Ealing Studios Comedy Collection (The Maggie / A Run for Your Money / Titfield Thunderbolt / Whisky Galore! / Passport to Pimlico)
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Three films from Ealing's zenith year, 1949, anchor the collection. Passport to Pimlico captures the mood of postwar London via an absurdist plot: the detonation of an unexploded bomb in Pimlico reveals a 400-year-old decree proclaiming the neighborhood an independent royal territory of Burgundy. Their independence thus established, the locals (led by Stanley Holloway) celebrate their freedom from rationing and taxation. A Run for Your Money follows two Welsh coalmining brothers after they win a newspaper contest for tickets to a London rugby match; in this modest comedy, Alec Guinness sketches one of his eccentric little supporting gems.
Whisky Galore! is one of the best Ealing films--funny but also rather lovely. During the war, the remote Scottish island of Todday is starved for scarce whisky, until a shipwreck strands thousands of cases of "the water of life" tantalizingly within reach. Basil Radford is hilariously misguided as the island's chief of Defense, and Joan Greenwood lends her fetching presence--but every member of the large ensemble is terrific. The gifted Alexander Mackendrick debuted as director, and his sense of timing and tone is impeccable. (It was retitled Tight Little Island in the U.S., where it scored a big hit.)
Mackendrick also directed the marvelous 1954 comedy The Maggie, with Paul Douglas as a go-go American businessman whose cargo (and life) is slowed by a broken-down scow chugging from Glasgow to the islands. Traces of melancholy underlie the humor, and one wonders if this film might have been a model for the thematically similar Local Hero. Finally, The Titfield Thunderbolt, from 1953, is a Charles Crichton-directed farce about a small town going into the railroad business (and the first Ealing comedy in color). Its anarchy borders on the abrasive at times, although Stanley Holloway is in fine form as a benefactor who demands his own drinking car on the train. --Robert Horton
- Includes the films The Maggie, A Run for Your Money, Titfield Thunderbolt, Whiskey Galore!, Passport to Pimlico
Top Customer Reviews
"The Titfield Thunderbolt"-The weak link in the set. Mildly amusing tale of a small hamlet that takes over the local railroad line so that the transport department won't shut it down. Elicits mild chuckles but only seems to come to life when Stanley Holloway as the town's wealthy souse is on screen. Three stars.
"Whisky Galore"-Outright comic masterpiece, period. Residents of dry Scottish island abscond with some of the cargo of a wrecked ship carrying 50,000 bottles of whisky during World War II in the process thwarting efforts by the home defense to seize it. Colorful characters, evocative storytelling, just an outright joy. Five stars.Read more ›
Ealing Studios were responsible for a substantial number of the finest films of the forties and fifties in Great Britain. Though they made a wide range of films, their comedies, especially a string of great Alec Guinness vehicles, remain among their most beloved. The films here are among their finest non-Guinness films (he appears in A RUN FOR YOUR MONEY, but in a supporting role). Though quite diverse, they share a number of common elements. Just as in the United States technological advances led to more and more filming off studio lots and on location, so in Britain films were being shot outside the studio.Read more ›
Whisky Galore! (1949) This is perhaps my favorite of the bunch as it features a small, Scottish, Island community who find themselves in the precarious position of running out of whiskey, or, as known to them, the `water of life' (the film was set around the time of the war, when rationing was in full effect). As luck would have it (for the islanders, at least), a freighter runs afoul of a reef off the island, the ship bearing some fifty thousand cases of whiskey, but only problem is a local man, charged with coordinating the island's meager defenses, sees it as his responsibility to keep the local populace from raiding the ship before it sinks into the ocean (the line I used for my title of this review came from this film).
A Run for Your Money (1949) This one features a couple of affable brothers from a small, Welsh mining town (whose name I doubt few could pronounce) who win a fabulous award after producing more coal in a particular month than anyone else. The award includes the pair taking a trip to the big city, where upon arriving they loose track of each other and become involved in all sorts of mishaps (one unsuspectingly hooks up with a con woman while the other meets up with an old acquaintance, the latter pair hitting numerous pubs during their own trials and tribulations).Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This was a gift to someone else. Need to order a copy for myself. "Whisky Galore" is worth the price.Published 6 months ago by James C. Fuller
I found this to be a good set. The Disks are each in their own Plastic DVD case which can be stored in a diagonally cut box which slips into a outer storage Box. Read morePublished on March 2, 2014 by Beowolf Jones
I've searched for years for one of these movies, well, to my surprise I got all four in one package. Read morePublished on April 17, 2008 by R. A. Caccavale
The first one we've watched "Whiskey Galore" is a classic and one we've thought of and hoped to see once more for years. Read morePublished on March 2, 2008 by Ellen Wilson
can't remember any of these being all that good in sound quality. I'm currently turning off "Passport to Pimlico" due to the horrible sound transfer. Read morePublished on February 19, 2008 by Scott Horn
guess this should be a SUPERB collection
but unluckily for non english speakers
it is very difficult to understand all the
dialogues as it has
NO SUBTITLES... Read more
It's a nice, smooth, salubrious, collection of gentle comedies from Ealing. I'd put The Titfield Thunderbolt more or less at the bottom of the list, but they're all amusing and... Read morePublished on November 21, 2007 by Robert Maxwell