Ealing studios. Genre films and comedy in particular, defines much of film history. Its the best of British and a significant brand indeed. THE LADYKILLERS is near to its masterpiece. If you have seen it, then you know why. If you have not, then you have heard of it. Alexander Mackendrick sly and rye comedy, about a bunch of armed robbers knocking off a payroll from Kings cross station. They are Professor Marcus (Alec Guinness), Major Courtney (Cecil Parker), Mr Robinson (Peter Sellars), Mr Harvey (Herbert Lom) and Mr Lawson (Danny Green)

They are plotting in the lopsided abode of  an old lady, Mrs Wilberforce (Katie Johnson). She is only interested in their cover, as a music quintet. They have much more planned. At this simple premise, comes a universal film about the Pratt falls of old age, parody of expressionist cinema and British eccentricity. That is it really. A delightful, blackly comic film and one that still stands the test of time.


The issue with a multitude of re releases is this, are they worth it? Its a difficult thing. Often they are and sometimes they frankly are not. THE LADYKILLERS and its 4K upgrade, is well worth visiting. If not for any other reason than the colour palette has finally being fixed. This has certainly made it more ‘dream like’ or ‘dream state’ as director and writer wanted. Well since the writer literally dreamt it. It has also made London look more destitute and despairing. I liked that. I like it a great deal indeed. You may not feel this but I like that very much indeed.



You do get two different ratios to watch in. I was neither bothered by either but they are 1:37:1 and 1:66:1 aspect ratios. If you are of this ilk then its a thing to note. The 3 go to for the film extras (In my opinion are )Audio commentary with author and film scholar Philip Kemp. Kemp gets the grade of Ealing, the crew, cast and in truth, everything worth knowing and everything worth thinking about.

Investigating the Ladykillers featurette is very good indeed. New productions sometimes mean, old stuff packaged as new. This adds new elements and a new focus for the film and is a better documentary than other documentaries. It asks modern creatives their thoughts, discusses the films legacy within their work and finally, focuses the role of Ealing on the British sensibility. King’s Cross Locations featurette with Alan Dein Dein is sometimes like a bonkers uncle, filmed on location, he shows you the then and now. He gives his point of view and often gets the 9 minutes filled with value…

Blu-ray, UHD, a CD of the Glorious Ealing Films soundtrack, 6 pop-art artcards of the gang and Mrs Wilberforce and a 64 page booklet with new essays.

Special Features

  • Lobby cards Gallery
  • Behind the Scenes Stills Gallery
  • NEW Investigating the Ladykillers featurette
  • NEW Colour in The Ladykillers: an interview with Professor Keith Johnston
  • Lobby Cards gallery
  • Behind the scenes stills gallery
  • Peter Sellers spoof trailer from the set of The Ladykillers
  • Audio commentary with author and film scholar Philip Kemp
  • King’s Cross Locations featurette with Alan Dein
  • Audio Interview with Assistant Director Tom Pevsner
  • Audio Interview with Unit Production Manager David Peers
  • Trailer

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