The Lavender Hill Mob (1951)

자료/Plot (English) 2011. 5. 20. 17:17 Posted by mullu

Henry Holland (Alec Guinness) is a timid bank clerk in London who has been in charge of gold bullion deliveries for over 20 years. He has developed a reputation for fussing over details and panicking about suspect cars following the bullion van. He appears to be a man dedicated to his job and security. But all this is a cover: he has in fact hatched the "perfect" plot to steal a load of bullion and retire.

The one thing that has prevented this plan from being put into operation is that selling the gold on the black market in Britain would be too risky and Holland is at a loss as to how to smuggle it abroad.

One evening a new lodger — artist Alfred Pendlebury (Stanley Holloway) — arrives at the boarding house where Holland lives in Lavender Hill. Pendlebury owns a foundry that makes presents and souvenirs that are sold in many resorts, including foreign ones. Noticing how similar the foundry is to the place where the gold is made into ingots, Holland decides that the ideal way of smuggling the gold out of the country would be as Eiffel Tower paperweights for Paris, and puts this hypothetically to his new friend: "By Jove, Holland, it's a good job we're both honest men." "It is indeed, Pendlebury."

When Holland suddenly finds that he is about to be transferred to another department at the bank, he and Pendlebury quickly move into action. They soon recruit two petty crooks, Lackery Wood (Sidney James) and Shorty Fisher (Alfie Bass), to help them carry out the robbery.

The plan is simple but clever and successful. Wood and Fisher carry out the hijack of the bullion van and switch the gold to Pendlebury's works van. Holland, who is supposedly assaulted and almost drowned in the robbery, becomes the hero of the hour. The police find themselves running around in circles, unable to track down the "master criminal" who is in fact right under their noses giving them false statements and misleading clues.

Meanwhile, Holland and his associates melt the gold in Pendlebury's foundry and export it to France disguised as miniature souvenirs of the Eiffel Tower.

As in all great comic adventures, the plan goes horribly wrong through a (simple) misunderstanding with the (French) lady at the Eiffel Tower souvenir kiosk. Pendlebury and Holland (who have adopted the more macho names of "Al" and "Dutch") arrive to retrieve their disguised bullion only to find that six of the towers have been sold as souvenirs to a party of British schoolgirls.

A wild chase back to the Channel ferry follows but all sorts of hold-ups, including problems with the customs men, prevent them from getting to the ship and the girls in time.

If just one of those towers is found to be gold then the game is up. Pendlebury and Holland therefore track down the schoolgirls and, in exchange for a similar tower and some money (10/- ten shillings), recover most of the loot. One girl however refuses to return hers since she intends to give it to a friend who is a policeman.

The girl delivers the souvenir to the officer who is attending an exhibition of police history and methods at Hendon Police College. Also there is a police inspector who is investigating the robbery. As part of the case he checked up on Pendlebury's foundry and was told that many souvenirs bought in foreign places are actually made in England. A sudden thought occurs to him and he orders the souvenir to be tested. At that moment Pendlebury snatches it and he and Holland make their escape in a police car.

An increasingly confusing pursuit then takes place through London, with Holland using the radio in the police car to give false descriptions of the vehicle in which the crooks are riding. Eventually, though, an officer succeeds in getting into their car and arresting Pendlebury.

Holland escapes to Rio de Janeiro where he adopts a lifestyle to which he is unaccustomed and becomes a pillar of the community. A year later he is telling his story to a British visitor before they both leave the restaurant handcuffed to one another, Holland having been found, arrested and due for extradition. It is not made clear what happens to Wood and Fisher.

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