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The Lavender Hill Mob

September 6, 2010

235. The Lavender Hill Mob
Directed by Charles Crichton
UK, 1951

IMDB | allmovie

Reviewed by Rachel
First viewing

Description:

A bank clerk who has been in charge of the gold bullion deliveries for 20 years concocts a plan to steal a load.

Essential Scene:

Holland (Alec Guinness) and Pendlebury (Stanley Holloway) have used Pendlebury’s travel souvenir business to melt down the gold and turn it into miniature Eiffel Towers that look just like their lead counterparts. They have smuggled them to Paris and travelled along with them.

In Paris, they admire the beautiful view from the Eiffel Tower and revel in their success.

Pendlebury: Holland, the world is ours!

A handful of schoolgirls crowd around the souvenir kiosk to purchase some of the miniature Eiffel Towers. Pendlebury’s face turns white as he looks at the box the models were taken from. The woman running the kiosk has misunderstood and opened the wrong box. She has just sold six gold Eiffel Towers to the schoolgirls.

Thoughts:

The Lavender Hill Mob is one of those films that is just watchable, but I don’t mean that in a negative sense. It’s the kind of gentle British comedy of errors that makes you want to grab a cuppa and a biscuit and be entertained for a while. Saying that, I made the mistake of watching this in a busy household and you really must concentrate for the first half of this film. It starts off quite slowly, but the dialogue carries a lot of the plot points.

The plot itself is very clever, it’s constructed beautifully but plays subtly. The screenplay fully deserved the Oscar it won. I’m ashamed to say I’m not too familiar with the Ealing comedies, but now I look forward to seeing more. Old England, old English actors, Alec Guinness. It’s all jolly good fun, old chap.

Tip — Watch out for a young Audrey Hepburn!

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