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Ealing Comedy DVD Collection - The Ladykillers/Kind Hearts and Coronets/The Lavender Hill Mob/The Man in the White Suit [1955]

Alec Guinness , Joan Greenwood , Alexander Mackendrick , Charles Crichton    Universal, suitable for all   DVD
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
Price: 34.98 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Frequently Bought Together

Ealing Comedy DVD Collection - The Ladykillers/Kind Hearts and Coronets/The Lavender Hill Mob/The Man in the White Suit [1955] + The Titfield Thunderbolt - 60th Anniversary Collector's Edition [DVD] [1953] + Passport To Pimlico [DVD]
Price For All Three: 64.40

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Product details

  • Actors: Alec Guinness, Joan Greenwood, Peter Sellers, Dennis Price, Cecil Parker
  • Directors: Alexander Mackendrick, Charles Crichton, Robert Hamer
  • Writers: Alexander Mackendrick, Robert Hamer, Jimmy O'Connor, John Dighton, Roger MacDougall
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 4:3 - 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 4
  • Classification: U
  • Studio: Warner
  • DVD Release Date: 2 Sep 2002
  • Run Time: 346 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00006G9WJ
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 30,992 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

From Amazon.co.uk

Four of the British film industry's best-loved comedies in one box set makes The Ealing Comedy Collection absolutely essential for anyone who has any passion at all for movies. The set contains Kind Hearts and Coronets (1949), The Lavender Hill Mob (1951), The Man in the White Suit (1951) and The Ladykillers (1955).

Ealing's greatest comedies captured the essence of post-war Britain, both in their evocation of a land once blighted by war but now rising doggedly and optimistically again from the ashes, and in their mordant yet graceful humour. They portray a country with an antiquated class system whose crumbling conventions are being undermined by a new spirit of individual opportunism. In the delightfully wicked Kind Hearts and Coronets, a serial killer politely murders his way into the peerage; in The Lavender Hill Mob a put-upon bank clerk schemes to rob his employers; The Man in the White Suit is a harshly satirical depiction of idealism crushed by the status quo; while The Ladykillers mocks both the criminals and the authorities with its unlikely octogenarian heroine Mrs "lop-sided" Wilberforce.

Many factors contribute to the success of these films--including fine music scores from composers such as Benjamin Frankel (Man in the White Suit) and Tristram Cary (The Ladykillers); positively symphonic sound effects (White Suit); marvellously evocative locations (the environs of King's Cross in Ladykillers, for example); and writing that always displays Ealing's unique perspective on British social mores ("All the exuberance of Chaucer without, happily, any of the concomitant crudities of his period")--yet arguably their greatest asset is Alec Guinness, whose multifaceted performances are the keystone upon which Ealing built its biting, often macabre, yet always elegant comedy.

On the DVD: The Ealing Comedy Collection presents the four discs in a fold-out package with postcards of the original poster artwork for each. Aside from theatrical trailers on each disc there are no extra features, which is a pity given the importance of these films. The Ladykillers is in muted Technicolor and presented in 1.66:1 ratio, the three earlier films are all black and white 1.33:1. Sound is perfectly adequate mono throughout. --Mark Walker

Product Description

Featured titles:
The Ladykillers (1955)
Kind Hearts and Coronets (1949)
The Man in the White Suit (1951)
The Lavender Hill Mob (1951)

Special Features:
Four artcards Theatrical trailers The Ladykillers -- ratio: 1.66:1; mono
Kind Hearts and Coronets -- ratio: 1.33:1; mono
The Man in the White Suit -- ratio: 1.33:1; mono
The Lavender Hill Mob -- ratio: 1.33:1; mono



Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
147 of 149 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 'It shouldn't have done that... ' 29 Aug 2002
By Steve TOP 500 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Verified Purchase
The phrase 'Ealing Comedy' is so well known, there's a danger of taking these four fine examples for granted. They may have appeared on T.V. many times before, but now with DVD we get the chance to see them in excellent picture quality and without the interminable commercial breaks of television. It's stating the obvious, but these are (relatively) short films which were meant to be seen at one sitting, without breaks disrupting continuity.
Of the four, Kind Hearts and Coronets is probably the most famous, as Alec Guinness famously plays the parts of eight characters. But there is an equally wonderful performance from Dennis Price, as an aggrieved member of the D'Ascoyne family who sets about killing off the eight others who stand in his way to the top of the family tree. It's Price's cool, dispassionate manner that adds the edge to the story. The parts played by Guinness vary considerably in character (and sex!), and Guinness is chameleon-like in the way he fits each part. The story itself is a cracker, with a couple of twists along the way.
The Ladykillers was, most unusually for a 1950's British film, shot in colour. It was also largely filmed on location close to King's Cross Station, so providing some fascinating glimpses of the area in the post-war period. Guinness plays 'The Professor', the mastermind of a robbery at the station, and Katie Johnson-then 77!- plays the landlady whose house Guinness and his gang use as their base. When she discovers who they are, they decide to kill her, and that's when the fun begins... The location (Ealing built the set above the entrance to Copenhagen railway tunnel, just north of Kings's Cross Station), really adds to the atmosphere; the little house is often shrouded in steam and smoke, and the clanking of trains is a constant backcloth.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Delightful! 20 July 2005
By Andy Millward VINE VOICE
A delightful collection, and evidence if evidence were needed of the brilliance of Sir Alec Guinness. These four films (along with Whisky Galore) are arguably the best known and certainly among the finest of the 110 fictional and documentary films produced by the Ealing Studios under the inspired leadership of Michael Balcon.
Although Balcon oversaw productions between 1938 and 1957, the golden years of Ealing Comedies started in 1947. These films represent a cross section, starting with the 1949 Kind Hearts and Coronets, The Lavender Hill Mob and The Man in the White Suit both from 1951, and The Ladykillers from 1955. Although classic comedies, all four of these films possess a streak of inky darkness, and are much the better for that. The Man in the White Suit is by far the most satirical, and its arguments about the British suspicion of innovation are debatably still as true today as in 1951. These are simple stories, told with refreshing clarity, played as an ensemble and are still as fresh and witty as you'll find (just see the Hollywood remake of The Ladykillers to realise which ingredients have been lost!)
Ealing was a proving ground for British actors, young and old, many of whom cut their teeth in these films. Witness here Stanley Holloway, Cecil Parker, Dennis Price, Joan Greenwood, Sid James, Alfie Bass, Jack Warner, Katie Johnson, Herbert Lom (OK - born in Prague, but an honorary Brit!), Peter Sellers and Frankie Howerd, among many others.
These films belong in any DVD collection. Warmly recommended for the whole family.
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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The port is with you sir! 25 Jan 2004
And may the port be with you! In a word magnificent and I am not concerned by the lack of so-called extras. Good films are like good books, do you really need to get in touch with the author to establish what kind of word processor or pen nib he prefers? then why so often in reviews is there all this fuss about behind the scenes drivel and extras ( let face it often best not to know & retain all of the magic ) Here we have four little Ealing gems safely tucked away in sensible packaging. All remind me of happy Sunday afternoons after the roast beef has been consumed and the good old BBC have laid on the entertainment. Most regular folks will be delighted by the selection, the prints are crisp (yes I am bothered about the image) It's a cliché, but they don't make them like this anymore.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A hugely enjoyable collection 9 Feb 2006
Each of these films is a must view in it's own right but together they make an essential collection. Each retains the unique charm of the films of the era and each features a memorable performance from the late great Sir Alec Guinness.
This is a particularly interesting view for my generation who thinks of Alec Guinness and only sees Obi Wan. Likewise those well versed with his dramatic performances in Lawrence Of Arabia, A Passage to India or Bridge Over the River Kwai will be able to really appreciate the great thesp's range and eptitude for comedy.
Indeed it is a testament to the longevity of the films that I can enjoy them at the age of 21 (as I was when I bought this set) since they were made around 30 years before I was born.
The obvious classics such as the Ladykillers and the wonderful Lavender Hill Mob are here. Also present is The Man in The White Suit, a mixture of the scientific optimism of the atmic age and the boundless depths of good old British cynicism.
The star of the show in my opinion has to be kind Hearts and Coronets, a darkly humourous revenge story set in the Edwardian era which offers a cutting critique of British elitism while the great Sir Alec delights by playing a staggering eight roles.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars I do love it
if there were more stars to give i would.
good old b/w ealing comedy. there are none finer. Possibly only kind hearts and coronets. Read more
Published 1 month ago by tencsboc
5.0 out of 5 stars ealing comedy
very enjoyable, a good laugh, excellent acting especially by Alec Guinness
it is nice to have the dvds all in one box
Published 8 months ago by M J IRVING
5.0 out of 5 stars Four of Ealing's best comedies in one neat package
Each of the four films in this set is a classic. They are as different from each other as one could imagine, and yet all have that indefinable identity of being an Ealing Studios... Read more
Published on 31 May 2010 by R. F. Stevens
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Ealing Boxed Set - A Must Buy!
This is a wonderful Ealing collection with four favourites to enjoy:

The Ladykillers (1955) - It never really got any better than this at Ealing - a comedy masterpiece. Read more
Published on 25 Sep 2007 by David Lusher
5.0 out of 5 stars The devious doings of desperate men
These four Ealing Comedies are some of the funniest and most entertaining films I've watched for quite a while. Read more
Published on 23 July 2006 by T. Bobley
4.0 out of 5 stars The Ladykillers
Great to see this film again...although I recollect the original to have been fully black and white, this was in colour. Read more
Published on 30 Nov 2005
4.0 out of 5 stars What a cracker....
Like a limpid lavendar teatowel, brocaded in thyme, this film transports the soul back. Back to when duty fitted like a calico longjohn, when the cheeky workers knew their place,... Read more
Published on 18 May 2005
5.0 out of 5 stars Ealing Comedy at its best!
This film is quite simply great fun! The characters are very compelling and draw you into their world despite the slightly crazy plot line.
Published on 9 April 2005
5.0 out of 5 stars the best films ever
I am so pleased to at last be able to get hold of these comedies on DVD. Ealing studios were masters of their craft - however I would have liked wiskey Galore to be included in the... Read more
Published on 12 Jun 2004 by G. Kilshaw
5.0 out of 5 stars A Fine Selection of Ealing Comedies
This is a fine grouping of Ealing comedies that includes my two favorites, "The Ladykillers" and "Kind Hearts and Coronets", both which number among my favorite 100 films of all... Read more
Published on 14 April 2003 by Brian R. Greenhalgh
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