7.8/10
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132 user 80 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:

William Rose (story), William Rose (screenplay)

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

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Cast

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
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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:

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:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

24 February 1956 (Belgium) See more »

Also Known As:

The Lady Killers See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound Recording)

Color:

Color (Colour by) (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

The Packard motor car used by the thieves as a getaway vehicle belonged to Michael Balcon. See more »

Goofs

During the parrot chase scene, Mr. Lawson is seen to fall over breaking the chair he is stuck in. Immediately after Mr. Harvey breaks the gramophone record the same shot is reused and Mr. Lawson apparently falls over breaking the same chair for a second time. See more »

Quotes

[last lines]
The Sergeant: [as she is leaving, the sergeant follows her out with her umbrella] Mrs. Wilberforce, wait! Just a moment!
[Holding out the umbrella]
The Sergeant: You forgot it, mum.
Mrs. Louisa Wilberforce: [Reaches for it, then changes her mind] Oh. Oh, no I don't think I want it. I never liked it. Now I can buy a dozen new ones. Oh, uh, good morning, Sergeant.
[She heads home, but on her way home, she stops in front of a starving artist]
Mrs. Louisa Wilberforce: Oh! They're very good, very good.
Starving Artist: Turned out nice, huh?
Mrs. Louisa Wilberforce: [She gives him a bank note] Yes, it-it has!
Starving Artist: [...]
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Crazy Credits

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

Connections

Featured in Breakfast: Episode dated 6 June 2011 (2011) 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

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User Reviews

 
Superlative
17 August 2002 | by rmax304823See 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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