Monday 15 December 1997
Every so often, a British film is released and desperate publicists invoke the word Ealing. In their dreams. The string of comedies produced by Ealing Studios were predicated on a view of England that is now unrecognisable in its economy, its politics, its social structures and, most importantly, its certainty. The studio closed on a high in 1955 with the brilliant black comedy, The Ladykillers, but this 1951 crime caper was a huge success from Ealing's peak, nabbing the Oscar for best screenplay. Alec Guinness (who lost the Oscar to Gary Cooper in High Noon) is the mild-mannered man who after years of service politely transporting gold bullion, suddenly decides it's time for a spot of grand larceny. Together with Stanley Holloway, Sid James and Alfie Bass, he melts down the gold into handy-sized statuettes of the Eiffel Tower and then the trouble begins.
Life & Style blogs
Sustained immigration has not harmed Britons' employment, say government advisers
Australia facing international condemnation after turning around Sri Lankans at sea
7/7 memorial defaced on anniversary of 2005 attacks with ‘Blair lied thousands died’ graffiti
Even when it brutalises one of its own teenage citizens, America is helpless against Israel
There’s a nasty smell in the political air – and it’s coming from the Tories
Vanessa Feltz criticises 'vile' reaction to Rolf Harris allegations
- 1 Howard Jacobson: Let's see the 'criticism' of Israel for what it really is
- 2 Instagram of US airport security chiefs: Lipstick knives and IED training kits among items seized
- 3 Brazil vs Germany World Cup 2014: In defence of Mesut Ozil - the Arsenal midfielder works magic in the shadows
- 4 PornHub begs users to stop uploading video clips of Brazil getting beaten 7-1
- 5 Tony Abbott embarrasses Australia by praising Japanese WWII military, ‘getting on the sake’ and posing for ‘crotch-shot’ photo opportunity
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