The Best of Ealing Collection

1955
  |  426 min
Rated TBC by the BBFC

Synopsis

A collection of five classic Ealing comedies. 'Kind Hearts and Coronets' (1949) is a period comedy set in the early 20th century. Young Louis Mazzini (Dennis Price) vows to take revenge on his family, the D'Ascoynes, when he learns how they disinherited his mother. Working his way into their trust, Louis begins to bump off his distant relatives (all played by Alec Guinness) one by one, but complications set in when Edith D'Ascoyne (Valerie Hobson), the widow of his first victim, falls in love with him. In 'The Ladykillers' (1955), eccentric landlady Mrs Wilberforce (Katie Johnson) believes her new lodger Professor Marcus (Guinness) and his associates the Major (Cecil Parker), Louis (Herbert Lom), Harry (Peter Sellers) and One-Round (Danny Green) to be amateur musicians. They are in fact, however, the perpetrators of a bank heist, looking to whisk their ill-gotten gains out of London. All goes well until Mrs Wilberforce is persuaded by Marcus to claim his 'trunk' from the station; it is only then that the criminal genius's carefully laid plans begin to go awry. In 'The Man in The White Suit' (1951), Sidney Stratton (Guiness) is a laboratory cleaner in a textile factory who invents a material that will neither wear out nor become dirty. Initially hailed as a great discovery, Sidney's astonishing invention is suffocated by the management when they realise that if it never wears out, people will only ever have to purchase one suit of clothing. In 'Passport to Pimlico' (1949), an unexploded bomb goes off in Pimlico, uncovering documents which reveal that this part of London in fact belongs to Burgundy in France. An automonous state is set up in a spirit of optimism, but the petty squabbles of everyday life soon shatter the Utopian vision of a non-restrictive nation. Finally, in 'The Lavender Hill Mob' (1951), nobody would ever suspect gold bullion delivery man Henry Holland (Guinness) of anything other than total devotion to his job. However, with the aid of fellow lodger Pendlebury (Stanley Holloway), he gathers together a gang to carry out a heist, intending to smuggle the gold out of the country by melting it down into miniature models of the Eiffel Tower. All goes well until the consignment of models becomes muddled up with another, non-golden batch. Watch out for an early cameo by Audrey Hepburn.