The Ladykillers. Image shows from L to R: Major Courtney (Cecil Parker), Harry Robinson (Peter Sellers), Professor Marcus (Alec Guinness), Mrs. Wilberforce (Katie Johnson), 'One-Round' Lawson (Danny Green). Copyright: STUDIOCANAL.

The Ladykillers

1955 British comedy film about a gang of crooks. Stars Alec Guinness, Cecil Parker, Herbert Lom, Peter Sellers, Danny Green and others.

The Ladykillers

The Ladykillers

To celebrate the 65th anniversary of Ealing Studios' flawless The Ladykillers, STUDIOCANAL will be releasing the first ever 4K restoration of the 1955 black comedy from the original 3-strip Technicolor negative, showcasing director Alexander Mackendrick's vision in its full glory.

The Ladykillers follows the hilarious capers of a group of small-time crooks, taking on more they can handle in the form of their sweet, but slightly dotty, elderly landlady Mrs Wilberforce (BAFTA Award-winning actress Katie Johnson). This group of seedy misfits are planning a security van robbery and rent a room from Mrs Wilberforce in her rickety Victorian house next to King's Cross station from which to base their operation. To conceal their true purpose, they pose as a string quartet, though they cannot play a note and are in fact miming to a recording of Boccherini's Minuet. The gang pull off the robbery but none of them could have predicted that their greatest obstacle to escaping with the loot would be their tiny hostess.

The Ladykillers features an all-star line-up of the finest comedy actors of the era: Alec Guinness (Kind Hearts And Coronets, The Lavender Hill Mob) plays the gang's mastermind 'Professor Marcus'; Cecil Parker (A French Mistress) is Claude, otherwise known as 'Major Courtney'; Peter Sellers (I'm All Right Jack) is Harry, aka 'Mr Robinson'; Herbert Lom (The Pink Panther) is Louis, aka 'Mr Harvey'; and Danny Green (A Kid For Two Farthings) plays One-Round, also known as 'Mr Lawson'. Jack Warner, Frankie Howerd and Kenneth Connor also appear in supporting roles.

First released: Monday 9th November 2020

As The Ladykillers was the last Technicolor three-strip film shot in the UK, it was crucially important that the original camera negative was used for a restoration that will serve as the best version of the film since its original release. The restoration began with the 4K pin-registered scanning of the original 1950s Technicolor three-strip camera negative. The three strips had to have their colour separations combined to produce the final colour image. One of the biggest issues to overcome was aligning the colour separations together, initially an automated process, but also requiring a huge amount of manual tweaking.

Manual and automated digital restoration was carried out over the aligned images. The film suffered from a few extreme issues such as blue marks in the middle to right hand side of frame throughout the film that had to be removed, there was significant density fluctuation (flicker) that has been corrected as best as possible on a shot by shot basis. Many shots suffered from instability and some sections also suffered from scratching, the worst being a four-minute section including scratches throughout the sequence with up to eight on screen at a time. In total the film benefitted from over 1,000 hours' worth of 4K digital restoration.

A 35mm Technicolor print was used as a reference for the colour grade to ensure the new HDR Dolby Vision master stayed true to the film's original 1950s 'Colour by Technicolor' look.

Extras

  • The feature in both 1.37:1 and 1.66:1 aspect ratios
  • Those Glorious Ealing Films CD soundtrack (with music from The Ladykillers, Passport To Pimlico, Kind Hearts & Coronets, and more)
  • 64-page booklet
  • 6 pop-art artcards designed by Art & Hue
  • NEW documentary Investigating The Ladykillers, featuring new and archive interviews including Reece Shearsmith, The Guardian's Catherine Shoard, Stuart Maconie, Ronald Harwood, Allan Scott and Terence Davies
  • NEW Colour In The Ladykillers interview with Professor Keith Johnston
  • Forever Ealing documentary narrated by Michael Balcon's grandson, Daniel Day-Lewis
  • Lobby cards gallery
  • Behind-the-scenes gallery
  • Audio commentary with author and film scholar Philip Kemp
  • King's Cross locations featurette with Alan Dein
  • Excerpt from BBC Omnibus episode Made In Ealing (1986), featuring interviews with Alexander Mackendrick and William Rose
  • Audio interview with assistant director Tom Pevsner
  • Audio interview with unit production manager David Peers
  • Peter Sellers spoof trailer from the set of The Ladykillers
  • Trailer
  • Distributor: STUDIOCANAL
  • Region: B
  • Discs: 2
  • Minutes: 91
  • Catalogue: OPTBD4367
  • Distributor: STUDIOCANAL
  • Region: 2
  • Discs: 1
  • Minutes: 88
  • Distributor: STUDIOCANAL
  • Region: All regions
  • Discs: 5
  • Minutes: 91
  • Catalogue: OPTUCE4367

See also

More The Ladykillers products