THE LAVENDER HILL MOB (1951) B/W 82m dir: Charles Crichton

w/Alec Guinness, Stanley Holloway, Sidney James, Alfie Bass, Marjorie Fielding, John Gregson, Edie Martin, Clive Morton, Ronald Adam, Sydney Tafler, Peter Bull, William (James) Fox, Audrey Hepburn

After twenty years on the job, a mild-mannered bank employee (Guinness) develops what he believes to be a foolproof plan to steal one million pounds in gold bullion.

From The Movie Guide: "A hilarious, tongue-in-cheek crime comedy, one of the finest to come out of the Ealing Studios during their most prolific years. ...

"Guinness is winning as the last man on earth you'd suspect of being a criminal (he was nominated for an Oscar but lost to Gary Cooper, for HIGH NOON). [T.E.B.] Clarke's screenplay quite rightly won the award. Many of England's best comic actors are seen in small roles, including Sydney Tafler, Peter Bull, and John Gregson. In a tiny role, you may notice James Fox (brother of Edward), still being billed as William. And in the opening sequence, Guinness hands a cute young woman some money and tells her to buy a little gift. You'll have to look fast to recognize Audrey Hepburn as the little girl."

For more information about Ealing Studios, consult FOREVER EALING.

THE LAVENDER HILL MOB received an Oscar for Best Story and Screenplay (Clarke) and was also nominated for Best Actor (Guinness).