The 1951 film The Lavender Hill Mob is a classic Ealing Comedy starring Alec Guinness, Stanley Holloway, Sidney James, Alfie Bass and a strong supporting cast. It was filmed in London and is one of the few films that show what London was really like in the early 1950s. This is a fast-paced film with good acting and an interesting, easy-to-follow story filmed in black and white which adds to the atmosphere. The plot involves one man and a small group of criminals who are intent on stealing gold bullion which is being transported by road from the Bank of England to a local bank branch. Alec Guinness plays Holland who is the mastermind of the robbery and Stanley Holloway plays Pendlebury, his partner.
Holland is a shy man who has worked for his bank for almost 20 years. He now dreams of a comfortable retirement and living the good life but doesn't have the money to achieve all he wants. His job involves personally escorting gold bullion deliveries from the bank by travelling in the back of a van whilst two armed guards are in the front. Seeing the gold bars in the van all the time finally becomes too much of a temptation to him.
At his lodgings, Holland befriends a new arrival at the boarding house, Pendlebury, who is a maker and exporter of souvenirs. Together, they start to put together a plan to steal the gold from one of the van deliveries and move abroad. They soon realise that Pendlebury's souvenir manufacturing equipment could be used to help smuggle the gold out of the country which was the biggest problem they faced with the robbery. They eventually devise a way to smuggle the gold out of the country and send it to contacts in Paris. However, things gradually start to go wrong once they are in France.
The Lavender Hill Mob is a well-scripted film and is considered to be one of the top 100 comedy films ever made. There is a marvellous twist at the end.
Film and Movie Information
The Lavender Hill Mob was released by Rank Organisation in 1951 and was directed by Charles Crichton. The prncipal stars were Alec Guinness, Sidney James and Stanley Holloway. The movie was filmed in Black and White in London.