Music professor Mr. Marcus rented a room in the house of old Mrs. Louise Alexandra Wilberforce. The old woman could not even imagine that the phony professor did not know a single note, and that danger hung over her.
4k movies reviews
Until recently, I believed that the genre of crime-detective comedy, as a separate phenomenon, appeared only in the early 60s, with the release of such films as’ Blow the Bank ‘,’ The Pink Panther ‘,’ Under the Female Leadership ‘,’ Dig in Both Sides ‘. But just the other day I had to personally make sure that they were not pioneers in this genre, before them there were already similar experiments with the crossing of genres, I’m afraid to even guess how many of these experiments were in the 50s and how many films were forgotten and gone into oblivion, but fortunately, some of them managed to ‘survive’ almost without loss to our time, and the most good and interesting were even honored to be shown on our television. One such film is The Lady Killers, directed by Alexander Mackendrick.
Almost from the very first frames, the film surprised me as hell and literally ‘stuck’ me to the screen – there was a place in it for a magnificent thriller in a perfectly sustained ‘Hitchkovian’ style, and a brilliant adventure-criminal comedy, and a kind of performance of provisions, in a word, we have probably one of the brightest film phenomena of that era, the success of which is largely due not only to the magnificent, unusual script by William Rose and Jimmy O’Connor, for which the film was even nominated for an Oscar, and this is already a rather serious argument in itself, but also to the excellent acting a composition that is simply inimitable here.
Regarding the scenario-plot part, we can say with confidence that for the mid-50s it was a real find, which even now can look quite fresh, interesting and intriguing. Of course, Mackendrick did not set himself the task of making an outrageous comedy, and it can be seen – there is a certain severity, restraint in the film, I would even say a certain modesty, in it definitely the preponderance goes towards the thriller, but the tape still manages to make you laugh wildly, in – firstly, by the setting, secondly, by the main characters, and thirdly by the very image of a timid, restless, quiet old woman, who at the same time, without knowing it, caused problems for the ‘main’ attackers.
The comedy-criminal plot situation itself tells us that in the house of a lonely, quiet, calm, rather peaceful, but absolutely unbearable, due to her curiosity, persistence and senile harm, an old woman settles a group of musicians who are not really musicians, but turn out to be ordinary crooks, whose main goal is to rob a collector’s car with an impressive amount of money, but who could have imagined that an old woman who accidentally got involved in an adventure would spoil all their plans?
The stupid and funny situations that occur with the main characters are not just a decoration of the film, but a kind of subtlety, which in the 60s and even later will become an integral part of the adventurous comedy genre, and the humor is not flat enough, a lot of wit, a lot of dialogues and monologues still ‘to the point’, almost the entire film wanted to just non-stop laughing at the actions of ‘grief – robbers’, did not laugh only at the end, it turned out to be the most thriller, the most harsh for perception, but even at the end Mackendrick did not do without some joke, which still makes to smile – then what, or rather that funny scene of an old woman’s communication with a policeman, he began his story, and so he ended his story, making a kind of ‘signature’ gesture, which was later repeatedly emphasized by many recognized comedy masters.
As for the actors, then Mackendrick was just heavenly lucky on the next point, he managed to gather under one wing a cast of actors, most of whom would later become real movie stars – here and the legendary Peter Sellers, still very young and unknown, and Herbert Lom, and Alec Guinness, who would later embody his crown Obiwan Ke-Nobi in the classic old Star Wars, and Cecil Parker at that time was already a fairly well-known actor, and Jack Warner, and of course Katie Johnson, who embodied the old woman.
In 2004, a kind of remake of this film was released, which was called ‘Gentlemen’s Games’, comparing both films, I can say that the original tape is much better, the new film, albeit more modern, dynamic, but the classic film outperforms ‘Gentlemen’ by all one hundred positions, especially in humor.
Codec: HEVC / H.265
Resolution: Native 4K (2160p)
Aspect ratio: 1.67:1
Original aspect ratio: 1.75:1
English: DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0
English: Dolby Digital 2.0