HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Killer Therapy
Man Upstairs, The
Bloodhound, The
New Mutants, The
Tesla
Flame of New Orleans, The
Ham on Rye
Imperial Blue
Tenet
August 32nd on Earth
Don is Dead, The
Seven Sinners
Body of Water
Away
Soul
About Endlessness
Let It Snow
Ava
Deliver Us from Evil
Shark Attack 3: Megalodon
Midnight Sky, The
Lego Star Wars Holiday Special, The
Mon Oncle Antoine
Blast of Silence
Blackout, The
Stars in Your Eyes
Alone
Climate of the Hunter
Farewell Amor
Let's Scare Julie
Okko's Inn
Shaolin vs. Wu Tang
Fatman
Butt Boy
Dog of Flanders, The
Bushido Blade, The
Jiu Jitsu
Blind
Space Sheriff Gavan: The Movie
Fireworks, Should We See It from the Side or the Bottom?
   
 
Newest Articles
Chaney Chillers: Inner Sanctum Mysteries - The Complete Film Series on Blu-ray
Adelphi Extras: Stars in Your Eyes on Blu-ray
Toons for the Heads: Fantastic Planet and Adult Animation
Nature Girl: The New World on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Perfect Friday and Robbery
Network Double Bills: The House in Nightmare Park and The Man Who Haunted Himself
Newley Minted: The Strange World of Gurney Slade on Blu-ray
Bad Love: The Night Porter on Blu-ray
Brevity is the Soul of Weird: Short Sharp Shocks on Blu-ray
Get Your Ass to Mars: Total Recall on Blu-ray
Call the Professionals: Le Cercle Rouge on Blu-ray
When There's No More Room in Hell: Dawn of the Dead on Blu-ray
The Butterfly Effect: Mothra on Blu-ray
Living Room Theatre: Play for Today Volume 1 on Blu-ray
Didn't He Do Well: The Bruce Forsyth Show on DVD
Blood Wedding: The Bride with White Hair on Blu-ray
The Inhuman Element: The Ladykillers on 4K UHD
As You Like It, Baby: Breathless on Blu-ray
Stargazing: Light Entertainment Rarities on DVD
Down to the Welles: Orson Welles Great Mysteries Volume 2 on DVD
Herding Cats: Sleepwalkers on Blu-ray
Confessions of a Porn Star: Adult Material on DVD
They're Still Not Sure It is a Baby: Eraserhead on Blu-ray
Werewolves are Real: Dog Soldiers on Digital
Rose: A Love Story - Producers April Kelley and Sara Huxley Interview
   
 
  Lavender Hill Mob, The The Perfect Crime
Year: 1951
Director: Charles Crichton
Stars: Alec Guinness, Stanley Holloway, Sid James, Alfie Bass, Marjorie Fielding, Edie Martin, John Salew, Ronald Adam, Arthur Hambling, Gibb McLaughlin, John Gregson, Clive Morton, Sydney Tafler, Marie Burke, Audrey Hepburn, Michael Trubshawe, Moultrie Kelsall
Genre: ComedyBuy from Amazon
Rating:  10 (from 3 votes)
Review: Henry Holland (Alec Guinness) is relaxing with a fellow countryman he has met in a Rio de Janeiro club, though their conversation is interrupted often by locals thanking him for his generosity, as he is fond of distributing his wealth among them. Back to the chat, and he explains how he ended up in this comfortable position: he used to work for The Bank of England in the gold bullion department, riding in the armoured delivery van to ensure not one particle of gold, never mind a bar, was lost or stolen on its journey to a secure location. But he was ever undervalued and taken for granted, and as time marched on he recognised he wasn't getting any younger and those opportunities for a life he really enjoyed were slipping away. What to do?

How about turning to crime and robbing The Bank of England, a drastic measure but an existence of knuckling down to the daily grind is not going to satisfy many, and in extreme cases may turn a chap's mind to what he can get away with, even if that includes illegality. Such was the jumping off point of T.E.B. Clarke's Oscar-winning screenplay for The Lavender Hill Mob, and what a script it was, a beautifully constructed, warm and wise comedy that doubled deceptively as one of the heist thrillers that truly took off in popularity in the nineteen-fifties, possibly because the feeling that getting away from the austerity hangover from the war years merely took an opportunity that should you be brave enough would change your life for the better.

And if that meant getting one over on uncaring authority and bureaucracy, so much the better. Holland represented one whose potential, creatively, romantically, intelligently, had been thwarted by the grey and downbeat Britain of his day, but would easily apply to any era for there are no lack of such lost souls down history to the present day, and this film has been a source of delight for those dreamers ever since. He is biding his time until he forms a plan in his mind to get away with a million pounds' worth of bullion, but it takes a chance meeting at his boarding house home - notably he has never married, and sees no prospects in that area - with a new resident, Albert Pendlebury (Stanley Holloway), to bring that plan to fruition. With these two men the film depicted one of the most loveable friendships in all of cinema.

It was that affection the production had for its characters, those two little men who happen upon a way to realise their hopes and escape, that effortlessly translated to the audience as just about everyone who ever thought "what might have been" could wholly understand Holland and Pendlebury's yearning for something better where they could really appreciate their time on Earth, and possibly be appreciated back. When Pendlebury tells Holland of his job, not as an artist as he would most desire but as the manufacturer of trinkets for tourists, the bank employee realises he can use this, and sets up a scheme to steal the gold, melt it down and make it into little Eiffel Towers so it can be exported to France under the noses of customs, then be all ready to be picked up at their leisure. With the help of two actual criminals (Sid James and Alfie Bass), it all goes swimmingly.

But this was a Clarke screenplay for Ealing, possibly their finest achievement, so something was bound to go wrong and what wonderful chaos was spawned the second a collection of gold gewgaws are sold to a bunch of cackling schoolgirls over from England. That escalating mayhem was so perfectly realised by director Charles Crichton - just look at the running down the spiral staircase scene for the ideal distillation of the whole story - that there was rarely a more satisfying entry in the heist style, and the fact that it provoked giggles and chuckles made it all the more precious. The grand finale with the hordes of police called to mind Buster Keaton's classic short Cops, only if anything The Lavender Hill Mob was even sillier, yet as the last shot showed there was a poignancy, a make hay while the sun shines reminder that you can only get things your own way for so long. At the heart of it was that relationship between the two sad souls who devise the robbery, allowed a ray of hope and for a time genuinely enjoying life and all its possibilities. Music by Georges Auric.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 2217 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (2)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Darren Jones
Andrew Pragasam
Stately Wayne Manor
Enoch Sneed
  Geraint Morgan
Paul Smith
  Lee Fiveash
   

 

Last Updated: