Boxset Features: Kind Hearts and Coronets - An Ealing Studio classic, KIND HEARTS AND CORONETS is a deft and dark Edwardian comedy with Alec Guinness in superb form as he plays eight different members of the D'Ascoyne clan. In order to inherit the entire D'Ascoyne fortune, the suave, dashing black sheep of the wealthy family, Louis (Dennis Price) must murder all the other heirs. Watch as the brilliant Guinness disappears into his various eccentric roles.
Passport To Pimlico - A delightful Ealing comedy set in the war-ravaged English capital. When an old document, found on a bombsite, reveals that the London district of Pimlico is in actual fact a part of the French duchy of Burgundy, the residents declare independence from Britain. They even set up customs' checkpoints for passengers travelling through Pimlico station on the London Underground. Initially, they're delighted at the turn of events, which means they dispense with wartime rationing and free from other British government control. But when they get hit by food and water shortages of their own, Britain starts looking rosier by the minute.
The Lavender Hill Mob - In Ealing Studio's classic crime caper THE LAVENDER HILL MOB, Alec Guinness plays Mr. Holland, a fussy and unnecessarily overprotective bank supervisor. However, unbeknowst to his employers the Bank of England, he is the leader of the titular crime gang. So, on the day that a gold bullion lorry is robbed, Mr. Holland is the last person to be suspected. Winning an Oscar for Best Story & Screenplay THE LAVENDER HILL MOB is an Ealing delight that sees Guinness revelling in his scheming character. Look out for the fleeting appearance of a young Audrey Hepburn in the opening scene.
The Man In The White Suit - Based on the play by Roger MacDougall, Alexander Mackendrick's THE MAN IN THE WHITE SUIT is the director's second film, a winning comedy about the battles between labour, capitalists, and scientific dreamers. Sidney Stratton (Alec Guinness) works quietly at the textile mill of Michael Corland (Michael Gough) amid the wonderful gurgle, fizz and plop of his equipment, until his mysterious, costly lab experiments are 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 fiancee 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 and never wears out! Close to realising his vision, Stratton celebrates by having a suit made of the fabric, and because it repels dye it is a brilliant gleaming white. When the unions and management find out, fearing for the future of their industry, the chase is on to keep Stratton quiet, one way or another. But there's flaw in his fabric formula...
The Ladykillers - Director Alexander Mackendrick's third Ealing farce, is the final comedy produced by the famous studio and one of its most celebrated. 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 Kings 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.