The Ladykillers

Watch The Ladykillers

"Who was that lady I saw you outwit last night? That was no lady...That was 'Mum' Wilberforce, ..."
  • NR
  • 1955
  • 1 hr 31 min
  • 7.6  (31,585)
  • 91

The Ladykillers is a classic British black comedy film from 1955, directed by Alexander Mackendrick and featuring some of the most iconic actors of the era. The movie follows what happens when a group of five criminals decide to rent a room from the sweet but eccentric Mrs. Wilberforce, played by Katie Johnson, who lives in a big house near King's Cross station in London.

The criminals are led by Professor Marcus, played by Alec Guinness, who poses as a respectable music professor with a group of amateur musicians. However, their true plan is to rob a security van which passes over a nearby railway bridge. The plan is complicated by Mrs. Wilberforce, who is always wandering into the room where they are planning their heist, and by her parrot, General Gordon, who repeats everything he hears.

The rest of the members of the gang are played by Peter Sellers, Herbert Lom, Danny Green, and Cecil Parker. Each one has a different skill that they bring to the heist, but they are all clueless when it comes to the delicate art of murder. The plot thickens when Mrs. Wilberforce accidentally discovers the gang's plot and the criminals decide to eliminate her.

What follows is a darkly comic tale of bumbling criminals, inept police officers, and a charming old lady who proves to be more resourceful than they ever imagined. The Ladykillers is a film that brilliantly blends humor with suspense, and it is widely regarded as a classic of the genre.

One of the standout performances in the movie is Alec Guinness as Professor Marcus. As always, Guinness brings a certain gravitas to the role, and his transformation from a mild-mannered professor to a ruthless criminal is both chilling and hilarious. Peter Sellers also shines as one of the members of the gang, with his trademark accent and goofy demeanor.

But perhaps the true standout performance in this film comes from Katie Johnson as Mrs. Wilberforce. Johnson was a relatively unknown actress at the time, but her portrayal of the sweet but slightly scatterbrained old lady is nothing short of brilliant. She brings a sense of heart and warmth to the film that perfectly balances out the darker elements of the plot.

One of the great things about The Ladykillers is the way it expertly blends elements of slapstick comedy with more subtle humor. The physical comedy in the film is expertly choreographed, while the dialogue is full of witty one-liners and clever wordplay.

Another standout aspect of the movie is the set design. The old house where Mrs. Wilberforce lives is full of quirky details and eccentric decorations, which add to the film's overall charm. The railway bridge where the gang plans to rob the van is also expertly created, with the sound design creating a sense of danger and excitement.

Overall, The Ladykillers is a classic British comedy film that has stood the test of time. It's a film that expertly blends elements of suspense and humor, and features some truly iconic performances from some of the most beloved actors of the era. If you're a fan of classic films or simply enjoy a good comedy, then The Ladykillers is definitely worth checking out.

The Ladykillers is a 1955 comedy with a runtime of 1 hour and 31 minutes. It has received poor reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 7.6 and a MetaScore of 91.

The Ladykillers
Where to Watch The Ladykillers
The Ladykillers is available to watch free on Kanopy. It's also available to stream, download and buy on demand at Google Play. Some platforms allow you to rent The Ladykillers for a limited time or purchase the movie and download it to your device.
  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 31 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    7.6  (31,585)
  • Metascore