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The Lavender Hill Mob

The Lavender Hill Mob

By Patrick Samuel • August 4th, 2011
Static Mass Rating: 4/5
THE LAVENDER HILL MOB (Blu-ray)
Optimum Home Entertainment

Release date: August 1st, 2011
Certificate (UK): U
Running time: 81 minutes

Year of production: 1951

Director: Charles Crichton
Writer: T.E.B. Clarke

Cast: Alec Guinness, Stanley Holloway, Sid James, Audrey Hepburn

Cinema Review

Have you ever planned a crime so meticulously that you’re able to declare it foolproof? Well, I suppose not many of us have. And even if you did, a film like The Lavender Hill Mob should be able to put you off ever committing it.

Take Henry Holland (Alec Guinness) for example. He’s the kind of guy no one would ever suspect anything of; he’s quiet, punctual, he’s a good worker and never makes a fuss. After working for the Bank of England for the past 20 years, Holland hatches a plan to steal the gold bullion that arrives by crate loads via a delivery van.

The Lavender Hill Mob

With his fellow lodger Alfred Pendlebury (Stanley Holloway) and a small crew, they pretend that Holland was an innocent victim in all of it. They then melt the gold down into miniature souvenir models of the Eiffel Tower and ship them off to Paris where they can easily be sold on the black market. Foolproof!

The only problem is the gold ends up in the wrong hands. They models are accidentally sold to a group of British school girls and though Holland and Pendlebury do their best to try and retrieve the damned things, they’re lead right to the last place you’d want to be: a police history exhibition.

SPECIAL FEATURES:

  • Introduction by Martin Scorsese (3:38)
  • Excerpt from BECTU interview with Charles Crichton (12:51)
  • Good Afternoon: Mavis interviews TEB Clarke (24:42)
  • Restoration Comparison (4:10)
  • Behind the Scenes Stills Gallery
  • Trailer (2:30)

For anyone that’s seen The Lavender Hill Mob you’ll know what a great comedy caper it is and you’ll of course remember one of the film’s best scenes; when Holland and Pendlebury chase down an elevator with the giggling school girls by foot on the Eiffel Tower. It’s a vertigo inducing moment for them and us and by the end of it I felt a little delirious myself from those dizzying heights.

The Lavender Hill Mob

If you haven’t seen it yet or you’re yet to experience the Ealing Studios classics, then you’re in for a treat and this is a good one to start with. It’s a great send-up of the heist movies that came before and it also offers some great footage of vintage London along with a quick stop in Paris.

To celebrate its 60th anniversary, Optimum has released the film on Blu-ray, so it’s chance to see it in pristine condition.

So, whether or not you’re plotting your perfect crime, spare a few moments for Holland, Pendlebury and their motley crew and see how crime doesn’t pay.

Patrick Samuel

Patrick Samuel

The founder of Static Mass Emporium and one of its Editors in Chief is an emerging artist with a philosophy degree, working primarily with pastels and graphite pencils, but he also enjoys experimenting with water colours, acrylics, glass and oil paints.

Being on the autistic spectrum with Asperger’s Syndrome, he is stimulated by bold, contrasting colours, intricate details, multiple textures, and varying shades of light and dark. Patrick's work extends to sound and video, and when not drawing or painting, he can be found working on projects he shares online with his followers.

Patrick returned to drawing and painting after a prolonged break in December 2016 as part of his daily art therapy, and is now making the transition to being a full-time artist. As a spokesperson for autism awareness, he also gives talks and presentations on the benefits of creative therapy.

Static Mass is where he lives his passion for film and writing about it. A fan of film classics, documentaries and science fiction, Patrick prefers films with an impeccable way of storytelling that reflect on the human condition.

Patrick Samuel ¦ Asperger Artist

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