Ladykillers, The

Date: 1955
Director: Alexander Mackendrick
Production Company: The Rank Organisation, Ealing Studios

Stars: Alec Guinness, Katie Johnson, Peter Sellers, Cecil Parker, Herbert Lom, Danny Green, Jack Warner, Frankie Howerd and Kenneth Connor
Location(s): London

Region(s):

Storyline:

Classic British film comedy in which a gang of criminals set out to kill their landlady Mrs Wilberforce when she learns a little too much about their ‘job’.

Additional Information:

Original screen captures and now images by John Tunstill with additional captures by Phil Wilkinson.

Mary French’s father was chauffeur to Max Milder, head of Warner Bros. Films in England. Read her childhood recollections at MEMORIES.

 

 

 

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An establishing shot of Mrs Wilberforce's house. Frederica Street, London N7. The area has been redeveloped and Conistone Way now follows some of the line of Frederica Street. John Doel advises that Frederica Street was Frederick Street, at least up to 1938, according to Geographers 4th Edition (RL)

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Loz Park sent this picture showing the distinctive bridge at the end of demolished Frederica Street. Image copyright Google Earth.

Professor Marcus (Alec Guinness) follows Mrs Wilberforce (Katie Johnson) home after seeing an advertisement for lodgings in her house. Frederica Street N7, previously Frederick Street as John Doel advises. (RL)

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Only a stub of Frederica Street remains, and it's not at this end! This is the view now, at the end of Conistone Way. (PW)

The sight that meets Professor Marcus' eyes when he looks out of the window whilst viewing the room.

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Overlooking the East Coast Main Line over Copenhagen Tunnel at the end of, what was, Frederica Street. (JT)

The Professor visits Kings Cross station to finalise his robbery plan. London N1.

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A cleaner station now. Platform 1 at Kings Cross.

Major Claude Courtney (Cecil Parker) and 'One-Round' Lawson (Danny Green) help to retrieve Mrs Wilberforce's parrot. The rear of house set at the end of Frederica Street.

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Wandering to the end of today's Bunning Way in N7 brings us to this car park which occupies land where railway sidings once ran. (PW)

Kings Cross area, St. Pancras Station in the distance as seen from Argyle Street confirmed by Steve Gwinnett. The location was also seen in 'The Servant'.

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Argyle Street in WC1 now by George Harrimore.

The gang members assenble on the day of the security van robbery.

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Vernon Rise looking towards Vernon Square, London WC1. (PW)

'One-Round' gets out of the car.

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Vernon Rise WC1. (PW)

Louis Harvey and Harry Robinson set off in a Studebaker Champion. Vernon Rise, London. See Mary French's story regarding the car and her other memories in the Header Section of the film. (RL)

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The same location now but not a Studebaker this time. (PW)

The Professor and an empty trunk get ready to follow.

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Vernon Square WC1. (PW)

The Professor heads away to take up position.

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Kings Cross Road from Vernon Square. (PW)

The security van comes into view. The junction of Goods Way and Battle Bridge Road.

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Martin Underwood provides this comparison shot of the location from 1999 but the area has since been redeveloped.

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The gang surround the security van with their vehicles. Battle Bridge Road looking towards St Pancras station. London N1.

Kings Cross, Battle Bridge Road, turning into Cheney Road, with St. Pancras railway bridge behind. Alfie was here as well.

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Now. Behind Kings Cross Station. The only remaining part of the scene is probably the bi coloured brick wall between the two taxis. George.

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A lorry is rolled across the road behind the convoy. Cheney Road in N1.

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The security van is stopped. Cheney Road, London N1.

Louis Harvey (Herbert Lom) gets out of the car. Cheney Road looking along Clarence Passage towards St. Pancras station. A very similar shot is seen in 'Nuns on the Run'.

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The train shed roof is now hidden by the station's "architecturally challenged" extension. (PW)

Kings Cross, Cheney Road. See Nuns on the Run and Chaplin.

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The film crew, with gas works at rear. From "Camden Celebrates Cinema 100".

Police and the public attempt to move the lorry blocking the road. Cheney Road looking towards Battle Bridge Road and the former Imperial Gas Works.

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Now. Behind Kings Cross Station. The only remaining evidence is the rounded wall with two lines of bricks, and the gas works. Image by George Harrimore.

The robbery takes place and the gang escape. Cheney Road with Clarence Passage on the right and the German Gymnasium on the corner. The location was seen in 'Chaplin'.

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The best possible angle after all the re-development, still a fine building. (RL)

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A policeman sounds the alarm and attempts to follow the gang. Cheney Road again.

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The robbers speed away. Greg Tingey confirms that this is looking towards the north on Cheney Road.

The money from the robbery is taken into Kings Cross station. Cheney Road looking towards St Pancras Road with the Great Northern Hotel in the background. London N1.

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Quite difficult to capture an accurate 'now' shot due to hoardings and the new station entrance. (PW)

A repeat of image lady023.

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This is another 1999 shot from Martin Underwood and again shows the area before redevelopment.

The gang pull up outside the parcels office at Kings Cross. The area was also seen in 'Mrs Brown You've Got a Lovely Daughter'.

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An improved view greets passengers arriving now. (PW)

The gang's landlady heads for Kings Cross station by taxi to collect the trunk. Passing the former Eglwys Annibynnol Y Tabernacl (Welsh Tabernacle Congregational Church), now the Ethiopian Christian Fellowship Church on Kings Cross Road and heading away from the station!

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A very clean and tidy church now. (PW)

Mrs Wilberforce walks towards the parcel office. Kings Cross station, London.

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Looking in the opposite direction to image lady004n on Platform 1 at Kings Cross. (PW)

The Professor goes to telephone the Major. Looking towards Kings Cross Road, London.

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Now. Vernon Square, WC1, But George, those trees!!!

Kings Cross Road, Vernon Square, WC1.

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Now. Vernon Square, WC1, But George, those trees!!!

Mrs Wilberforce leaves the station with the trunk. The front of Kings Cross station on Euston Road looking directly towards Grays Inn Road. London N1.

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Continuing reconstruction, over the road, of the building seen playing the outside of Palmers' office in 'Billion Dollar Brain'. (PW)

Kings Cross Road, Vernon Square, WC1.

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Now. Vernon Square, WC1, But George, those trees!!!

The gang drive homeward after the trunk is successfully picked up.

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Looking towards Kings Cross Road from Vernon Rise. London WC1. (PW)

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On the way home, Mrs Wilberforce berates a Barrow Boy (Frankie Howerd) for mistreating a horse. Studio set included for sake of completeness.

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The Professor and his cohorts watch as Mrs Wilberforce's Taxi Driver (Kenneth Connor) looks on. Studio set included for sake of completeness.

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The Professor and company return to Mrs Wilberforce's house. Unknown location.

Kings Cross, Argyle St.

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Now. Argyle Street WC1. The view from where Mrs Lopsided's house was supposed to be. George.

Kings Cross, Argyle St.

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Now. Argyle Street, WC1. But really its just another view of the same location. Nice though.

Kings Cross, corner Argyle and St. Chad's Streets WC1.

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Now. Same corner, different management. This is different, George.

Close up of Pic lady037

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Now. Same corner, different management. This is different, George.

The gang speed away before realising that Mrs Wilberforce could identify them,

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Argyle Street in London WC1 once again. (PW)

The car stops and the gang returns to the house. Another view of Frederica Street N7.

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This is a parking area off Bunning Way and the buildings are the backs of those on Conistone Way. The original wall may have been at the rear of the gardens of the properties on the left of the screen capture and behind the distant fence lies the mouth of Copenhagen Tunnel.(PW)

Major Courtney attempts escape after being chosen to kill Mrs Wilberforce.

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A similar view now. The East Coast Main Line with the North London Line bridge running left to right and the Channel Tunnel line's bridge behind. (JT)

Louis attempts to get the Major down from the roof.

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Another similar shot from Coninstone Way, London N7. (JT)

'One-Round' objects to being called stupid in the back garden of the 'fake' house on Frederica Street.

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From a similar angle now. (JT)

'One-Round' and the Professor wheel the Majors body away.

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The same place now. (JT)

The Majors last journey is about to begin as his body is dropped into a passing goods train.

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The same wall from a different angle. (JT)

Louis is pursued by the Professor after Harry is disposed of.

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The wall above the mouths of Copenhagen Tunnel still exists. London N7. (JT)

A similar view to image lady046 after smoke from passing trains has dispersed.

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The same location now. The flats stand on Bunning Way which is off what remains of Frederica Street in London N7. (JT)

A general view of the tunnel mouths after Loius and the Professor have both met their ends.

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From a reverse angle showing the same tunnel mouths. London N7. (JT)

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At the end of the film, Mrs Wilberforce walks home with the proceeds of the robbery after the police disbelieve her story. Studio set included for sake of completeness.