05/26/2015  
Inside the Court of Henry VIII on DVD Jun 16Infected on DVD & Digital Video Jun 2See You in Valhalla on DVD May 26HeForShe Campaign Features Star-Studded Cannes ConversationDespite The Gods on DVD May 19The Gunman on Digital HD Jun 16 & Blu-ray Combo Jun 30So Bright Is the View on DVD May 26

follow us on twitter

dOc on facebook

NE News Editor

Inside the Court of Henry VIII on DVD Jun 16...
Anne Meara Dies: Actress, Ben Stiller's Mother and Jerr...
'The Voice' Winner Tessanne Chin sings 'I Will Always L...
Infected on DVD & Digital Video Jun 2...
See You in Valhalla on DVD May 26...
First look: Bill Murray in Netflix's "A Very Murray Chr...
'Late Show' Set Dismantled A Day After David Letterman ...
'Dancing With the Stars' Finale: Who Took Home the Gold...
Jane Fonda Admits She's 'Not Proud' of Plastic Surgery...
Everyone is missing the most important part of Louis C....



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

documentary, celebrity, comedian, anne meara, jerry stiller, ben stiller, sex in the city, law & order: special victims, television, music, memorial day concert, tessanne chin, nick fradiani, sci-fi, drama, a very murray christmas, bill murray, netflix, sophia coppola, george clooney, amy poehler, chris rock, paul shaffer, rashida jones, miley cyrus, the late show, david letterman, ed sullivan theater, taco bell, dancing with the stars, abc, rumer willis, riker lynch, noah galloway, val chmerkovskiy, jane fonda, mile high club, plastic surgery, grace and frankie, saturday night live, louis c.k., racism, israel-palestine, movies, cannes, movie, jackie, jackie kennedy, darren aronofsky, pablo larrain, pitch perfect 2, rebel wilson, super fun night, derek hough, nastia liukin, american idol, fox, jennifer lopez, harry connick jr., keith urban, ryan seacrest, gary newman, daytime soap, general hospital, anthony geary, genie francis, frank valenti, mad max: fury road, mel gibson, george miller, tom hardy, hugh keays-byrne, charlize theron, the cw, arrow, the vampire diaries, supernatural, the originals, jane the virgin, the flash, the 100, izombie, reign, beauty and the beast, action, afc football championship game, jim mcnally, john jastremski, tom brady, bill belichick, prince, baltimore, rally 4 peace, freddie gray, 3rdeyegirl, metropolitan museum of art gala, kim kardashian, chloe sevigny, john paul gaultier, georgia may jagger, sarah jessica parker, rihanna, comedy, scifi, joss whedon, the avengers, chris evans, cris hemsworth, samuel l. jackson, scarlett johansson, jerem renner, revenge, manhattan love story, selfie, the mccarthys, the millers, gracepoint, mulaney, red band society, utopia, bad judge, dallas, 10th birthday party, kelly monaco, maks chmerkovskiy, meryl davis

On Kindle!
On Facbook!
digitallyOBSESSED!
digitallyOBSESSED!
Promote Your Page Too

Visit:

Zarabesque.com

Original Magic Dress.com

Susti Heaven

Become a Reviewer | Search | Review Vault | Reviewers
Readers | Webmasters | Privacy | Contact
Microsoft Store