Genre Guesstimation – The Lavender Hill Mob (1951)


The idea behind this feature (Genre Guesstimation) is for me to watch a bunch of new movies (or ones that I haven’t seen many times) from the chosen monthly GG genre in order to expand my knowledge of movies within that particular genre.

This month’s Genre was chosen by my good friend Emma of emmakwall (explains it all) and she chose British Thrillers as the Genre for January

Let’s see if I felt that this movie would be worthy of being in the company of my others favorite movies in the genre of British Thriller movies…

lavender-hill“I was a potential millionaire, yet I had to be satisfied with eight pounds, fifteen shillings, less deductions. ” – Henry Holland

Number of Times Seen – 1 (6 Jan 2015)

Brief Synopsis – Two neighbors plan a perfect heist and realize that you can never anticipate everything that can happen even when you plan it all so meticulously.

My Take on it – When I saw that there was a heist movie starring Alec Guinness and Stanley Holloway, I was sold right away.

This isn’t quite a straightforward thriller because it’s also at the same time a social parody.

The premise is indeed a heist, but there are numerous humorous scenes along the way that are solely funny because of the absurd realism of them.

A prime example is the port scene where the characters need to go thru customs in order to catch a ship to England. I was laughing so hard because even 63 years later, I dont think that scenario has changed much.

Unfortunately, a lot of the other slapstick scenes just aren’t as funny nowadays as they probably were back then.

The heist itself and its planning are actually just minor bits of the story which make that aspect of the plot completely average.

Bottom Line – Somewhat outdated mediocre heist movie with two great leads. Some great scenes parodying governmental procedures, but most of the film falls flat.

Genre Grandeur Worthy? – Nope. Has some great scenes but overall it just doesn’t do it despite having two great lead actors.

Rating – BAFTA Worthy

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6 thoughts on “Genre Guesstimation – The Lavender Hill Mob (1951)

  1. This is one of my favorite Alec Guinness movies. His comedies from the late 1940’s and the 50’s are priceless. In the same vein, you might also like “The Ladykillers” from 1955, also starring Sir Alec. In that movie, made as a comedy, he and 4 other men rent rooms from an eccentric old lady who is totally clueless about their intentions, which is to rob an armored truck. Lots of enjoyable mayhem and murder! Check it out. 🙂

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