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The Ladykillers

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United Kingdom · 1955
1h 31m
Director Alexander Mackendrick
Starring Alec Guinness, Cecil Parker, Herbert Lom, Peter Sellers
Genre Comedy, Crime

A group of oddball criminals scheme their way into renting an apartment from the naive landlady. Their plan: to rob an armored bank van and use the landlady's naiveté to their advantage.

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Time Out by

A finely wrought image of terminal stasis, national, political (Charles Barr suggests the gang as the first post-war Labour government), and/or creative (the house as Ealing, Johnson as Balcon?). Whatever, Mackendrick immediately upped for America and the equally dark ironies of Sweet Smell of Success.


The New York Times by Bosley Crowther

Perhaps it is slightly labored. Perhaps it does have the air of an initially brilliant inspiration that has not worked out as easily as it seemed it should. Still and all, Mr. Rose's nimble writing and Alexander Mackendrick's directing skill have managed to assure The Ladykillers of a distinct and fetching comic quality.


The New Yorker by Pauline Kael

This sinister black comedy of murder accelerates until it becomes a grotesque fantasy of murder. The actors seem to be having a boisterous good time getting themselves knocked off.

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