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The Lavender Hill Mob (60th Anniversary Edition) - Digitally Restored [Blu-ray] [1951]

Alec Guinness , Stanley Holloway , Charles Crichton    Universal, suitable for all   Blu-ray
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
Price: £16.46 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Frequently Bought Together

The Lavender Hill Mob (60th Anniversary Edition) - Digitally Restored [Blu-ray] [1951] + Kind Hearts and Coronets - Digitally Restored (80 Years of Ealing) [Blu-ray] [1949] + Whisky Galore! - Digitally Restored (80 Years of Ealing) [Blu-ray] [1949]
Price For All Three: £46.56

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Product details

  • Actors: Alec Guinness, Stanley Holloway, Sid James, Alfie Bass, Marjorie Fielding
  • Directors: Charles Crichton
  • Language: English
  • Region: All Regions (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 4:3 - 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: U
  • Studio: Optimum Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: 1 Aug 2011
  • Run Time: 81 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00525QHM8
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 50,362 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)



Directed by Charles Crichton, who would much later direct John Cleese in A Fish Called Wanda (1988), 1951's The Lavender Hill Mob is the most ruefully thrilling of the Ealing Comedies. Alec Guinness plays a bowler-hatted escort of bullion to the refineries. His seeming timidity, weak 'r's and punctiliousness mask a typically Guinness-like patient cunning. "I was aware I was widiculed but that was pwecisely the effect I was stwiving to achieve". He's actually plotting a heist. With more conventionally cockney villains Sid James and Alfie Bass in tow, as well as the respectable but ruined Stanley Holloway, Guinness' perfect criminal plan works in exquisite detail, then unravels just as exquisitely, culminating in a nail-biting police car chase in which you can't help rooting for the villains. The Lavender Hill Mob depicts a London still up to its knees in rubble from World War II, a world of new hope but continued austerity, a budding new order in which everything seems up for grabs; as such it could be regarded as a lighter hearted cinematic cousin to Carol Reed's 1949 masterpiece The Third Man. The Lavender Hill Mob also sees the first, fleeting on-screen appearance of Audrey Hepburn in the opening sequence. --David Stubbs

Product Description

Holland (Alec Guinness), is a shy retiring man who works as a bank transfer agent for the delivery of gold bullion. One day he befriends Pendlebury (Stanley Holloway), a maker of souvenirs. Holland remarks that, with Pendlebury's smelting equipment, one could forge the gold into harmless-looking toy Eiffel Towers and smuggle the gold into France. Soon after, they gain the services of professional criminals Lackery (Sid James) and Shorty (Alfie Bass) and the four plot their crime, unaware of the pitfalls which lie ahead.

An enduring classic from director Charles Crichton, The Lavender Hill Mob features an early screen appearance from Audrey Hepburn and was included on the British Film Institute’s list of the 100 Best British Films of the 20th Century.

Special features:
  • Behind the Scenes stills gallery
  • Introduction by Martin Scorsese
  • Excerpt from BECTU interview with Charles Crichton
  • Digitally restored trailer
  • Good Afternoon: Mavis interviews TEB Clarke

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The Lavender Hill Mob Blu-Ray 7 Aug 2011
The lavender Hill Mob is one of my favourite Ealing comedies unfortunately this Blu-Ray version has picture quality which is no better than the DVD. The film was made around the same time as Brighton Rock which recently came out with much better sound and picture.

This is a great film but is a big disappointment on Blu-Ray, buy the dvd instead.
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29 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Probably the best version you'll see 2 Aug 2011
Format:Blu-ray|Verified Purchase
Regarding the picture quality on this Blu-ray, so long as you don't have high expectations, you won't be disappointed.

The Lavender Hill Mob was released in 1951. While it's true that there are older films on Blu-ray that look absolutely pristine, they tend to be those created by the Walt Disney studio with its 'no expense spared' preservation policy. Although this classic Ealing Comedy has undergone a digital restoration, your heart might sink when you see the visibly blemished Rank Organisation logo at the beginning. The opening titles don't fare much better.

However, once the narrative proper begins, the picture improves greatly - with one proviso. There is a fine negative scratch down the extreme right-hand side of the frame that is present throughout. It fades in and out of view depending on the brightness of the scene so most of the time it's quite possible to 'tune it out'. Nonetheless, as the restoration comparison included with this release demonstrates, it could have been so much worse. The vast majority of extraneous noise has been removed and the contrast adjusted dramatically. The PCM 2.0 mono soundtrack is also the result of a makeover.

The film itself is one of those Ealing gems that you can't help but admire. An adeptly written screenplay (which won an Academy Award for its creator, T.E.B. Clarke), spot-on direction by Charles Crichton and above all, two pleasing performances from Alec Guinness and Stanley Holloway combine to make this tale of an attempted 'perfect robbery' an entertainment par excellence.

Other extras include a (rather muffled) audio interview with Charles Crichton and a vintage edition of Thames Television's Good Afternoon featuring a chat with T.E.B. Clarke.
Read more ›
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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A little gem from Ealing Studios 12 April 2001
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
This is Alec Guinness at the peak of his career. Both Alec Guinness and Stanley Holloway make a great team. Sid James and Alfie Bass also appear and make this film a joy to watch. It is a film which is all too obvious of the era in which it was made but it is still a timeless piece of entertainment. There are some excellent nailbiting chase scenes especially the one in France. The Lavender Hill Mob is a film which makes you feel good after viewing it. It has a light hearted storyline which makes you sympathise with the crooks and it makes you route for them all the way by keeping your fingers crossed that they get away with it - do they get away with it? - Watch the film and find out. For any Alec Guinness fan this is a must have video for your collection and I would also recommend adding The Ladykillers to your film library which, although it has a rather sinister plot line for a comedy it keeps you laughing.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Truly a "Classic" Comedy 26 Sep 2005
By Robert Morris TOP 100 REVIEWER
I recently purchased The Horse's Mouth (1958) from Amazon as well as "The Alec Guinness Collection" which includes The Lavender Hill Mob (1951) plus four others: Kind Hearts and Coronets (1949), The Man in the White Suit (1951), The Captain's Paradise (1953), and The Ladykillers (1955). Frankly, I was amazed how well each of the six films has held up since I first saw it.
This film was directed by Charles Crighton. Noteworthy in the first scene is a brief appearance by Audrey Hepburn, identified in the credits as "Chiquita." After she departs, Henry Holland (played brilliantly, as always, by Guinness) begins to recount the Lavender Hill saga to his companion. As he explains, he was a mild-mannered fellow who supervised the transportation by van of gold bullion. His boss, the armed guards who accompany him, and those who receive the shipments all respect his fastidious (albeit anal retentive) attitude toward his duties. Holland seems to have no private life except for his friendship with Alfred Pendlebury (played by Stanley Holloway) who owns a company which manufactures paperweights. For reasons which will not be revealed here, Holland and Pendlebury decide to steal a shipment worth (in 1951) several million pounds. They realize they will need help so they recruit two smalltime Cockney crooks, Lackery Wood (Sidney James) and Shorty Fisher (Alfie Bass), and thereby create the Lavender Hill Mob. In my opinion, how they plan and then complete the heist is far less entertaining than what happens afterward. T.E.B. Clarke received an Academy Award for his script which, paradoxically, is quite simple and yet wholly unpredictable. The acting is consistently first-rate. Also, while recently seeing this film again, I enjoyed the exterior shots London and Paris more than 50 years ago. This comedy is indeed a "classic."
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars call me dutch 20 Mar 2008
a classic british comedy comes to dvd. the film is the tale of mister holland, a lowly bank clerk who comes to work each day in his suit and bowler hat, and fusses a lot about his job, which is transferring gold bullion to a bank. everyone thinks he's a dull little man with no imagination, but he's really got more than anyone expects, and has been planning for years to rob the bank and get away with the gold.

When he meets mister pendlebury, a souvenir trinket maker, he finally has the last element of his plan. the two recruit a couple of crooks to help them, and the robbery of the century is go. but will they get away with it?

Depicting a long gone britain of the the early 50's, this is a fun gentle comedy. it's not laugh out loud for most of it but it's charming throughout, and it features a superb performance from alec guinness as holland, a little man with a big imagination. mind you the last fifteen minutes when things go awry and they have to improvise wildly to succeed are side splittingly funny, culminating in one of cinema's most memorable car chases ever.

the dvd has direct scene access and the original trailer for the movie.

A classic, and great to have it on dvd to enjoy again and again
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Good quality reproduction of an old movie
Pure nostalgia, seeing all those old actors and marvelling at the way the film was made. It was good to see the backgrounds of "yesteryear" and the old London transport.
Published 5 months ago by DawnRosa
3.0 out of 5 stars Badly served by time
A great cast of British comedy actors, headed by Alec Guinness at his best, in a comic crime caper that now really shows its age.
Published 8 months ago by MartinB
5.0 out of 5 stars Ealing comedy reigns supreme
Great family entertainment, an Ealing studios gem from the fifties great pairing of Alec Guinness and Stanley Holloway it's a hoot.
Published 11 months ago by Nicholas A. Gambardella
4.0 out of 5 stars Nice restoration but by no means faultless
As Blu Ray resotorations go, this is a little disappointing, although perfectly undersatndable. I read that early in Studio Canal's ownership (when they were Lumiere) several of... Read more
Published 12 months ago by T. J. Cotterill
5.0 out of 5 stars a trip to the past
I love these ealing studio films. they always take me back to happier times, when life seemed less complicated.
the film is a gem,well worth watching.I love it
Published 12 months ago by samskip
5.0 out of 5 stars Lovely old movie
A great comedy. Stands up to repeated viewing. Never tire of watching such great stuff. Alec Guiness was never funnier.
Published 17 months ago by Gail M. Whyte
5.0 out of 5 stars One of Ealings best
All Ealing's comady production's are simply great entertainment and this one is no different. The old ones are the best!
Published 19 months ago by D. Boddey
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic.
My nephews refuse to watch black and white films because they're 'old'. Showed them this film and they loved it.
Published 19 months ago by P. A. Murray
5.0 out of 5 stars The Perfect Film Comedy?
This 1951 Ealing Comedy directed by Charles Crichton, for me, represents a near-perfect cinematic comedy, running to around 80 minutes duration and with no let up in what is an... Read more
Published 20 months ago by Keith M
5.0 out of 5 stars An Ealing comedy
The Lavender Hill Mob (Charles Crichton, 1951, 81')

A film comedy from Ealing Studios, written by T E B Clarke, starring Alec Guinness and Stanley Holloway and featuring... Read more
Published 23 months ago by Dr René Codoni
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