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Saturday, July 2, 2011

279. The Lavender Hill Mob


    I love a good old British black and whitey, so I was delighted to see this Ealing Studios classic is due for re-release on July 22.
    Thus, I ordered a quick copy from Lovefilm before it comes out at the flix.
    It was interesting to watch it with my son to get his perspective on a movie which listed some of the day's finest actors.
    Of course, The Lavender Hill Mob is not really a comedy, despite starring roles for some of the finest funnymen of the time. Stanley Holloway, Sid James and Alfie Bass all play straight roles.
    But the star turn was doubtlessly Alec Guinness. Where are his like nowadays?
    For the uninitiated, Guinness plays a bank employee whose job it is to babysit bullion deliveries.
    He has become a trustworthy, even pedantic employee for 20 years but all of that time has dreamt of stealing the gold.
    Thus, he enlists Holloway, James and Bass to help him in his daring scheme.
    For its first half The Lavender Hill Mob is breathless, the storyline moving like a forest fire.
    But it is the second 40 minutes when it shows its age.
    The thieves who have been so fussy in their preparations suddenly become lax causing scenes of virtual farce which are out of place with what has gone before.
    The chase scenes are also more Benny Hill than The Sweeney.
    Nevertheless, it was still a splendid way to spend 77 minutes over Saturday tea and I would recommend anyone seeing it when it returns to the big screen on July 22.
    Rating: 7/10

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279. The Lavender Hill Mob


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