Thursday, May 16, 2024

A gold heist

I just watched a recently acquired Blu-ray of one of my favorite British comedies, The Lavender Hill Mob (1951). It was produced by Ealing Studios, a company that became famous for a whole series of great comedies, many—including this one—starring Alec Guinness. Other Ealing films that I always enjoy sharing: Whiskey Galore!, Kind Hearts and Coronets, The Man in the White Suit, the original The Ladykillers, and A Run for Your Money, all of which except the first have Guinness in the cast. If you enjoy British humor, you will enjoy any of them. CrimeReads recently published an essay about The Lavender Hill Mob which I excerpt below:
.... It is about two men, neighbors in the small Battersea London neighborhood of Lavender Hill, who become unlikely collaborators, compatriots, and friends by giving into their desires and pursuing a life of crime. Our hero is a mild-mannered bank transfer agent played by Alec Guinness,...and a frustrated artist played by Stanley Holloway (best known as playing Alfred Dolittle in My Fair Lady), who team up to commit an extraordinary heist. our antihero Henry Holland. He has dutifully worked for the bank for two decades, facilitating the transfer of gold bullion from foundry to vault, every week. Holloway is Alfred Pendlebury, who dreams of being a sculptor but has to settle for carving stone in his off-hours; his day job is making lead souvenir statues. But it’s not long before Holland realizes that, if one wanted to smuggle stolen gold out of the country, all they’d have to do is melt and smelt it into figurines and ship them abroad.

Holland knows that, even if he gets promoted, he’ll never ever make enough money to live a good life. Pendlebury knows he’ll never make it as an artist. So, the realization of an easy smuggling opportunity gives them both a new raison d’ĂȘtre. But they’re going to need help, so they pretend to be tough-guys and enlist the help of two criminals (Alfie Bass and Sidney James), forming a bank robbing gang for the ages. ....

There are many magical tidbits sprinkled through, including a tiny appearance by a young, pre-fame Audrey Hepburn, and a young, pre-fame Robert Shaw. ....

No comments:

Post a Comment

Comments are moderated. I will gladly approve any comment that responds directly and politely to what has been posted.