IMDb > The Ladykillers (1955)
The Ladykillers
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The Ladykillers (1955) More at IMDbPro »

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Overview

User Rating:
7.9/10   18,143 votes »
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Up 22% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
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View company contact information for The Ladykillers on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
24 February 1956 (Belgium) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
Meet "The Unholy Five"...The Most Befuddled Set of Assorted Thugs That Ever Fouled Up a Million Dollar Bank Robbery!! See more »
Plot:
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. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Awards:
Nominated for Oscar. Another 2 wins & 2 nominations See more »
NewsDesk:
(45 articles)
Stash in the attic: the hunt for lost films
 (From The Guardian - Film News. 1 May 2014, 11:00 AM, PDT)

Curio: The Storied Career of Alec Guinness
 (From FilmExperience. 2 April 2014, 7:00 AM, PDT)

The acting roles of Richard Attenborough
 (From Den of Geek. 1 April 2014, 2:38 AM, PDT)

User Reviews:
Simply killer See more (121 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Alec Guinness ... Professor Marcus
Cecil Parker ... Claude (a.k.a. 'Major Courtney')

Herbert Lom ... Louis (a.k.a. 'Mr. Harvey')

Peter Sellers ... Harry (a.k.a. 'Mr. Robinson')
Danny Green ... One-Round (a.k.a. 'Mr. Lawson')
Jack Warner ... The Superintendent

Katie Johnson ... The Old Lady
Philip Stainton ... The Sergeant
Frankie Howerd ... The Barrow Boy
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Madge Brindley ... Large Lady (uncredited)
Hélène Burls ... Hypatia (uncredited)

Kenneth Connor ... Cab Driver (uncredited)
Michael Corcoran ... Burglar (uncredited)
Harold Goodwin ... Parcels Clerk (uncredited)
Fred Griffiths ... Junk Man (uncredited)
Lucy Griffiths ... Miss Pringle (uncredited)
Phoebe Hodgson ... Constance (uncredited)
Vincent Holman ... Station Master (uncredited)
Anthony John ... Child (uncredited)
Stratford Johns ... Security Guard (uncredited)
Evelyn Kerry ... Amelia (uncredited)
Sam Kydd ... Second Cab Driver (uncredited)
Edie Martin ... Lettice (uncredited)
Jack Melford ... Detective (uncredited)
Robert Moore ... Constable (uncredited)
Arthur Mullard ... (uncredited)
Ewan Roberts ... Constable (uncredited)
George Roderick ... Radio Car Policeman (uncredited)
John Rudling ... Nervous Man (uncredited)
Leonard Sharp ... Pavement Artist (uncredited)
Peter Williams ... Detective at Parcels Office (uncredited)
Neil Wilson ... Policeman (uncredited)

Directed by
Alexander Mackendrick 
 
Writing credits
William Rose (story and screenplay)

Jimmy O'Connor  uncredited

Produced by
Michael Balcon .... producer
Seth Holt .... associate producer
 
Original Music by
Tristram Cary 
 
Cinematography by
Otto Heller (director of photography)
 
Film Editing by
Jack Harris 
 
Art Direction by
Jim Morahan 
 
Costume Design by
Anthony Mendleson 
 
Makeup Department
Alex Garfath .... makeup artist
Daphne Martin .... hair styles
 
Production Management
Hal Mason .... production supervisor
David Peers .... unit production manager
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Tom Pevsner .... assistant director
Michael Birkett .... third assistant director (uncredited)
John Meadows .... second assistant director (uncredited)
 
Art Department
W. Simpson Robinson .... scenic artist
Bert Davey .... assistant art director (uncredited)
Norman Dorme .... draughtsman (uncredited)
Tony Rimmington .... junior draughtsman (uncredited)
Jack Shampan .... draughtsman (uncredited)
 
Sound Department
Stephen Dalby .... sound supervisor (as Steven Dalby)
Gordon Stone .... sound editor
Leo Wilkins .... recordist
E. Belcher .... assistant boom operator (uncredited)
Harry Fairbairn .... sound assistant (uncredited)
Ray Palmer .... dubbing crew (uncredited)
W. Robson .... sound camera operator (uncredited)
Bill Rowe .... dubbing crew (uncredited)
Eric Stockl .... dubbing crew (uncredited)
Don Wortham .... boom operator (uncredited)
 
Special Effects by
Sydney Pearson .... special effects
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Chic Waterson .... camera operator (as Chick Waterson)
Alan Bryce .... clapper loader (uncredited)
Harold Hanscomb .... still photographer (uncredited)
Ray Parslow .... focus puller (uncredited)
Herbert Smith .... focus puller (uncredited)
 
Editorial Department
Harry Aldous .... assistant editor
Jim Clark .... second assistant editor (uncredited)
Robin Clarke .... third assistant editor (uncredited)
 
Music Department
Dock Mathieson .... conductor
 
Other crew
Joan Bridge .... Technicolor colour consultant
Felicia Manheim .... continuity
 
Crew verified as complete


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Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
91 min
Country:
Language:
Color:
Color (colour) (Technicolor)
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (RCA Sound Recording)
Certification:
Argentina:13 | Australia:PG | Australia:G | Finland:K-16 | Iceland:12 | Netherlands:14 | Norway:15 | Sweden:15 (original rating) | Sweden:11 (re-release) (1975) | UK:U | UK:U (video rating) (1989) (2002) (2006)

Did You Know?

Trivia:
According to both Alexander Mackendrick and Alec Guinness, Mrs. Wilberforce's birds in the film were voiced by Peter Sellers.See more »
Goofs:
Errors in geography: From the street in front of Mrs. Wilberforce's house, the front of St. Pancras station is visible, placing the house south of the station. No tracks leave St. Pancras or the adjacent King's Cross station in that direction, so the house could not be adjacent to a tunnel as depicted (see trivia entry).See more »
Quotes:
[Professor Marcus hears the parrots chattering downstairs]
Professor Marcus:What's that? Who's talking?
Mrs. Louisa Wilberforce:Well, it's only General Gordon. He belonged to my late husband. I had four.
Professor Marcus:Husbands?
Mrs. Louisa Wilberforce:No, parrots. And now I've only three.
Professor Marcus:Parrots!
See more »
Movie Connections:
Featured in The Long Day Closes (1992)See more »
Soundtrack:
Minuet in E majorSee more »

FAQ

How much sex, violence, and profanity are in this movie?
Is this based on a book?
Who actually dies?
See more »
62 out of 66 people found the following review useful.
Simply killer, 7 May 1999
Author: Delly (mortanse@yahoo.com) from Los Angeles

Mrs. Wilberforce, a senile old biddy living with her parrot in a ramshackle Victorian townhouse, is just sitting down to take her lonesome afternoon tea when she hears the bell ring. Rare occasion. She opens the door to reveal a striking-looking gentleman with lank hair and an air of indefinable loucheness. "Hello," he says, smiling graciously and instantly defining his loucheness -- his atrocious teeth. "I understand you have rooms to let."

The prospective tenant is played by Alec Guinness, a long time before he attained the respectable old age that would make him such a convincing guru in Star Wars. Here he's in his lusty comedic prime, and from the moment he makes his unforgettable entrance, you know The Ladykillers is going to be a classic. Somehow, despite the silly cartoonishness of the story -- a meddlesome old lady foils the well-laid plans of a group of a bumbling bank robbers -- this is an ultra-sophisticated film. And despite the track record of director Alexander MacKendrick, despite the inspired performances he elicits from his cast, chief credit for its success must go to screenwriter William Rose. Most other comedies of the era, even those MacKendrick directed, suffer from forced repartee and obvious one-liners, making the viewer feel like an anchor is resting atop his head. Rose -- living up to his name -- has a lighter touch, reminiscent of the best comedies of recent years ( namely Rushmore. ) He invests each and every scene with a memorable hook, while at the same time forswearing even the least contrivance.

For an example, take the scene where Mrs. Wilberforce confiscates the crooks' cello case full of "lolly" and stashes it in a locked closet. In almost any other movie, this emergency would be used as set-up, a new problem to solve, an excuse to pad the running time. In The Ladykillers, however, the crooks simply wait a few seconds until the old bat is gone, at which point one of them, the beefy one, rolls his eyes, raises his right arm, and negligently -- it's such a dainty little lock -- staves the closet in. Now that may not sound like much written here, it may not even sound very amusing, but when every scene in the movie boasts a similar surprise, the cumulative effect is exhilarating. Whether or not you enjoy the individual gags.

For some reason, The Ladykillers is never screened, and written about even less. I can ALMOST understand the latter kind of neglect -- it's a hard movie to write about because, for all the talent and skill of its creators, it doesn't give you a lot to chew on. But while you're watching, it's an incomparable entertainment, one of those movies where every line of dialogue, every camera angle, every twist and turn in the story is felicitously, rapturously perfect. A true addiction.



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