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EALING COMEDIES: CRIMES OF RISIBLE DISTINCTION

May at the Trylon

After World War II, one British studio responded to the spirit of the time with a series of cynical comedies that lampooned the ways people deceive one another. With over-the-top plots and a distinctive droll wit, Ealing’s films would echo in the work of Monty Python, among countless others.

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Upcoming Films in this Series

Starts Sun, May 3

KIND HEARTS AND CORONETS

(1949, DCP, 106m) dir Robert Hamer w/Alec Guinness, Alec Guinness, Alec Guinness. An outcast from an aristocratic line resolves to inherit the family’s dukedom by murdering each of the eight heirs ahead of him, all of whom are played to perfection by the inimitable Guinness. SUN 7:00 MON/TUES 7:00 9:00

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Starts Sun, May 10

PASSPORT TO PIMLICO

(1949, DCP, 84m) dir Henry Cornelius w/Stanley Holloway, Paul Dupuis, Barbara Murray. In this farce, made 70 years before Brexit, a small district of London is declared independent after the discovery of a long-lost treaty. With supplies rationed throughout its neighboring boroughs, the new nation of Pimlico sprouts nefarious activities and diplomatic headaches. SUN 7:00 MON/TUES 7:00 8:45

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Starts Sun, May 17

THE LAVENDER HILL MOB

(1951, DCP, 78m) dir Charles Crichton w/Alec Guinness, Stanley Holloway, Sidney James. An obsessive bank clerk (Guinness) hatches a plan to steal the gold bullion shipments he has loyally overseen for two decades, smuggling them to Paris as Eiffel Tower paperweights. SUN 7:00 MON/TUES 7:00 8:45

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Starts Sun, May 24

A FISH CALLED WANDA

(1988, 35mm, 108m) dir Charles Crichton w/John Cleese, Kevin Kline, Jamie Lee Curtis, Michael Palin. While this film wasn’t produced by Ealing, the studio’s influence on the surprise box office hit⁠—helmed by The Lavender Hill Mob’s Crichton⁠—is undeniable. An eclectic group of crooks conspires to pull off a lucrative jewel heist, only to have egos and self-interest muck up their plans. SUN 7:00 MON/TUES 7:00 9:15

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