The Ladykillers. Image shows from L to R: Major Claude Courtney (Cecil Parker), Harry Robinson (Peter Sellers), Professor Marcus (Alec Guinness), Louisa Alexandra 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.

Trivia

Writer William Rose claimed the idea for The Ladykillers came to him in a dream. His work was nominated for an Oscar for "Best Screenplay".

The role of Professor Marcus was originally intended for Alistair Sim. Alec Guinness played the role in the style of Sim.

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Peter Sellers provided the voice for Mrs. Wilberforce's pet parrots.

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In 2004 an American remake of The Ladykillers was made with Tom Hanks in the Professor Marcus/Alec Guinness role. The remake is generally considered to be inferior to the original.

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The Ladykilles came 43rd in Channel 4's poll of the 50 Greatest Comedy Films. It is the only Ealing comedy on the list.

William Rose left production at a relatively early stage, following an argument with director Alexander Mackendrick and associate producer Seth Holt, who had to complete the script using his notes.

Rose did not see the film until 1958, when he admitted that whilst the denouement had been "ruined", the film was better than his original outline.

The Ladykillers was the last film made in Britain using Technicolor's 3-strip film system.

Some interpretations of the film have the entire escapade, up until Mrs. Wilberforce's final scene of explanation in the police station, taking place in her suggestible, over-active imagination.