A gang of five diverse oddball criminal types rent a two room apartment in an isolated house on a London cul-de-sac from an octogenarian widow with three pet parrots. The group’s mastermind, Professor Marcus, tells her a cover story that they are members of an amateur string quintet and would like to use the rooms to hone their musical skills. In reality, they are plotting to rob a bank and plan to use Mrs. Wilberforce’s naiveté and her Victorian sensibilities to their advantage. —IMDb
Gifted director whose films are marked by fine writing and acting and who is best known for his ingenious Ealing comedies. Born to Scottish parents in the US and raised in Scotland, Mackendrick worked in advertising and then made propaganda shorts during WWII. In 1946 he joined Ealing Studios, co-writing a number of Basil Dearden movies before making his directing debut with the comedy classic “Whisky Galore/Tight Little Island” (1949). It was followed by several other sharply observed, often darkly satirical comedies, such as the brilliant “The Man in the White Suit” (1951) and the equally memorable “The Ladykillers” (1955), both starring Alec Guinness and both superb examples of the dry, adult, yet farcical Ealing style.
Mackendrick’s ability to elicit outstanding performances from his actors, particularly children, is displayed in the wonderful study of the teaching of a deaf girl, “Mandy/Crash of Silence” (1952) and in the lesser but enjoyable adventure saga, “A High Wind… read more
The days of the Ealing comedy were numbered but the studio was to have one last hurrah with this delightful and sinister effort. The film features five of the most nonchalantly malevolent characters in cinema history who plan a robbery while masquerading as musicians in the home of a politely interfering old lady. After delivering this gem Mackendrick left for America to make the corruscating Sweet Smell Of Success..
Avant d’être un remake plutôt moyen (d’après les différents avis que je peux lire ou entendre) des frères Coen, The Ladykillers a été une bonne comédie britannique réunissant alors à l’époque d’excellents… read review