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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars NICE BLURAY NO EXTRAS AT ALL
Great film,nice transfer to Blu-ray,though on this edition you only
get the Feature film,NO EXTRAS.
This is for the Standard Blu-ray case edition.

For extras you have to buy the previous release
Published on 16 Oct 2011 by Paul Scott

versus
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A great idea but only sporadically a great film
Despite its great central conceit - that there is nothing deadlier than a harmless little old lady even when faced with a gang of homicidal crooks - it's not difficult to understand why The Ladykillers had such a tepid reception on its first release. The problem seems to be less script than the direction and the editing, neither comfortable with comedy - it's the kind of...
Published on 31 Aug 2010 by Trevor Willsmer


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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars NICE BLURAY NO EXTRAS AT ALL, 16 Oct 2011
By 
Paul Scott (CENTRAL COAST,, N.S.W. Australia) - See all my reviews
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Great film,nice transfer to Blu-ray,though on this edition you only
get the Feature film,NO EXTRAS.
This is for the Standard Blu-ray case edition.

For extras you have to buy the previous release
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25 of 27 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Tea, buns and murder, 1 Dec 2005
By 
L. Davidson (Belfast, N.Ireland) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Ladykillers [DVD] [1955] (DVD)
"The Ladykillers" has stood up well to the ravages of time and although I have not seen the recent Hollywood remake , I am sure this original is much better. The film is sinister, atmospheric yet humourous; the criminal gang never really appear menacing despite their malevolent intentions towards their elderly landlady ,Mrs Wilberforce, with Alec Guinness playing the leading role as a criminal mastermind who,as part of his cunning plan,deliberately makes the old lady an unwitting accessory to a large robbery. I liked the film primarily because of it's unusual plot, rich characterisation and excellent acting. However the atmospheric locations also help to make "The Ladykillers" a memorable film ,especially Mrs Wilberforce's wonderful subsiding house perched high above a busy railway line. The presence of steam trains in the film is not only central to the plot ,but also helps to create a sense of motion, danger and uncertainty and adds significantly to the charm and attractiveness of this entertaining black comedy.
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63 of 69 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "...And You Live Here...All Alone?" - The Ladykillers (1955) on BLU RAY (2010 Studio Canal Version), 20 May 2010
By 
Mark Barry "Mark Barry" (London) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
When I first saw "The Ladykillers" in its supposed 'restored' state a few years back on DVD, I was a little under whelmed. It still seemed very washed out to me. But I'm thrilled to report that this February 2010 Studio Canal Collection BLU RAY completely changes that.

Given what they had to work with (a very corroded print covered in stuck-on hairs, fingerprints, scratch lines, blemishes in the negative, double-imaging of colour) - the result is little short of miraculous. It isn't picture-perfect for sure and some scenes still have corrosion and blocking in them, but mostly it's a massive improvement. Finally the BLU RAY format has brought out all that detailed restoration work - and it's the very best I've ever seen this beloved British classic look. The extras are superlative too - generous and hugely informative.

Details first...

Country choices in set-up are: Australia, Denmark, Germany, Spain, France, Netherlands, Norway, Finland, Sweden, UK, USA and Japan

Overdubbed Languages are: French, German and Castellano (no subtitles available)

The Extras are:
1. Introduction by Terry Gilliam (a short & affectionate appraisal)
2. Commentary by Philip Kemp (a feature-length commentary by this noted expert that is full of superb detail and anecdotes - by far the best extra on here)
3. "Forever Ealing" Documentary (2002, voiced by Daniel Day-Lewis, features contributions from Colin Firth, John Mills, Richard Attenborough, Martin Scorsese, Francis Ford Coppola and many others)
4. Interview With Allan Scott (Screenwriter/Producer, superb comments on MacKendrick's directing techniques, plot structures, uses of colour etc)
5. Cleaning Up "The Ladykillers" (original versus restored split screen shots - no dialogue)
6. Interview with Ronald Harwood (Screenwriter & friend of Alexander "Sandy" Mackendrick the Director)
7. Interview with Terence Davies (Director, Writer - talks of MacKendrick's classes on Filmmaking)
8. Trailer
9. BD Live

The first time you 'really' see the improvement is when Mrs. Wilberforce hands in a basket at the local cop shop run by Jack Warner who placates her with wonderful gentility. And more too when the shadow of Alec Guinness addles up to her front door with 'danger' strings sounding - she opens it - and there he is - all sinister grin and grubby scarf. The colour is superb and hugely improved.

And then of course there's cast you couldn't buy now for love or money - each one a gem - the Classical String Quartet of thieves - Peter Sellers, Herbert Lom, Cecil Parker and the big lug Danny Green - each one absolutely necessary to the overall state of anarchy. There's even Frankie Howerd as the barrow boy.

But it's the perpetually making-tea old biddy played so brilliantly by Katie Johnson who steels the show. Like some perverse and malicious force of nature, Mrs. Wilberforce sweetly wanders through the entire film causing all sorts of mayhem and death and is blissfully unaware of it all. You find yourself chuckling uncontrollably all through the film and for days afterwards. Half the enjoyment of course is watching all of the boys thinking they're smarter than her and then after-a-while falling for her genuine British goodness - only to find that she kills them all (unintentionally of course)! The film also belongs just as much to Alec Guinness (who stepped in for Alistair Sims) the mastermind of the heist. He is just delicious - creepily brilliant as he slinks around Mrs. 'Lopsided' and her King's Cross St. Pancreas home. With a genuinely evil relish, he's all the time probing the unwitting old lady for holes he can use (dialogue above). Unbelievably good and it hasn't dated a jot either.

Did you know that Peter Sellers also does the voices of all the Parrots, or that Alec Guinness only found his Professor Marcus character through a set of protruding teeth and that because Katie Johnson was 79 when she took the part, Ealing were afraid that the role might actually kill the poor woman, so she had to be insured or she couldn't do the part (she stumped up the money herself). Well you do now - and you'll learn a whole lot more besides about this 1955 gem through this wonderful release.

When Mrs. Wilberforce asks in the local shop at the beginning of the movie "Has there been anything about the advertisement?" - I urge you to answer the call.

Treat yourself to "The Ladykillers" on BLU RAY - and then sit there with a big mug of tea and a digestive - tittering uncontrollably every few minutes at its sheer genius.

PS: for other superb restorations on BLU RAY, see also my reviews for "The Italian Job", "Saturday Night, Sunday Morning", "The Loneliness Of The Long Distance Runner", "Zulu", "The Dambusters", "Quo Vadis", "North By Northwest", "Cool Hand Luke", "The Prisoner - The Complete (TV) Series In High Definition", "Goldfinger", "Braveheart", "Snatch", "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang" and "The African Queen"
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22 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Heart of Darkness (Comedy Division), 16 Sep 2010
By 
L. E. Cantrell (Vancouver, British Columbia Canada) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Ladykillers [DVD] (DVD)
"Kind Hearts and Coronets," "The Ladykillers," "Monsieur Verdoux," and "Unfaithfully Yours" form the dark crown of black comedy on film. Only the last is American. Grim hilarity seems to be a particularly British specialty.

Reading through a lengthy series (49 as I write this) of Amazon US reviews is often rewarding. In this case the great majority of those who write of this film lavish praise on the cast and plot. A substantial sub-class of reviewers felt it necessary to denounce the recent remake with Tom Hanks. (And quite right they were, too!) One reviewer praised the film and then gave a miserly single star in what must have been sheer error.

A single reviewer despised the film for its slow pace. In a brisk 91 minutes "The Ladykillers" offers the planning of a heist, its execution and the crumbling of all criminal expectations, along with the increasingly ironic deaths of five crooks. As Basil Fawlty might ask, what more does the reviewer want--herds of wildebeest rushing across the plains while Krakatoa explodes in the background?

A few reviewers noted that Alec Guinness was doing a masterly imitation of the great Alistair Sim. On that point, I have always wondered why Ealing didn't just cast Sim in the role in the first place. Sim starred in a deliciously black little comedy called "The Green Man" in which he played a master assassin foiled by a witless door-to-door vacuum cleaner salesman. "The Green Man" misses the exalted status of the films listed at the beginning of this piece by the narrowest of margins. Sim was also in "The School for Scoundrels," of course, but that small gem is just a little too cheery for true black comedy.

There are excellent summaries of the plot and insightful commentaries on the actors. I feel no need to repeat either here. I shall, then, take up three points that no-one has mentioned.

Billing in this film is odd. Guinness is clearly intended to be the star. The four other members of the gang are prominently listed. But 75 year-old Katie Johnson, who actually turned out to be the star of the picture and earned the British equivalent of an Oscar to prove it--not to mention the plain fact that she ate Guinness alive in every scene they shared--is listed as one of the supporting players in seventh or eighth spot.

The set design is stupendous. Mrs. Wilberforce's tiny, lopsided house on top of the railway bridge, idiosyncratic plumbing and all, is one of the greatest locations ever put on film. That house becomes as much a character in the movie as Mrs. W, herself, or any of the gang.

The musical score is quite perfect for the film--as good in its small way as the score of "Alexander Nevsky." It begins in unexpected formality with an Elgar-like symphonic introduction. Soon Mrs. Wilberforce appears and she comes with her own theme, almost a leitmotiv: "The Last Rose of Summer" played on a barrel organ. The heist has its theme, too, the Boccherini String Quintet (deedle-deedle-dee-dum-ti-dee-dee). Once heard, it is never to be forgotten. When all is well with the heist, so it is with the Quintet (deedle-deedle-dee-dum-ti-dee-dee). When difficulties arise, the Quintet suffers. At one point, a recording of the Boccherini is removed from a phonograph and intentionally smashed. As the movie swirls toward ultimate darkness, Boccherini disappears and the score generates a new theme: bodies plunging over the railroad bridge (harummm-THUD). Again, once heard, never forgotten. At the end of the film, a new and better day for Mrs. W is hailed by the reappearance of the barrel organ and "The Last Rose of Summer."

"The Ladykillers," admittedly makes demands on its viewers that are seldom to be found in contemporary pictures. It requires, for example, an attention span greater than that of a gnat. And it neglects to provide even a single flatulence joke for the relief of the more anxious members of the audience. Nevertheless it's a great film.

Five (deedle-deedle-dee-dum-ti-dee-dee) stars.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars pure matinee genius, 23 Sep 2011
By 
D. W. Phillips "john.T.chance," (croyden,london) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Ladykillers [DVD] (DVD)
this film will be on my dvd player forever, i watch it every month or so, best ever british movie, sellers, guinness, lom, parker and mr. danny green, little miss lop sidey, katie johnson, are the best laugh you will ever have, plus old london scenes, buy this and keep a spare copy in the cupboard, best of british here....ever,
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A great idea but only sporadically a great film, 31 Aug 2010
By 
Trevor Willsmer (London, England) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Ladykillers [DVD] (DVD)
Despite its great central conceit - that there is nothing deadlier than a harmless little old lady even when faced with a gang of homicidal crooks - it's not difficult to understand why The Ladykillers had such a tepid reception on its first release. The problem seems to be less script than the direction and the editing, neither comfortable with comedy - it's the kind of thing that a much less talented director that Alexander Mackendrick could have made a better job of by just standing out of the way and letting it happen. There also seems the hint of a bit of a barney between Mackendrick and Alec Guinness if the footage is anything to go by - he frequently cuts away from Guinness when you get the impression he's about to do something interesting, as if the director is getting his revenge on his star in the cutting room. Indeed, Guinness' entrance, which should be one of the biggest laughs in the picture, doesn't really come off because the director cuts away from the demonically seedy apparition - like Alastair Sim possessed by the devil - with undue haste. He seems to have little idea of how to stage comic set-pieces - the business with the horse, the taxi and the barrow boy seems awkward - and no real use for Peter Sellers, who is little more than a wardrobe and hairstyling joke. That the film still sporadically shines seems to be more to do with William Rose's script, which survives the oft-clumsy execution, so it is a shame that it is always referred to as `Sandy' Mackendrick's The Ladykillers, when it is really William Rose's The Ladykillers.

While StudioCanal's original Blu-ray release in its limited edition hardcover book format had a plethora of extras, the subsequent release is completely extras-free.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars OK if you want German subtitles, 8 Feb 2012
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This review is from: The Ladykillers [DVD] (DVD)
Very disappointed with DVD as it comes with German subtitles which cannot be removed and so spoils enjoyment of the film unless you are German and can't understand English! I thought it might be a one-off but the replacement DVD had the same problem.Pity because it's a great film in every other respect.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic Black Comedy, 6 Oct 2010
By 
Colin Smith (England) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Ladykillers [DVD] (DVD)
This is probably the best Ealing comedy ever made. A great black comedy, its the story about a gang of crooks whose elderly landlady accidently discovers their responsibility for a robbery. One by one the crooks attempt - and fail to bump her off. All the cast are superb, especially Alec Guinness and Herbert Lom, as two of the crooks who bicker between themselves throughout the movie. Forget the inferior Tom Hanks remake, this is the original and best.

P.S. I cannot comment on the picture quality on this copy of the movie, as I bought the other Studio Canal copy of this on the "Ealing Comedy DVD Collection" which also features "Kind Hearts And Coronets" "The Lavender Hill Mob" and "The Man In The White Suit". An animated picture of Alec Guinness features on the cover of the box, picture quality on all four films is very good.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great film, poor transfer, 20 Jan 2012
By 
Blackjack Davy (somewhere in the UK) - See all my reviews
If you're looking for a disc to spin in your new Blu-ray player and HDTV, watch out.

There are two types of blu-ray transfers, those that are full HD quality digitally remastered discs that are well worth the money and then there are others that are no more than straight ports from a standard definition source that has been upscaled to full HD dimensions but without the resolution.

Sadly this is one of the latter. Picture lacks definition (pause the picture and see what I mean, a good quality source will be pin sharp) it seems distinctly fuzzy and looks like the source was Video tape, and did they really have 4:3 Fullscreen cinema in the 50's?

If you have it on DVD already stick with that you'll get no better picture with this disc as your player will do exactly the same as what the releasers of this blu-ray have done - taken an SD source and upscale it to HD dimensions.

Verdict: avoid unless you have it already and wait for a digitally remastered, fully restored, high defintion camera scanned release.

5 stars for the movie, 0 for the release, so 3 overall.
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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lolly Pops, 26 Sep 2005
By 
Robert Morris (Dallas, Texas) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Ladykillers [DVD] [1955] (DVD)
I recently purchased The Horse's Mouth (1958) from Amazon as well as "The Alec Guinness Collection" which includes The Ladykillers (1955) plus four others: Kind Hearts and Coronets (1949), The Man in the White Suit (1951), The Lavender Hill Mob (1951), and The Captain's Paradise (1953). Frankly, I was amazed how well each of the six films has held up since I first saw it.

For me, the most memorable performance in this film is provided by Katie Johnson as Mrs. Louisa Alexandra Wilberforce who rents a flat to Professor Marcus (Guinness) and his companions. The plot such as it is involves their theft of 60,000 pounds and subsequent efforts to remove it from a locker they have rented to store it temporarily. For about half of this film, brilliantly directed by Alexander Mackendrick (who also directed Guinness in The Man in the White Suit, 1951), Mrs. Wilberforce believes that Marcus and his friends are honest citizens and amateur musicians. When she learns that they are thieves, her first concern is not for her personal safety (which is never in doubt, anyway) but to return "the lolly" to its rightful owners. Complications include her elderly friends who appreciatively swarm around the Marcus group during a hilarious afternoon tea party. One development of special interest to me is the fact that, except for the psychopath Louis Harvey (Lom), the thieves do not want Mrs. Wilberforce harmed in any way and begin to feel protective toward her. This proves to be significant as the plot proceeds gracefully to a conclusion I did not anticipate.

Given the number of deaths which occur in this film, it seems inappropriate to describe it as "charming" and "delightful" but it is nonetheless. For that, I give most of the credit to the performance by Katie Johnson under Mackendrick's direction and with the strong support of Guinness who obviously defers to her prominence in so many important scenes. The supporting cast is first-rate. Yes, that really is a very young Peter Sellers in the role of Harry Robinson who is given relatively little to say and do. Danny Green is excellent as One Round, providing the muscle needed to complete the plan devised by the group's brain, Marcus.

For these and other reasons, this is my favorite among the five films in "The Alec Guinness Collection."
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The Ladykillers [VHS] [1955]
The Ladykillers [VHS] [1955] by Alexander Mackendrick (VHS Tape - 2000)
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