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The Alec Guinness Collection (Kind Hearts and Coronets / The Lavender Hill Mob / The Ladykillers / The Man in the White Suit / The Captain's Paradise) (1953)

Alec Guinness , Joan Greenwood , Alexander Mackendrick , Anthony Kimmins  |  NR |  DVD
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (99 customer reviews)


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Product Details

  • Actors: Alec Guinness, Joan Greenwood, Peter Sellers, Dennis Price, Cecil Parker
  • Directors: Alexander Mackendrick, Anthony Kimmins, Charles Crichton, Robert Hamer
  • Writers: Alexander Mackendrick, Alec Coppel, Jimmy O'Connor, John Dighton
  • Format: Anamorphic, Box set, Black & White, Closed-captioned, Full Screen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0), French (Dolby Digital 2.0)
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 5
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Starz / Anchor Bay
  • DVD Release Date: September 10, 2002
  • Run Time: 451 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (99 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00006FMAX
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #198,098 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Alec Guinness Collection (Kind Hearts and Coronets / The Lavender Hill Mob / The Ladykillers / The Man in the White Suit / The Captain's Paradise)" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Includes The Man in the White Suit, The Lavender Hill Mob, The Ladykillers, Kind Hearts and Coronets, and The Captain's Paradise.  All films are black and white with a 1.33 aspect ratio except The Ladykillers (color, 1.66 anamorphic widescreen)
  • Alec Guinness bio

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

Five of the British film industry's best-loved comedies in one boxed set makes The Alec Guinness Collection absolutely essential for anyone who has any passion at all for movies. It contains Kind Hearts and Coronets (1949), The Lavender Hill Mob (1951), The Man in the White Suit (1951), The Captain's Paradise (1953) (only available in this set), and The Ladykillers (1955). The Ealing Studio'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 humor. 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; in The Captain's Paradise, a ferryboat captain complements his proper British wife with a fiery Spanish wife; while The Ladykillers mocks both the criminals and the authorities with its unlikely octogenarian heroine Mrs. "lop-sided" Wilberforce. Many factors contribute to these films' success--including fine music scores from composers such as Benjamin Frankel (Man in the White Suit), Malcolm Arnold (Captain's Paradise), and Tristram Cary (The Ladykillers); positively symphonic sound effects (White Suit); marvelously 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. --Mark Walker

Product Description

Deft acting meets daft British comedy in five of the funniest films ever made, all starring the incomparable Sir Alec early in his illustrious career. A genius of sly understatement and subtle characterization, Guinness set the bar for over-the-top hilarity so high that few have reached it since. This treasure trove consists of "Kind Hearts and Coronets" (1949), "The Lavender Hill Mob" (1951), "The Man in the White Suit" (1952), and "The Ladykillers" (1955). We didn't think the collection would be complete without the stellar "Captain's Paradise" (1953), which we've added as a bonus. Color and b&w, about 7-1/2 hours on 5 DVDs. Simon says: While honing his craft, Guinness worked as an advertising executive.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
122 of 125 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If You Need a Definition for the Word Droll! October 8, 2002
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Then check out this collection of these wonderful, classic Ealing Studios comedies starring the inimitable Alec Guinness. Odd and whimsical, these films are loaded with not only astringent British wit, but also quirky and vivid characterizations, social satire, and just pure fun and outright slapstick. They cast a bemused and knowing eye on British attitudes of class & propriety, and poked sharp fun at them. Briefly:

THE MAN IN THE WHITE SUIT: A brilliant but stubbornly obtuse and obsessed scientist pursues his dream of a miracle fabric in the heart of the British textile industry, in the end pleasing no one but himself. As he is beset by conservative owners on one side, and radical unionists on the other, we get a light satire on the mixed blessings of technology.

THE CAPTAIN'S PARADISE: A ship's captain has a wife in each port, one for domesticity and one for fun. So pleased with his own pleasure he doesn't realize that each woman is only half-fulfilled by such an arrangement until the applecart is upset.

KIND HEARTS AND CORONETS: Guinness plays all the members of an aristocratic family being done-away-with by a disinfranchised illegitimate heir (a deliciously arch Dennis Price). A bunch of clueless upper class twits are done-in by a clever and ruthless "tradesman".

THE LAVENDER HILL MOB: An apparently meek and unambitious clerk masterminds the perfect gold heist with the aid of some bumbling cohorts. Everything that goes wrong turns out to go right and they bring off a huge robbery. But, of course, there is a snag....proving the "wobbewy" was the easy part. (Loved the lisp!)

THE LADY KILLERS: Saved the best for last. Guinness is the "Professor" a brilliant, half-mad mastermind of a motley gang of crooks.
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127 of 133 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful collection December 28, 2002
Format:DVD
The films are:
Kind Hearts & Coronets
The Lavender Hill Mob
The Man in the White Suit
The Ladykillers
The Captain's Paradise
The last is available only in the set while the others can be bought
separately.
The movies, of course, are all excellent so I'm just commenting on the quality of the DVDs.
I got the collection for Christmas and haven't watched all the films yet but did go through the ones I haven't watched to see how the transfers looked -- all extremely good, probably the best I've ever seen them.
"The Ladykillers" is MUCH improved over the VHS versions I've rented which tended to have both very greyed out blacks and blown highlights. The film is in widescreen format with black bars at top and bottom. The rest of the movies were filmed in 4x3 ratio - which is how they are presented.
There are closed captions but only the type that must be set on the TV - the white lettering within a black band. There are none of the type available on many DVDs without banding, however I think most Tv sets, at least the ones owned by those of us who need the captions are now capable of showing the standard caption format. For everything I've watched so far the captions are quite correct.
Which brings up the sound. English film soundtracks (and the BBC -- especially the BBC) have always been somewhat poor. It isn't simply a matter of us Yanks not being able to comprehend the accents, but of truly terrible sound equipment and perhaps a somewhat less than skilled bunch of sound recordists.
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47 of 49 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars GENIUS OF GUINNESS September 17, 2002
Format:DVD
From the Ealing Studios and the 50s via Anchor Bay comes a terrifc, long overdue set of sly, witty, intelligent satires and farces starring the late Sir Alec Guiness. All the titles are availbale as single discs, but the only way to get the marvelous THE CAPTAIN'S PARADISE is to buy the set.

In THE MAN IN THE WHITE SUIT, find out what happens when an idealist young chemist (Guinness) invents a fabric that won't wrinkle, won't get dirty and won't wear out. What's a miracle fabric to the consumer is the end of a job to mill workers and soon Guinness is the must hunted man in the UK.

No, THE LAVENDER HILL MOB is not about the gay mafia. It's about a meek bank clerk (Guinness) who devises a plot to steal the gold bullion in his own bank by melting it down and molding it inside little Eiffel Tower souvenirs to be shipped to France. Naturally things go wrong and the delicious suspense is in rooting for the bad guys to get away with it.

THE LADYKILLERS is a very black comedy about a gang of crooks who rent a room from a kindly, elderly lady. But her constant interference (tea and cookies anyone?) with their perfect crime plans is too much and they decide to kill her. Sadly, they don't know what they are up against when evil confronts pure innocence (or so it seems). Peter Seller is featured in his first major screen role. Guinness is wonderful as a pale, demented, buck toothed cold-hearted, cynical criminal mastermind.

In KIND HEARTS AND CORONETS Sir Alec plays eight very different roles. Dennis Price costars as a man who decides to knock off all his d'Ascoyne relatives that stand in his way of inheriting a dukedom. A terrific twist ending.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Alec Guinness is a Starfor all Times
A period reproduction which is as good as one could expect for these golden oldies. Still, these performances deserve repeat viewings
Published 1 month ago by William S. May
5.0 out of 5 stars The English Speaking World's Best Movie Actor?
This collection of Alec Guinness's earlier movies are standouts all. Kind Hearts and Coronets is a quiet wonder, as Sir Alec plays multiple family member roles who are killed off... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Rene J. Depontbriand
1.0 out of 5 stars Not a good product
The sound track was so distorted that it was unintelligible. I watched a portion of Kinds Hearts and Coronets but could make out the audible. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Raymond Bouvier
4.0 out of 5 stars Good acting and clever stories
Alec Guinness is on his game in every one of these films, as are the supporting actors, and the best film of all is "The Lady Killles", especially the "Lady"... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Kenneth L. Johnson
5.0 out of 5 stars Fun Guinness
Alec Guinness shows his dry Brit humorous side in these flics from his early years. Few Americans are familiar with his early works.
Published 1 month ago by Hyperjump
5.0 out of 5 stars Alec Guinness Collection
I love the movie "Kind Hearts and Coronets". It makes me laugh every time I see it. The other movies are all a delight. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Beammeuplori
3.0 out of 5 stars A Great Collection...But With Poor Quality Manufacturing
I ordered this collection because I wanted "Kind Hearts and Coronets." I'd seen the single movie all over Amazon for $20.00 and up. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Jon Ives
5.0 out of 5 stars Alec Guinness Collection
A great buy for a great actor's 5 film classics. Of them, I enjoyed seeing the "Lady Killers" for the first time.
Published 2 months ago by Richard Erlanger
2.0 out of 5 stars Mixed
We have only watched two of the DVDs so far. The Kind Hearts and Coronets DVD was very defective. freezes, "checked" frames, jerking around and freezing- terrible! Read more
Published 2 months ago by Big G
5.0 out of 5 stars One of Guiness' best
It's pure delight to see this masterful actor in one of his best roles. My only criticism is that I don't like Joan Greenwood---I think it's her mannered voice---but still this is... Read more
Published 2 months ago by margma
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