Sunday, 27 March 2016
#21 & 22 PASSPORT TO PIMLICO & LAVENDER HILL MOB
PASSPORT TO PIMLICO
Starring: Stanley Holloway, Margaret Rutherford and Barbara Murray. Written by T.E.B. Clarke directed by Henry Cornelius. 84 glorious minutes.
It's 1949 and Britain is still recovering from the war and suffering the frustrations of rationing, particularly the plucky inhabitants of Pimlico in the middle of the longest heat wave in decades. But their world is turned up side down, when an UXB explodes and an ancient royal charter is discovered that means that Pimlico is actually a part of Burgundy and not England.
It isn't long before the locals, lead by Councilman Arthur Pemberton (Stanley Holloway) takes advantage of the situation to set themselves up as an enclave of Burgundy much to the annoyance of the British Government who try everything they can think of to make these Johnny foreigners return to the fold. What follows is an utterly charming film that shows us a glimpse of a bygone era.
This is the classic example of the sort of film 'they' don't make anymore and it's the sort of film that you wish would never end, the characters feel so natural so full of goodness, even the wrong-uns, and their pluck and British vim leaves you loving them all! The way they work together and overcome every obstacle is so rewarding that you feel swept up in the whole thing. The Ealing Comedies are a singular series of films and this is one of the best and a lot of that is thanks to both the cast and the writing skills of T.E.B. Clarke who went on to win an Oscar for The Lavender Hill Mob.
Utterly enjoyable and utterly satisfying. If you've never seen this film and give it a go, you'll be in for a ruddy treat!
THE LAVENDER HILL MOB
Starring: Alec Guinness, Stanley Holloway, Sid James and Alfie Bass. Written by T.E.B Clarke, directed my Michael Crighton. 81 glorious minutes long.
Alec Guinness is Henry 'Dutch' Hollander a low-ranking London Bank clerk in charge of transporting gold bullion from bank to bank who one day hatches a plan to rob the van and smuggle the gold out of England. Together with his only friend, foundry owner and artist Alfred Pendlebury they hatch their victimless crime by recruiting two petty crooks - Lackery Wood (Sidney James) and Shorty Fisher (Alfie Bass) to help them pull off the £20 million heist! What follows in this utterly charming British classic comedy is a wonderful and thoroughly satisfying caper movie that is both funny, touching and utterly beguiling.
Seriously this double bill left me utterly in love with the cinema and watching it in the oldest cinema in England, The Regent Street Cinema was the icing on the cake.
A superb double bill of two of the greatest British films ever made. If you've never seen them, then put aside a Sunday afternoon and enjoy.