#135 The Ladykillers

Watched: September 24 2017

Director: Alexander MacKendrick

Starring: Alec Guinness, Peter Sellers, Cecil Parker, Herbert Lom, Danny Green, Katie Johnson

Year: 1955

Runtime: 1h 31min

Lady

Source

Mrs Wilberforce (Johnson) is a sweet little old lady and frequent visitor at the police station reporting on various observations, who is looking for a tenant for her vacant room. When Professor Marcus (Guinness) shows up looking for a room where he can live and rehearse with his string quintet, she may have gotten more than she bargained for.

Lady1
Wilberforce – the bane of hardened criminals!

Source

Naturally, Professor Marcus and his cohorts (the rest of the men credited) are not what they appear – they are a band of criminals planning to rob a security van at King’s Cross and they want to use Wilberforce’s house, and the old lady herself, as part of their plan.

lady2
As if classical musicians could make this much money

Source

However, the gang had not counted on Mrs Wilberforce, her observational skills, her morals, or her ability to make them all feel like naughty little boys being scolded by Mother.

lady3
She’s not angry. She’s just very disappointed.

Source

The Ladykillers is a fantastic comedy, perfectly cast and entertaining throughout. Katie Johnson, who gets ridiculously low billing, is amazing as the old widow, and her adversaries are all brilliant as well – screen legends as many of them are.

lady4
Some of the characters are better than others are fake-playing their instrument

Source

An old favourite of ours, it is always a treat to rewatch it, and we recommend it to everyone with no stipulations. If you can’t get some sort of enjoyment from this, you’re dead inside.

lady5
Happiness overload when Mrs Wilberforce had all her little old friends over for tea. They’re so sweeeeet!

Source

What we learned: Don’t mess with little old ladies.

Next time: The Night of the Hunter (1955)

Advertisements

#134 The Court Jester

Watched: September 24 2017

Director: Melvin Frank & Norman Panama

Starring: Danny Kaye, Glynis Johns, Basil Rathbone, Angela Lansbury, Cecil Parker, Mildred Natwick

Year: 1955

Runtime: 1h 41min

court

Source

A Royal child has survived the massacre of his family, and is being kept safe in the forest by Not-Robin-Hood “The Black Fox” and his singing, dancing and fairly merry men. The usurping king is not very happy about this and sends out his men to track down and kill the child who bears the tell-tale birthmark “The Purple Pimpernel”

Court2
We chose this image to avoid being banned for lewd pictures, but it gives you a certain idea of where the birthmark is placed

Source

Among The Black Fox’s merry men is carnival performer Hubert Hawkins (Kaye) – a minstrel who really wants to fight for the rightful heir but who is tasked with entertaining the troops instead. Along with Captain Jean (Johns), he is sent to smuggle the child to safety, but as the pair run into the new unrightful king’s new jester, they make their own plans.

court3
Guess who’s going undercover!

Source

Once at the court, complications arise as Sir Ravenhurst (Rathbone) thinks he’s an assassin, Princess Gwendolyn (Lansbury) thinks he’s her one true love, and her Nanny Griselda (Natwick) hypnotizes our hero to be all those things. Additionally, Jean is kidnapped into prostitution at the castle, and the infant King must be kept hidden under the nose of his would-be killer. Let the farce commence!

court4
The prostitution-thing is not explicitly stated, but very heavily hinted at

Source

The Court Jester is very silly and very funny, with great musical numbers (we especially loved the opening song) and gags galore! It’s a swashbuckling adventure which reminded us in style of The Adventures of Robin Hood (we’re guessing not accidentally) and in humour of Mel Brooks – particularly Men in Tights, of course.

court7
Also, the inspiration for a certain famous scene with dancing, singing “knighets”!

Source

A fun family comedy recommended for all who love a bit of well-executed silly in their lives.

court6
And Murder, She Wrote-fans looking to justify their love for Angela Lansbury

Source

What we learned: Kings can be overthrown by dwarves and birthmarks. Also, Danny Kaye invented the drop-crotch trousers.

Next time: The Ladykillers (1955)