The Lavender Hill Mob
Holland, a shy retiring man, dreams of being rich and living the good life. Faithfully, for 20 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 after, 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.
This is one of the great Ealing comedies from the 1950’s, with wonderful writing, and acting. The plot is fairly simple, but all the better for that because it makes the film so much more believable – but for some bad luck (and the fact that in the era this was made films were penalised by the censorship board if they showed criminals getting away with a crime) there’s every chance Guinness and Holloway would have gotten away with the gold.
The supporting cast is reasonable but what makes this film so fantastic is the performances of Alec Guinness and Stanley Holloway; both of them play their roles well, hitting just the right notes and showing great chemistry.
If you like a good comedy and you haven’t yet seen this, I heartily recommend it.