The Lavender Hill Mob
With an Oscar-winning script by T.E.B. Clarke, author of some of the most enduring Ealing comedies, and featuring early appearances from Audrey Hepburn and Robert Shaw, Charles Crichton’s third Ealing comedy sees meek and mild bank clerk Henry Holland (Alec Guinness) hatch an ingenious plan to relieve his employers of their gold bullion holdings. Enlisting a group of accomplices (including Carry On, stalwart Sid James), the heist is carried out successfully, and the gold smuggled to France in the form of miniature Eiffel Towers. When some of these are mistakenly sold as souvenirs to a group of British schoolgirls, the carefully laid plan begins to unravel. This glorious crime caper is one of Ealing’s most delightfully entertaining.