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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 (118 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 (118 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00006FMAX
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #169,400 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

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
125 of 129 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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128 of 134 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful collection December 28, 2002
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
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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49 of 51 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars GENIUS OF GUINNESS September 17, 2002
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 The films are just as good as i expected them to be
The films are just as good as i expected them to be. But as I have impaired hearing it was a disappointment they were not subtitled, which is very common in Europe. Why not?
Published 1 day ago by The netherlands
4.0 out of 5 stars I like it
Published 10 days ago by Stoney
5.0 out of 5 stars Hilarious classic but streaming sound level needs improvement
Hilarious classic but streaming this the dialog was difficult to hear (too low) and we had the setting at its maximum.
Published 10 days ago by lizzie
5.0 out of 5 stars I love it
Wonderful movies, good seller
Published 12 days ago by Mark Jordan
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
Best movie was the last one. Hard to understand their ENGLISH language.
Published 17 days ago by Ronald L. Montgomery
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Collection
Classic movies. Minimal extra features. Disturbing racist moment in Kind Hearts and Coronets. Good set of movies.
Published 17 days ago by Lee Conavay
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Superb performance by the finest actor of his generation.
Published 22 days ago by George C. Loehr
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic Ealing Comedies in Really Great Prints
These classic Ealing Studios comedies, in quite lovely prints (picture and sound) are much-appreciated, as some of them have been quite hard to see for a while (the Criterion... Read more
Published 24 days ago by KRabin
5.0 out of 5 stars Good quality...
Good quality discs; excellent value; well packaged in the DVD case. My favorite of the movies, The Ladykillers, was just lovely to watch again.
Published 1 month ago by GothCrone
5.0 out of 5 stars Pure Guinness! :-)))
Grand old British comedies, starring the superlative Alec Guinness. What more needs to be said? The sort of films you can watch over and over again.
Published 1 month ago by Nobilangelo
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