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Ealing Comedy

Four Movies

Box Set

Superb Collection

Every film buff must see these at least twice

Ideal viewing for a wet Sunday afternoon

Four of the film industry's best-loved  Ealing comedies in one box set

This makes The Ealing Comedy Collection absolutely essential for anyone who has any passion at all for movies. The set contains:

  • Kind Hearts and Coronets (1949)

  • The Lavender Hill Mob (1951)

  • The Man in the White Suit (1951)

  • The Ladykillers (1955)

Ealing's greatest comedies captured the essence of post-war Britain, both in their evocation of a land once blighted by war but now rising doggedly and optimistically again from the ashes, and in their mordant yet graceful humour. They portray a country with an antiquated class system whose crumbling conventions are being undermined by a new spirit of individual opportunism. In the delightfully wicked Kind Hearts and Coronets, a serial killer politely murders his way into the peerage; in The Lavender Hill Mob a put-upon bank clerk schemes to rob his employers; The Man in the White Suit is a harshly satirical depiction of idealism crushed by the status quo; while The Ladykillers mocks both the criminals and the authorities with its unlikely octogenarian heroine Mrs "lop-sided" Wilberforce.

Many factors contribute to these movies' success - including fine music scores from composers such as Benjamin Frankel (Man in the White Suit) and Tristram Cary (The Ladykillers); positively symphonic sound effects (White Suit); marvellously evocative locations (the environs of King's Cross in Ladykillers, for example); and writing that always displays Ealing's unique perspective on British social mores ("All the exuberance of Chaucer without, happily, any of the concomitant crudities of his period") - yet arguably their greatest asset is Alec Guinness, whose multifaceted performances are the keystone upon which Ealing built its biting, often macabre, yet always elegant comedy.

On the DVDs: The Ealing Comedy Collection presents the four discs in a fold-out package with postcards of the original poster artwork for each. Aside from theatrical trailers on each disc there are no extra features, which is a pity given the importance of these movies. The Ladykillers is in muted Technicolor and presented in 1.66:1 ratio, the three earlier movies are all black and white 1.33:1. Sound is perfectly adequate mono throughout. 

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