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Encyclopedia > The Ladykillers
The Ladykillers

original film poster
Directed by Alexander Mackendrick
Produced by Seth Holt associate producer
Michael Balcon producer (uncredited)
Written by William Rose
Starring Alec Guiness
Cecil Parker
Herbert Lom
Peter Sellers
Danny Green
Jack Warner
Katie Johnson
Music by Tristram Cary
Cinematography Otto Heller
Editing by Jack Harris
Distributed by Continental Distributing Inc.
Release date(s) 1955
Running time 97 min.
Country U.K.
Language English
All Movie Guide profile
IMDb profile

The Ladykillers is a 1955 British film. It is one of a series of classic post-war Ealing comedies. Directed by Alexander Mackendrick, it stars Alec Guinness, Cecil Parker, Herbert Lom, Peter Sellers, Danny Green, Jack Warner and Katie Johnson. Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... Alexander Mackendrick (September 8, 1912 - December 22, 1993) was a Scottish-American film director. ... Seth Holt was a British film director born in Palestine in 1923 and dying in London, England in 1971. ... Sir Michael Balcon (19 May 1896–17 October 1977) was a British film producer, best known for his work with the Ealing Studios. ... William Rose (December 12, 1914 - February 10, 1987) was a major American screenwriter of British and Hollywood films. ... The Swan Sir Alec Guinness, CH, CBE (April 2, 1914 - August 5, 2000) was a British actor who became one of the most versatile and best loved performers of his generation. ... Cecil Parker (1897 – 1971) was an English character and comedy actor with a distinctive husky voice, who usually played supporting roles in his 91 films made between 1933 and 1969. ... Herbert Lom [Czech IPA: ] is an international film actor. ... Richard Henry Peter Sellers, CBE (8 September 1925 – 24 July 1980) was an English comedian, actor, and performer, who came to prominence on the BBC radio series The Goon Show and later became a film star. ... This article is about Jack Warner, the head of Warner Brothers. ... Katie Johnson (Born Bessie Kate Bayly on November 18, 1878 in Clayton, England - Died May 4, 1957, Elham, Kent) was an English actress who appeared on stage from the 1890s and on screen from the 1930s to 1950s. ... Tristram Cary (born 14th May 1925) is a British composer living in Australia. ... Otto Heller (March 8, 1896 - February 19, 1970) was a Czech cinematographer. ... John James Jack Harris (born October 27, 1948 in St. ... The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is a country in western Europe, and a member of the European Union. ... The English language is a West Germanic language that originates in England. ... // Events November 3 - The musical Guys and Dolls, starring Marlon Brando and Frank Sinatra, debuts. ... Michael Caine in Get Carter (1971). ... Ealing Studios, a TV and film production company and facilities provider at Ealing Green in West London, claims to be the oldest film studio in the world. ... Alexander Mackendrick (September 8, 1912 - December 22, 1993) was a Scottish-American film director. ... Sir Alec Guinness CH CBE (April 2, 1914 – August 5, 2000) was an Academy Award and Tony Award-winning English actor who became one of the most versatile and best-loved performers of his generation. ... Cecil Parker (1897 – 1971) was an English character and comedy actor with a distinctive husky voice, who usually played supporting roles in his 91 films made between 1933 and 1969. ... Herbert Lom [Czech IPA: ] is an international film actor. ... Richard Henry Peter Sellers, CBE (8 September 1925 – 24 July 1980) was an English comedian, actor, and performer, who came to prominence on the BBC radio series The Goon Show and later became a film star. ... Jack Warner (October 24, 1896 – May 24, 1981) was a popular British film and television actor. ... Katie Johnson (Born Bessie Kate Bayly on November 18, 1878 in Clayton, England - Died May 4, 1957, Elham, Kent) was an English actress who appeared on stage from the 1890s and on screen from the 1930s to 1950s. ...


American William Rose wrote the screenplay, for which he was nominated for an Academy Award for Writing Original Screenplay and won the Bafta Award for Best British Screenplay. He claimed to have dreamt the entire movie and merely had to remember the details when he awoke. William Rose (December 12, 1914 - February 10, 1987) was a major American screenwriter of British and Hollywood films. ... // The Academy Award for Writing Original Screenplay is the Academy Award for the best script not based upon previously published material. ... The British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA), is a British organization that hosts annual awards shows for film, television, childrens film and television, and interactive media. ...


In 2000, readers of Total Film magazine voted The Ladykillers the 36th greatest comedy film of all time. Total Film, published by Future Publishing, is the United Kingdoms second best-selling film magazine, after the longer-established Empire from Emap. ...


Synopsis

A comically unpleasant criminal, Professor Marcus (Guinness), rents a room in the crumbling King's Cross house of a bewilderingly innocent and eccentric old lady, Mrs. "Lopsided" Wilberforce (Johnson) - who lives with her parrots. The Professor, with his gang of curious characters, Claude (Parker), Harry (Sellers), "One-Round" (Green) and Louis (Lom), are plotting a sophisticated armoured car robbery, while convincing Mrs Wilberforce, by playing records, that they are in fact musicians using the room for rehearsal space. Kings Cross is an place in the London Borough of Camden. ...

Mrs. Wilberforce confronts Professor Marcus and his "ensemble"
Mrs. Wilberforce confronts Professor Marcus and his "ensemble"

After the successful theft, in which Mrs Wilberforce plays an unwitting central role, the real conflict of the film begins. As the gang leaves her house, One-Round accidentally spills his cello case of loot in front of Mrs. Wilberforce. Realising the truth, she informs Marcus that she is going to report them to the police. Image File history File linksMetadata Katie_johnson_ladykillers. ... Image File history File linksMetadata Katie_johnson_ladykillers. ...


The gang has no choice but to do away with her. However, One-Round and Claude have taken a liking to the old lady. Claude is selected to do the deed, but contrives to make a run for it. In quick succession, the criminals double-cross and kill one another, with the bodies dumped into railway wagons passing behind the house. Through all this, the marvellously oblivious Mrs. Wilberforce remains asleep.


In the end, the gang members manage to kill each other, and Mrs. Wilberforce ends up with the money. The police, familiar with her fussing and strange stories, pretend to believe her story about the robbery and jokingly tell her to keep the money, as it was insured. Ironically, the insurance was Professor Marcus's justification for the theft.


Production notes

Frankie Howerd has a cameo role as an agitated market fruit seller along with Kenneth Connor as a taxi driver. A young Stratford Johns (Charlie Barlow from Z-Cars) plays the driver of the lorry that gets robbed. Frankie Howerd Frankie Howerd OBE (born Francis Alex Howard in York, England, 6 March 1917 - not 1922 as he claimed; died in London, 19 April 1992) was a distinctive English comedian and comic actor. ... Martin Scorsese appears briefly in an uncredited role in this scene from his feature film Taxi Driver. ... Kenneth Connor (1916-1993) Kenneth Connor, MBE (6 June 1916 – 28 November 1993) was a British comedy stage, radio, film and TV actor, best known for the Carry On films. ... Stratford Johns, born Alan Stratford Johns, (September 22, 1925 - 29 January 2002) was a popular British stage, film and television actor who is best remembered for his starring role as Detective Inspector Charlie Barlow in the innovative and long-running BBC police series Z-Cars, created by Troy Kennedy-Martin. ... Z-Cars (sometimes written as Z Cars, and always pronounced zed, never zee) was a British television drama series centred around the work of regular beat police officers in the fictional town of Newtown, near Liverpool, in the north-west of England. ...


The piece which is played repeatedly to deceive Mrs. Wilberforce is Boccherini's Minuet (3rd movement) from String Quintet in E, Op.13 No.5. Luigi Boccherini (February 19, 1743 – May 28, 1805) was a classical era composer and cellist from Italy, mostly known for one particular minuet from one of his string quintets, and the Cello Concerto in B flat major (G 482). ...


A radio adaptation of the film was broadcast on BBC Radio 4 on January 13, 1996. BBC Radio 4 is a British domestic radio station which broadcasts a wide variety of chiefly spoken-word programmes including news, drama, comedy, science and history. ... January 13 is the 13th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1996 (MCMXCVI) was a leap year starting on Monday (link will display full 1996 Gregorian calendar). ...


External links


  Results from FactBites:
 
The Ladykillers (2004) (1184 words)
So when their 2004 film remake of The Ladykillers was announced, it was not much of a surprise that none other than Mr.
The rest of the movie, without spoiling it for you wanna-seers, surrounds the groups efforts to dig the tunnel and steal the money all the while trying to hide their intended scheme from the curious old lady up the stairs.
In the hands of the Coen's, The Ladykillers shaped up to be one of this years must sees.
The Ladykillers - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (445 words)
Directed by Alexander Mackendrick, 'The Ladykillers' stars Alec Guinness, Cecil Parker, Herbert Lom, Peter Sellers, Danny Green, Jack Warner and Katie Johnson.
In 2000, readers of Total Film magazine voted 'The Ladykillers' the 36th greatest comedy film of all time.
A radio adaptation of the film was broadcast on BBC Radio 4 on January 13, 1996.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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