Holland (Alec Guinness), is a shy retiring man who works as a bank transfer agent for the delivery of gold bullion. One day he befriends Pendlebury (Stanley Holloway), a maker of souvenirs. Holland remarks that, with Pendlebury's smelting equipment, one could forge the gold into harmless-looking toy Eiffel Towers and smuggle the gold into France. Soon after, they gain the services of professional criminals Lackery (Sid James) and Shorty (Alfie Bass) and the four plot their crime, unaware of the pitfalls which lie ahead.
An enduring classic from director Charles Crichton, The Lavender Hill Mob features an early screen appearance from Audrey Hepburn and was included on the British Film Institute’s list of the 100 Best British Films of the 20th Century.
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I hadn't seen this classic in over 20 years. Although this version has apparently been "digitally restored" and the picture is a lot brighter than previous releases -- sometimes to the point of having the whites "blown out" -- I was disappointed that more effort hadn't been put into restoring the image and sound; there are still a lot of specks on the image and scratches are found throughout. Sound is OK for a movie of this vintage. Minor issues with AQ and PQ aside, I am glad to have this in my collection.
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The restoration of the main features in The Lavender Hill Mob is exceptional. As for the extras, they are very enlightening, especially the edition of Thames Television's 'Good Afternoon', where TEB Clarke was interviewed by Mavis Nicolson. The only minor niggle about the disc is with that extra, as when it starts it is deathly silent, which makes you wonder if there's a fault with the disc.
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