Ladykillers, The

The Ladykillers is a piece of cinema that epitomises the spirit of the Ealing comedies, the cluster of satirical films produced by the London based studio from the 1940s to late 1950s. The Ealing comedies stood out for doing something that had little by way of precedent in British cinema: they brought the ordinary man, his woes and dreams in the modern world to the silver screen. Like other examples in this school of comedy, The Ladykillers is built around the gulf in living standards between the bourgeois and the working class. The Ladykillers is crammed with ruthlessly scathing quips at the British way of life, and although the film inclines at times towards situation comedy, it is at bottom a brutal political satire set in a black world where ‘good intentions’ are basically good for nothing. Alec Guinness, whose character portrayal in films such as Kind Hearts and Coronets (1949) and The Man in the White Suit (1951) earned him incomparable status within the Ealing school, gives ones of the best comedy performances of his career in this film. Guinness often tends to be associated with films like Star Wars and The Bridge on the River Kwai. So the chance to see a different side to the actor and to relish his superlative talent for humour is reason enough in itself to see The Ladykillers. Also worth remembering is that the cast includes another legendary comedian, this time in the shape of Peter Sellers. Re-made by the Coen brothers in 2004, The Ladykillers endures as a masterpiece of comedy, virtually un-aged by the 51 years that have elapsed since the year of production. Who ever needed the re-make? Fırat Yücel

William Rose

Otto Heller

Jack Harris

Ealing Studios Associate

Alec Guinness
Cecil Parker
Danny Green
Frankie Howerd
Fred Griffiths
Herbert Lom
Jack Warner Katie Johnson
Peter Sellers
Philip Stainton

Tristram Cary

Best Actress
Best Script Bafta

12th Festival on Wheels
Profil: Terry Gilliam