7.6/10
11,823
66 user 55 critic

The Lavender Hill Mob (1951)

Approved | | Comedy, Crime | 10 September 1951 (Sweden)
A meek bank clerk who oversees the shipment of bullion joins with an eccentric neighbor to steal gold bars and smuggle them out of the country as miniature Eiffel Towers.

Director:

Charles Crichton

Writer:

T.E.B. Clarke (original screenplay)
Reviews
Won 1 Oscar. Another 3 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Comedy | Drama | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

An altruistic chemist invents a fabric which resists wear and stain as a boon to humanity, but big business and labor realize it must be suppressed for economic reasons.

Director: Alexander Mackendrick
Stars: Alec Guinness, Joan Greenwood, Cecil Parker
Comedy | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

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.

Director: Alexander Mackendrick
Stars: Alec Guinness, Peter Sellers, Cecil Parker
Comedy | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A distant poor relative of the Duke of D'Ascoyne plots to inherit the title by murdering the eight other heirs who stand ahead of him in the line of succession.

Director: Robert Hamer
Stars: Dennis Price, Alec Guinness, Valerie Hobson
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

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
Stars: Stanley Holloway, Betty Warren, Barbara Murray
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

The Captain of a ferry boat between the restricted British colony in Gibraltar and Spanish Morocco has a woman of differing appeal and temperament in each port.

Director: Anthony Kimmins
Stars: Alec Guinness, Peter Bull, Charles Goldner
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Volunteers take over their local passenger train service (against bus company resistance) when the government announces its closure.

Director: Charles Crichton
Stars: Stanley Holloway, George Relph, Naunton Wayne
One Wild Oat (1951)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.1/10 X  

A barrister attempts to discourage his daughter's infatuation for a philanderer, by revealing his past. The plan backfires when the daughter's would-be father-in-law threatens to reveal the barrister's shady background.

Director: Charles Saunders
Stars: Robertson Hare, Stanley Holloway, Vera Pearce
Comedy | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

A cranky film star loses own child because of her levity.

Director: Jean Boyer
Stars: Ray Ventura, Henri Génès, Georges Lannes
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.4/10 X  

A post-war housing crisis leaves a shy woman to share a house with two couples. Comic situations arise as the new roomer becomes infatuated with one of the husbands.

Director: Henry Cass
Stars: Joan Greenwood, Nigel Patrick, Derek Farr
Comedy | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Scottish islanders try to plunder 50,000 cases of whisky from a stranded ship.

Director: Alexander Mackendrick
Stars: Basil Radford, Joan Greenwood, Catherine Lacey
Last Holiday (1950)
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

When a lonely, unappreciated farm equipment salesman discovers he has only a few weeks to live, he withdraws his savings for a final holiday at a "posh" resort.

Director: Henry Cass
Stars: Alec Guinness, Beatrice Campbell, Kay Walsh
Secret People (1952)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

This tale of intrigue finds Valentina Cortese involved in an assassination plot. She helps the police apprehend the conspirators after an innocent bystander is accidentally killed.

Director: Thorold Dickinson
Stars: Valentina Cortese, Serge Reggiani, Charles Goldner
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Alec Guinness ... Holland
Stanley Holloway ... Pendlebury
Sidney James ... Lackery
Alfie Bass ... Shorty
Marjorie Fielding Marjorie Fielding ... Mrs. Chalk
Edie Martin ... Miss Evesham
John Salew John Salew ... Parkin
Ronald Adam ... Turner
Arthur Hambling Arthur Hambling ... Wallis
Gibb McLaughlin ... Godwin
John Gregson ... Farrow
Clive Morton ... Station Sergeant
Sydney Tafler Sydney Tafler ... Clayton
Marie Burke ... Senora Gallardo
Audrey Hepburn ... Chiquita
Edit

Storyline

Holland, a shy retiring man, dreams of being rich and living the good life. Faithfully, for twenty years, he has worked as a bank transfer agent for the delivery of gold bullion. One day he befriends Pendlebury, a maker of souvenirs. Holland remarks that, with Pendlebury's smelting equipment, one could forge the gold into harmless-looking toy Eiffel Towers and smuggle the gold from England into France. Soon afterwards, the two plant a story to gain the services of professional criminals Lackery and Shorty. Together, the four plot their crime, leading to unexpected twists and turns. Written by Rick Gregory <rag.apa@email.apa.org>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The men who broke the bank - and lost the cargo! See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Crime

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English | French | Portuguese

Release Date:

10 September 1951 (Sweden) See more »

Also Known As:

The Lavender Hill Mob See more »

Edit

Box Office

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$10,945
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Ealing Studios See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Gaumont Kalee) (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

"Of all sad words of tongue or pen, the saddest are these - it might have been" is a taken from "Maud Muller", a poem by John Greenleaf Whittier. See more »

Goofs

When the police scientists places the model Eiffel Tower in nitric acid he turns it over without suffering any acid burns to his hand. The same when Pendlebury grabs it from the acid tray splashing acid all over the place without any burns occurring. See more »

Quotes

Henry Holland: There's nothing to laugh at!
See more »

Connections

Featured in The 52nd Annual Academy Awards (1980) See more »

Soundtracks

Old MacDonald Had a Farm
(uncredited)
Traditional
Arranged by Ernest Irving
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
The most exuberant of Ealing Comedies
5 August 2006 | by UncleJackSee all my reviews

This is a gentle understated English comedy, a classic example of Ealing Studios' output of the 1950s. But paradoxically what makes it most remarkable is its sheer exuberance, the unconcealed glee of Holland and Pendlebury as they revel in the success of their audacious plan. Their first meeting after seeing each other at the police station, the drunken return to their rooms after their celebratory meal and of course the famous descent of the Eiffel Tower, their laughter echoing the giggles of the schoolgirls spiralling round and round before falling dizzily out at the bottom.

Painting and sculpture were Pendlebury's wings, his escape from his "unspeakably hideous" business occupation. But when Holland delicately introduces him to his own dream of twenty years' to escape - and not just metaphorically - from life as a nonentity, Pendlebury is drawn in. The scenes in the Balmoral Private Hotel in Lavender Hill are outstanding, and the sparse dialogue allows Alec Guinness and Stanley Holloway to shine as Holland suggests to Pendlebury how gold might be smuggled out of the country. "Hohohoho; By Jove, Holland, it is a good job we are both honest men." "It is indeed, Pendlebury."

Later in the film, the plot stands less well up to scrutiny but Guinness and Holloway are easily able to carry the viewers' attention. Chases that turn into farces often don't work in this style of British film, but here again Holland and Pendlebury carry such energy and excitement that they fit in well, and I am sure that even in nineteen fifties Britain, large numbers of the audience will have grasped the ironic humour of the policeman singing "Old MacDonald," in addition to those laughing at the straightforward ludicrousness of the scene.

Aficionados of British postwar comedy will enjoy this film, and because it lacks the dryness of say, "Kind Hearts and Coronets" or "The Ladykillers" it provides a more accessible introduction for those who are new to this most wonderful of genres.


17 of 18 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 66 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page



Recently Viewed