The Lady Killers DVD

That staircase is a little odd?

When a little old lady Mrs Wilberforce decides to rent out a room in her house to strangers, she really never knew who might come to apply. When the smiling and slightly mad Professor Marcus appears and tells her he wants to bring his classical band in to practice for a big event, dotty Mrs W is over the moon. In steps the charming Major Courtney, the massive softy ‘one round’ Mr Lawson, the scary Italian knife man Mr Harvey and a shifty London gangster Mr Robinson. They arent here to practice for a concert but a robbery. They play a record over on a loop and plot to steal a shipment of cash from a train. Setting up a safe house that is so safely away from what the police are looking for. So after the job they return and the whole plan goes so well. Of course there is an until and that comes in the form of Mrs W. She has found out about the robbery and now they have to silence her before it is too late.

Hello....

The Ealing studio series of films are all very good in their own rights. From great scripts and direction, to fantastic acting and production design. The Ladykillers however is the second finest film released (after my personal favorite Hue and Cry). It has a black comedy that is very British in its manner but also very universal in its theme. Think David vs Goliath if David were a 80 year old lady and Goliath was a group of cack handed criminals lead by a nutcase. The wonderful thing about the film is it serves so much analysis. It can be watched as a film of fun. Seen as a comment on the topic of evolution (See the interview with the writer for more on this) or even seen as the determined look back to an age of imperial glory. It is also barmy (Gilliam is a great choice for intro) and it has such utter insanity from its house that is ‘lob sided’ to its pipes that need a good whack to produce water. The whole is so brilliant and so is the splendid pieces that link it all together.

If 3 is a crowd, what the heck is this!

Right well the disc is excellent and so is the DVD. I have ordered the latter and will happily pay the amount even though I have this on a box set.  This disc has some great extras that include great interviews with those involved. A very good intro from Gilliam and he has such fun with it.A very well put together commentary and an interview with Terence Davies that is superly informed and shows how the film influences across film genre and form. The other note worthy element is the excellent cleaning up feature that shows how the restored version looks better and sounds cleaning….

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