The Ladykillers [1955]

The Ladykillers [DVD] [1955]

Release Date: June 21, 2004
Studio: Warner
Actors: Alec Guinness, Peter Sellers, Cecil Parker, Herbert Lom, Danny Green
Directors: Alexander Mackendrick
Runtime: 91 minutes
DVD-Rip

Although you never really fear for Mrs "lop-sided" Wilberforce or General Gordon (her parrot) in The Ladykillers, the criminal gang who come to stay are clearly dangerous. Alec Guinness is extraordinary as the buck-toothed mastermind, and once the hijacked lolly is stowed in their digs it's a joy to watch him scheme to eliminate the other crooks and abscond with it all. Herbert Lom's thuggishness, Peter Seller's nervy twitching, and Danny Green's lumbering cloddishness are a treat, but are wickedly done away with one by one under cover of locomotive smoke plumes. So many set-pieces make this a classic: sending the landlady to collect the stolen money at the station, Frankie Howerd's boisterous fruit seller cameo, and keeping alive the idea that the gang's a musical troupe with a penchant for Boccherini and Haydn. Some inspired set design and camera work even add an expressionistic quality. --Paul Tonks
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