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The Best Of Ealing Collection DVD

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Titles Comprise: Kind Hearts And Coronets: Set in the stately Edwardian era Kind Hearts And Coronets is black comedy at is best with the most articulate and literate of all Ealing screenplays. Sir Alec Guinness gives a virtuoso performance in his Ealing comedy debut playing all eight victims standing between a mass-murderer and his family fortune. Considered by some to be Ealing's most perfect achievement of all the Ealing films. The Ladykillers director Alexander Mackendrick's third Ealing farce is the final comedy produced by the famous British studio and one of its most celebrated. Like the equally applauded Kind Hearts And Coronets the film is more sophisticated and blacker in tone than typically lighthearted Ealing fare (such as Mackendrick's Whiskey Galore!). Alec Guinness stars as the superbly shifty toothily threatening Professor Marcus the leader of a crime ring planning a heist. Marcus rents rooms from a sweet eccentric old lady Mrs. Wilberforce (Katie Johnson) in her crooked London house. The professor and his co-conspirators blowhard Major Courtney (Cecil Parker) creepily suave Louis (Herbert Lom) chubby Harry (Peter Sellers) and muscleman One-Round (Danny Green) pose as an unlikely string quartet using the rooms for rehearsal. Dodging Mrs. Wilberforce's constant interruptions the hoods hit upon the idea to use her in the daring daylight robbery (filmed in and around London's King's Cross station). When the old girl discovers the truth Marcus and company cannot persuade her to stay buttoned up about it and thus decide to do her in. Accompanied by a noirish cacophony of screeching trains parrots and little old ladies at afternoon tea a series of unlikely events builds to the hilarious surprising finale. The Man In The White Suit: Sidney Stratton (Alec Guinness) works quietly at Michael Corland's (Michael Gough) textile mill until his mysterious costly lab experiment is discovered. Fired by Corland Stratton takes a menial job at Alan Birnley's (Cecil Parker) mill in order to continue his work on the sly. When Daphne (Joan Greenwood) Corland's fianc''e and Birnley's daughter discovers his secret she threatens to expose Stratton. The desperate scientist reveals to Daphne that he has invented an indestructible cloth that never gets dirty. Close to realizing his vision Stratton celebrates by having a white suit made of the fabric (because it repels dye). The trouble however is just beginning. The lowly mill workers (who spout market economics in rough accents) fear for their jobs while the mill owners led by the decrepit Godfather-esque Sir John Kierlaw (Ernest Thesiger) worry about their profits. Passport To Pimlico: An archaic document found in a bombsite reveals that the London district of Pimlico has for centuries technically been part of France. The local residents embrace their new found continental status seeing it as a way to avoid the drabness austerity and rationing of post-war England. The authorities do not however share their enthusiasm... The Lavender Hill Mob: Mr. Holland (Alec Guinness) has supervised the bank's bullion run for years. He is fussy and unnecessarily overprotective but everyone knows he is absolutely trustworthy. And so on the day the bullion truck is robbed he is the last person to be suspected. But there is another side to Mr. Holland; he is also Dutch the leader of the Lavender Hill Mob.

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A collection of five classic Ealing comedies. 'Kind Hearts and Coronets' (1949) is a period comedy set in the early 20th century. Young Louis Mazzini (Dennis Price) vows to take revenge on his family, the D'Ascoynes, when he learns how they disinherited his mother. Working his way into their trust, Louis begins to bump off his distant relatives (all played by Alec Guinness) one by one, but complications set in when Edith D'Ascoyne (Valerie Hobson), the widow of his first victim, falls in love with him. In 'The Ladykillers' (1955), eccentric landlady Mrs Wilberforce (Katie Johnson) believes her new lodger Professor Marcus (Guinness) and his associates the Major (Cecil Parker), Louis (Herbert Lom), Harry (Peter Sellers) and One-Round (Danny Green) to be amateur musicians. They are in fact, however, the perpetrators of a bank heist, looking to whisk their ill-gotten gains out of London. All goes well until Mrs Wilberforce is persuaded by Marcus to claim his 'trunk' from the station; it is only then that the criminal genius's carefully laid plans begin to go awry. In 'The Man in The White Suit' (1951), Sidney Stratton (Guiness) is a laboratory cleaner in a textile factory who invents a material that will neither wear out nor become dirty. Initially hailed as a great discovery, Sidney's astonishing invention is suffocated by the management when they realise that if it never wears out, people will only ever have to purchase one suit of clothing. In 'Passport to Pimlico' (1949), an unexploded bomb goes off in Pimlico, uncovering documents which reveal that this part of London in fact belongs to Burgundy in France. An automonous state is set up in a spirit of optimism, but the petty squabbles of everyday life soon shatter the Utopian vision of a non-restrictive nation. Finally, in 'The Lavender Hill Mob' (1951), nobody would ever suspect gold bullion delivery man Henry Holland (Guinness) of anything other than total devotion to his job. However, with the aid of fellow lodger Pendlebury (Stanley Holloway), he gathers together a gang to carry out a heist, intending to smuggle the gold out of the country by melting it down into miniature models of the Eiffel Tower. All goes well until the consignment of models becomes muddled up with another, non-golden batch. Watch out for an early cameo by Audrey Hepburn.

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