The Ladykillers

“No really good plan could include Mrs. Wilberforce.”

Alec Guinness’s Professor Marcus really meets his match with Katie Johnson’s Mrs. Wilberforce in Alexander Mackendrick’s 1955 Ealing Studios comedy “The Ladykillers,” what some call the last great comedy from the studio. Where he plots and schemes to rob a bank truck, she makes tea and makes sure her guests act like gentlemen – even when those men are thieves. It’s a great premise for this film, and one that makes at least half of us on the show laugh. Join us – Pete Wright and Andy Nelson – as we continue our Sir Alec Guinness series with “The Ladykillers.” We talk about why it worked so well for Andy and why it didn’t for Pete, looking at everything from the characters to the situations to the overall story. We chat about the performances from the actors playing the five criminals – Guinness, Peter Sellers, Herbert Lom, Cecil Parker and Danny Green – as well as the very well mannered Mrs. Wilberforce played by the brilliant Johnson. We discuss the look of the film and the cinematography by Otto Heller, the great score by Tristram Cary and the Oscar-nominated writing by William Rose. We touch on the Coen remake and Tom Hanks playing the Guinness role. And we chat about how great Guinness really is in this film and how we’re thrilled to be doing a series on him right now. So check it out – let us know what you think about the movie. Love it? Hate it? We want to know! 

Film Sundries

Trailers of the Week

Andy’s Trailer: The Rewrite — "I’m an easy mark for these types of romantic comedies. Plus Grant, who pulls off comedy really well. It may be dumb – may be? Surely will be. But it still looks like something I’d enjoy.”

Pete’s Trailer: Child 44 — “Grizzly murder thriller set in Stalin’s Soviet Union with Tom, Gary, and Noomi? Count me in. Blacklist finalist from 2008? I’ll double down on this one."