnson? How she balances the act of a sweet old lady who is respected yet still patronized with the toughness of a strong woman who upholds justice is a joy to watch. All the while completely unawares of the true danger surrounding her. Her performance is simply great and side-splittingly funny. The rest of the cast display their usual talents, particularly the fumbling of Cecil Parker and the mean looking Herbert Lom. It's also interesting to see a very young Peter Sellers who would soon hit his stride a few years later. The dark lighting and moody scenes are perfect for this comedy and are very typical of British films of the era, so the look is familiar right away as you begin to watch. The "Tea Party" scene is just a riot. Odd to see so many negative comments on the film - it's one of if not the best Ealing film and deservedly regarded as one the best comedies of all time. They just dont make them like this anymore.


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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
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