Saturday, 6 July 2013

The Dream that became The Ladykillers

leading from

Cecil Parker, Herbert Lom, Alex Guinness, Danny Green and
Katie Johnson in The Ladykillers
  1. One night he dreamt up the idea for The Ladykillers, as Mackendrick once recalled: "Bill woke up one night with the idea complete in his head. He had dreamed of a gang of criminals who commit a successful robbery while living in a little house belonging to a sweetly innocent little old lady."  ( 
  2. Liam Rudden : Earlier this year I met Kindred Rose, son of William Rose, who revealed that The Ladykillers was very nearly a story that was never told.
    He explained, “My dad’s first wife, Tania, told me that one night, in the summer of 1954, he had woken her up and told her of this strange dream he’d had about five criminals who knew that, to get away with their last robbery, they had to kill this lovely old lady. However, the more they tried, the more difficult it became, until only she was left.

    "He told Tania all this in the middle of the night and then promptly went back to sleep. The next morning at breakfast she asked if he remembered his dream and he had no recollection of it whatsoever.

    "She then told him his dream... so he first heard his story of The Ladykillers from her."

    That story was quickly embraced by the studio with The Ladykillers released very soon after.

    Rose adds, “With almost all his other films, my father would talk about them for years before they would be developed. This was the fastest turn around of them all - just a matter of months from having the dream to it being in the cinema. Ealing fast-tracked it because everyone loved it but even so, that’s quite impressive."

    The Ladykillers is also the only one of Rose’s films in which everyone dies.

    From day one he insisted that the characters shouldn’t be too real. They had to be caricatures because if the audience empathises too much, then having them all die at the end would be too dark and wouldn’t be funny. So they are meant to be cartoon-like, the opposite of the characters in his other films.” ( 01/11/2012 13:51 )

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