7.2/10
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Passport to Pimlico (1949)

Approved | | Comedy | 26 October 1949 (USA)
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

Writer:

T.E.B. Clarke (original screenplay)
Reviews
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Stanley Holloway ... Arthur Pemberton
Betty Warren Betty Warren ... Connie Pemberton
Barbara Murray ... Shirley Pemberton
Paul Dupuis ... Duke of Burgundy
John Slater ... Frank Huggins
Jane Hylton ... Molly
Raymond Huntley ... Mr. Wix
Philip Stainton Philip Stainton ... P.C.Spiller
Roy Carr Roy Carr ... Benny Spiller
Sydney Tafler Sydney Tafler ... Fred Cowan
Nancy Gabrielle Nancy Gabrielle ... Mrs. Cowan
Malcolm Knight Malcolm Knight ... Monty Cowan
Hermione Baddeley ... Edie Randall
Roy Gladdish Roy Gladdish ... Charlie Randall
Frederick Piper Frederick Piper ... Garland
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Storyline

When an un-exploded WWII bomb is accidentally detonated in Pimlico, London, it reveals a treasure trove. They find documents proving that the region is, in fact, part of Burgundy, France and thus foreign territory. The British government attempts to regain control by setting up border controls and cutting off services to the area. The 'Burgundians' fight back. Written by Stephen Parkin <stephen@spcap.demon.co.uk>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Laugh your way to happiness See more »

Genres:

Comedy

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

26 October 1949 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Pasaporte para Pimlico See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Ealing Studios See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (DVD)

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Inspired the likes of The Mouse That Roared (1959) and its sequel The Mouse on the Moon (1963) about ridiculously small independent nations, as well as the Swedish radio show "Mosebacke Monarki". A similar plot was the basis of the German film Die Dubrow Krise (1969) that depicts a fictional East German town joining West Germany. Many problems that eventually plagued the actual reunification 20 years later were accurately predicted by the film. See more »

Goofs

Approx 1 hour in, during the showing of the news reel, where they are throwing cans and buckets in the air and the phrase 'hitting the production target' is said, one of those people are hit by a falling item with visible distress. See more »

Quotes

Frederick Albert 'Fred' Cowan: You can't push English people around like sacks of potatoes.
Jim Garland: English?
Connie Pemberton: Don't you come that stuff, Jim Garland! We always were English, and we'll always be Englsh, and it's just because we are English that we're sticking up for our rights to be Burgundians!
See more »

Crazy Credits

Dedicated to the memory of Clothing Coupons and Ration cards. See more »

Connections

Spoofed in Sir Norbert Smith, a Life (1989) See more »

Soundtracks

Chaos
(uncredited)
Music by Charles Williams
Chappell Recorded Music Library
"Siege of Burgundy" newsreel in cinema
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A Passport to pure enjoyment
23 November 2010 | by tim-764-291856See all my reviews

They say that the Ealing era was the British film industry's finest hour. Today, they are certainly dated but in an inventive, often very funny way. Not quaint, nor sloppy, nor nostalgic. As such they are all very watchable (& enjoyable)

"Passport to..." to my mind, is the best that depicts the street level London directly after the War, with the close-knit community rallying round, but with that 'spirit' that saw them through the Blitz. So, there's wheeling and dealing, pushing their luck, practical jokes and a broad humour that's infectious.

The story is absolute mumbo-jumbo nonsense with the subliminal message mocking the bureaucratic minefield that was necessary in shaping a devastated Britain - and London. Job's worth petty rules fly in the face of common sense.

To my mind, this is the best Ealing that snapshots a time and a place - many of the scenes are shot out in the bombed-cleared areas rather than the studio. The cast are a ragbag of the well-knowns of the time and many, many extras from young ruffians to bowler-hatted officials. It's fun and can be watched many times over. This must be at least my sixth.

It must have seemed like a breath of fresh air at the time - years of the Ministries commanding everyone in that 'proper', clipped voice, about every little detail - which they all knew they had to dutifully do. And now, we can all have a 'right larf'! at their expense.


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