151 user 83 critic

The Ladykillers (1955)

Not Rated | | Comedy, Crime | 3 February 1956 (France)
2:35 | Trailer
Five oddball criminals planning a bank robbery rent rooms on a cul-de-sac from an octogenarian widow under the pretext that they are classical musicians.


William Rose (story), William Rose (screenplay)
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 2 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »





Complete credited cast:
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 - Mrs. Wilberforce
Philip Stainton Philip Stainton ... The Sergeant
Frankie Howerd ... The Barrow Boy


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


Be kind to your friends - Don't disclose the ending See more »


Comedy | Crime


Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


The taxi used by Mrs Wilberforce when leaving Kings Cross Station is a 1936 Austin 12/4 Strachan-bodied low loader taxicab registered CUL883. It is the same taxi used by Halliday and Ward in The Third Key (1956) when waiting to identify a suspect. See more »


One-Round knocks down a door, but after the gang pick matches the door is back in its frame. See more »


Professor Marcus: [Professor Marcus and his gang are discussing how to do away with Mrs. Wilberforce] It ought to look like an accident.
Harry: How about suicide?
Claude: What do you mean?
Harry: Well, get her to write a note, you know. "I just couldn't stand it no more. Signed, Mrs. Wilberforce." And then somebody goes down and hangs her. Hmm?
Louis: Very funny.
Harry: You got a better idea?
See more »

Crazy Credits

During the opening credits, roses are shown, to highlight the fact that William Rose wrote the screenplay. See more »


Spoofed in What Ever Happened to Baby Toto? (1964) See more »


Minuet in E major
Written by Luigi Boccherini, arranged for string ensemble
[playing on the phonograph whenever the robbers are pretending to be practicing]
See more »

User Reviews

Great when I was a kid; still great now!
22 January 2004 | by acutlerSee all my reviews

OK so I like it. Why? Well it is that intoxicating combination of dry black humour, pathos and perhaps a pleasing inevitability that whatever twist the film takes, you know it should be no other way.

I cannot fault the cast, I regretted as a kid that I did not see Katie Johnson again (I know she made many other films, but I have never collided with them), whereas Alec Guinness and Peter Sellers were often featured on a Saturday Matinee.

I am, however, pleasantly surprised at how well this film is rated by IMDb! Of course I would give it high marks, but it is very interesting to see how many other people from other nations both 'get it' and appreciate it. It is perhaps, these days, just a gentle farce with black edges where naivety blends in with irony, and I am not claiming that it makes me LoL the whole time. But it is eminently watchable and re-watchable and I would never hesitate to recommend it; indeed those who do not like it would probably not 'get me' either!

11 of 12 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 151 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »






Release Date:

3 February 1956 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

The Ladykillers See more »


Box Office

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound Recording)



Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page

Recently Viewed