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  Directed by
  Starring
  Specs
  • Full Frame
  Languages
    The Ladykillers
  • English: Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono
    The Lavender Hill Mob
  • English: Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono
    The Man in the White Suit
  • English: Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono
    Kind Hearts and Coronets
  • English: Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono
  Subtitles
  • None
  Extras
    The Ladykillers
  • Theatrical trailer
    The Lavender Hill Mob
  • Theatrical trailer
    The Man in the White Suit
  • Theatrical trailer
    Kind Hearts and Coronets
  • Theatrical trailer
The Sir Alec Guinness Ealing Comedy DVD Collection
Universal/Universal . R4 . B&W . 335 mins . PG . PAL

  Feature
Contract

These four movies span 1949 to 1955, with Alec Guinness the thread that connects them all.

The earliest, and brilliantly mordant Kind Hearts and Coronets, is perhaps the finest British comedy of the screen; a fine vehicle for its principal player Dennis Price. This is the 'Alec Guinness Collection', but this is Dennis Price's movie.

The other three might not be quite that standard, but The Lavender Hill Mob and The Man in the White Suit are true classics. And if The Ladykillers seems a bit dated, it is pitted against illustrious competition.

Alec Guinness' reputation as a great comic-actor can't really be sustained - he was a tad two-dimensional compared to some really great comic actors such as Alastair Sim or Peter Sellers. But he does a worthwhile job, and his supporting casts, including Joan Greenwood, Stanley Holloway and Cecil Parker, are truly fine.

Individual titles reviews
REVIEW: The Ladykillers
"The Ladykillers may not reach the heights of its Ealing comedy brethren such as Kind Hearts and Coronets, but is a worthy entrant all the same - a black comedy dressed in widescreen Technicolor."
- Anthony Clarke

REVIEW: The Lavender Hill Mob
"This comedy from the Golden Age of British film-making is trim, taut and terrific. It clocks in at only 78 minutes - every one a delectable comic winner."
- Anthony Clarke

REVIEW: The Man in the White Suit
"This is a cautionary tale of how the best of intentions can make everyone turn on you. Alec Guinness had better run for his life, and take his white suit with him..."
- Anthony Clarke

REVIEW: Kind Hearts and Coronets
"Kind Hearts and Coronets is one of the finest comedies from any country, any time. It is, first and foremost, a vehicle for Dennis Price; suave, debonair and deadly. "
- Anthony Clarke

  Video
  Audio
  Extras
  Overall
Contract

In every case, the only extras present are the original theatrical trailers.

Overall transfer quality is excellent, and the audio is as good as could be presented. The first three films are Academy ratio black and white; The Ladykillers bursts out in anamorphic 1.66:1 widescreen and Technicolor.

This is most definitely a set to buy and to keep. The only regret is that there are only four discs. In the United States, buyers of these four discs were given a complimenary fifth disc - the highly-prized comedy Captain's Paradise, where Guinness plays a ferry captain who is able to maintain a tempestuous Spanish wife as well as his hometown bride.

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      And I quote...
    "These are British comedy classics that will give a lifetime of delights - a fine memorial to the great Ealing Studio."
    - Anthony Clarke
      Review Equipment
    • DVD Player:
          Panasonic A330
    • TV:
          Loewe Profil Plus 3272 68cm
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