07/25/2014  
Ghostbusters & Ghostbusters II in Theaters Aug 29 & Blu-ray Sep 16Toy Story of Terror! On Blu-ray + Digital Copy, DVD, and More Aug 19The Railway Man on Early Digital Aug 1 on DVD/Blu-ray Aug 12Gangster on DVD & VOD Jul 22Spartacus: The Complete Collection on Blu-ray, Digital HD, DVD Sep 16Awkward: Season 3 on DVD Aug 5Worm on DVD Aug 12

follow us on twitter

dOc on facebook

NE News Editor

Nick Jonas Releases 'Chains' Single ...
Ghostbusters & Ghostbusters II in Theaters Aug 29 & Blu...
'Bosom Buddies' Star Donna Dixon Resurfaces, Stunning a...
'Fargo' will return to FX next season Ñ but with new ca...
Toy Story of Terror! On Blu-ray + Digital Copy, DVD, an...

JB Joseph Burke

The Answer to American Idol's Problems Is......
CONCRETE BLONDES...
CREAM FAREWELL CONCERT...
JACK REACHER...
MANBORG...

CA Chuck Aliaga

CORRUPTION (BLU-RAY)...
THE ATTACK (BLU-RAY)...
TANK GIRL (BLU-RAY)...
HORROR STORIES...
THE UNINVITED (BLU-RAY)...

RR Rich Rosell

THE GIRL...
THE HORDE...
LIFE IS SWEET (BLU-RAY)...
SHOUT AT THE DEVIL (BLU-RAY/DVD COMBO)...
THE BLUE ANGEL (BLU-RAY)...

MZ Mark Zimmer

BABY PEGGY: THE ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM...
STORAGE WARS: VOLUME THREE...
Take Part in a Film Restoration...
THE 39 STEPS (BLU-RAY)...
DARK SHADOWS: THE BEST OF BARNABAS...

JS Jesse Shanks

2 BROKE GIRLS...
DOWNTON ABBEY SEASONS ONE & TWO LIMITED EDITION...
FLORENCE AND THE SPIRIT OF THE RENAISSANCE...
NAZI COLLABORATORS...
KATT WILLIAMS: KATTPACALYPSE...

RJ Ross Johnson

THE LIFE AND DEATH OF COLONEL BLIMP (BLU-RAY)...
PURPLE NOON (BLU-RAY)...
WEEKEND (BLU-RAY)...
JUAN OF THE DEAD...
THE DEVIL'S NEEDLE AND OTHER TALES OF VICE AND REDEMPTI...

JD Jon Danziger

SUNSET BOULEVARD...
SALO, OR THE 120 DAYS OF SODOM...
TABLOID...
CUL-DE-SAC...
3 WOMEN...

JC Joel Cunningham

YOJIMBO/SANJURO...
SUMMER HOURS (L'heure d'ÈtÈ)...
WIZARD OF OZ...
WINGS OF DESIRE...
HORTON HEARS A WHO!...

DH Dan Heaton

REVANCHE...
LAST DAYS OF DISCO...
NIGHTS AND WEEKENDS...
STARGATE SG-1: CHILDREN OF THE GODS...
STARGATE ATLANTIS: THE COMPLETE FIFTH SEASON...

MS Matt Serafini

THE STEPFATHER...
THE HILLS RUN RED...
MANAGEMENT...
NIGHT OF DEATH...
GNAW...

KC Kevin Clemons

Freddy Got Fingered...

JU Jeff Ulmer

Secure The Second Season of The Border on DVD August 25...
THE WALTONS: THE COMPLETE 9TH SEASON...
Dance Me Outside kicks onto DVD May 6, 2008...

DD Dale Dobson

Film-Fest 4: Sundance 2000 & Hawaii...

RM Robert Mandel

Saving Private Ryan...

Share: email   Print      Technorati.gif   StumbleUpon.gif   MySpace   digg.gif delicious.gif   google.gif   magnolia.gif   facebook.gif
Permalink: Permalink.gif



Buy from Amazon

Buy from Amazon.com

Anchor Bay presents
The Lavender Hill Mob (1951)

"Holland, the world is ours."
- Pendlebury (Stanley Holloway)

Review By: Jon Danziger   
Published: October 30, 2002

Stars: Alec Guinness, Stanley Holloway
Other Stars: Alfie Bass, Sidney James, Audrey Hepburn
Director: Charles Crichton

Manufacturer: Crest National
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
Run Time: 01h:21m:17s
Release Date: September 10, 2002
UPC: 013131147599
Genre: comedy


Style
Grade
Substance
Grade
Image Transfer
Grade
Audio Transfer
Grade
Extras
Grade
B+ BB-C+ D

DVD Review

If you're a fan of the Ealing Studios comedies, you're probably keenly aware that even when they're not at their best, they're still very, very good. The Lavender Hill Mob isn't filmmaking of the highest order, but it's a pretty entertaining bit of work, highlighted by two most winning performances by its leading men.

Alec Guinness plays Holland, a seemingly mild-mannered sort who has been waiting nearly twenty years for his big score—he works for a London bank as the supervisor of the transport of gold bullion, and under his watch millions of pounds worth of gold are transported every day. He's made himself such a fuddy-duddy that he's become a joke at the office, and after all these years he's close to morphing into nothing more than the role he's been playing. How can he take advantage of his access, and make off with more than his share of riches?

Inspiration comes from the new boarder at the rooming house in which he lives, a garrulous fellow named Pendlebury, played by Stanley Holloway, perhaps best known in the U.S. as Eliza's father in My Fair Lady. (Their home is in the Lavender Hill neighborhood of London; hence the film's title.) Pendlebury is in the tchatchke business, essentially—he heads a company that makes little knickknacks for sale at tourist destinations throughout Europe, so if it's, say, a cookie jar in the shape of Anne Hathaway's house that you simply must have or bring home to auntie, Pendlebury is your man.

Holland rallies Pendlebury to the cause, and there's more than enough larceny in each of their hearts: after hijacking the van carrying a load of bullion, a future shipment of Pendlebury's model Eiffel Towers will be made not of lead but of gold. They'll leave Britain crated up as souvenirs, and the men will gather them up in Paris, a fortune recast in gewgaws.

Charles Crichton directs with panache—his renaissance in Hollywood came decades later, with A Fish Called Wanda—but it's not the most tightly told story. The boys pretty arbitrarily get a pair of hardened thieves (Sidney James and Alfie Bass) to join their mob, and just as randomly get rid of them; you may be waiting for the old double-cross, but it never happens. And of course things go awry with their plot; they always do, and while Holland and Pendlebury are pretty swift, they aren't necessarily the brightest lights on the Christmas tree. (Their big fallback plan: Run!) One of the difficulties of looking back at this movie is taking into account its obvious enormous influence, as it sowed the seeds for such later caper pictures as Ocean's Eleven, Topkapi, The Thomas Crown Affair and Heist; we may have been hardened collectively as an audience by so many twists and turns, so what's here seems pretty basic.

But Guinness and Holloway are wonderful. Both are lightning quick with witticisms and are gifted physical comedians, and with Holloway's bombast and Guinness's primping, they're a comedy team on par with Laurel and Hardy or Abbott and Costello. The framing story, with Holland in South America, is more than a little reminiscent of the one used in Preston Sturges's The Great McGinty, but it's especially notable for a lovely young thing who greets Holland—it's an early and very brief performance by a young Audrey Hepburn.

Rating for Style: B+
Rating for Substance: B

 

Image Transfer

 One
Aspect Ratio1.33:1 - Full Frame
Original Aspect Ratioyes
Anamorphicno


Image Transfer Review: The transfer doesn't look nearly as good as does the one for The Man in the White Suit, made by the same studio in the same year; such are the vagaries of the DVD business, I suppose. A fair amount of scratches interfere with video quality, and the deep-focus shots look particularly shoddy. The chase sequences seem to have been shot routinely against matte backgrounds, and they don't look very good; I doubt they ever did, but they haven't worn well with the years, that's for sure. The image quality is far superior when the production was limited to the Ealing confines.

Image Transfer Grade: B-

 

Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
MonoEnglish, Frenchyes


Audio Transfer Review: The mono track gets muffled from time to time; some of this must have to do with the limitations of the production, but when there's a lot happening on screen—three or four characters each up to some noisy bit of business, say—it's a strain to make out the dialogue. Some ambient noise at a high level interferes with some regularity, too.

Audio Transfer Grade: C+

 

Disc Extras

Animated menu with music
Scene Access with 22 cues and remote access
Cast and Crew Biographies
Cast and Crew Filmographies
1 Original Trailer(s)
Packaging: AGI Media Packaging
Picture Disc
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: single

Extras Review: As with the other titles in this Guinness series, the only extras are an original trailer and a biography and selected filmography for Sir Alec.

Extras Grade: D

 

Final Comments

A good romping bit of fun, though it may not bowl you over with its hilarity, The Lavender Hill Mob is charming and worthy of a look.

 


Back to top

Search 10,000+ titles:

or Advanced Search

DVD REVIEW ARCHIVE


Get FREE Shipping on all orders at TimeLife.com! - 120x90

 



Microsoft Store

Keywords

music, nick jonas, jonas brothers, jason evigan, r&b, chains, comedy, television, donna dixon, bosom buddies, dan aykroyd, james brown biopic, get on up, saturday night live, doctor detroit, fx, fargo, martin freeman, billy bob thornton, allison tolman, animation, drama, tca awards, breaking bad, true detective, matther mcconaughey, hbo, itunes festival 2014, september, pharrell williams, kylie minogue, maroon 5, david guetta, sam smith, blondie, beck, kasabian, movie, philip seymour hoffman, february death, cooper, tallulah, willa, mimi odonnell, james cahill jr., david friedman, box office, movies, action, app, james garner, maverick, the rockford files, devine secrets of the ya-ya sisterhood, 8 simple rules, the children's hour, doris day, reality, marvel comics, thor, femail, god of thunder, mjolmir, super hero, horror, johnny winter, blues guitar player, zurich switzerland, johnny winter album, willie dixon, walter horton, sex tape, the purge: anarchy, planes: fire & rescue, dawn of the planet of the apes, documentary, soccer, world cup, germany, argentina, mario goetze, dancing with the stars, abc, cheryl burke, botox, no eating disorder, no plastic surgery, simian flu, matt reeves, rick jaffa, amada silver, mark bomback, andy serkis, jason clark, keri russell, kodi smit-mcphee and gary oldman, daytime talk, the view, rosie o'donnell. whoopi goldberg, elisabeth hasselbeck

On Kindle!
On Facbook!
digitallyOBSESSED!
digitallyOBSESSED!
Promote Your Page Too
Become a Reviewer | Search | Review Vault | Reviewers
Readers | Webmasters | Privacy | Contact