• Post category:Movies
  • Post last modified:October 12, 2021

Passport to Pimlico


When a document dating back to the 15th century is found in Pimlico, it is read as evidence that the London neighborhood is legally still part of Burgundy, France. One of the classic Ealing comedies arrived the same year as Kind Hearts and Coronets and Whisky Galore! and was loosely based on real events. As the conflict between Pimlico and the British government escalates, the story becomes increasingly absurd (without losing its warmth) and serves as an illustration of postwar rationing and a discussion of what it means to be English. Kind-hearted, charming satire, with a game cast, including Margaret Rutherford as a professor.

1949-Britain. 85 min. B/W. Produced by Michael Balcon. Directed by Henry Cornelius. Screenplay: T.E.B. Clarke. Cast: Stanley Holloway (Arthur Pemberton), Margaret Rutherford (Hatton-Jones), Betty Warren (Connie Pemberton), Hermione Baddeley, Barbara Murray, Basil Radford… Naunton Wayne, Michael Hordern.

Last word: “At that time London was a huge bomb site. Nobody had anywhere to live. My grandfather had been in the RAF and we returned to London with all of those people being demobbed. It was quite a carry on. Housing of any kind was a premium. And along came our set boys and put up a whole village, and of course the people of Lambeth didn’t see behind them – they were only facades but it looked like proper buildings. They were rioting! We had to have barbed wire all around, and escorts to take us in and out. The feeling of the local population was, ‘What are they doing building houses, and why aren’t we in them?’” (Murray, Kamera)



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