The Lavender Hill Mob

1951 film by Charles Crichton

The Lavender Hill Mob is a 1951 film about a meek bank clerk who oversees the shipment of bullion who joins with an eccentric neighbor to steal gold bars and smuggle them out of the country as miniature Eiffel Towers.

Directed by Charles Crichton. Written by T.E.B. Clarke.
The men who broke the bank - and lost the cargo! (taglines)

Henry Holland

  • I was a potential millionaire, yet I had to be satisfied with eight pounds, fifteen shillings, less deductions.


  • Of all sad words of tongue or pen, the saddest are these - it might have been.
  • I propagate British cultural depravity.


Pendlebury: Well, you might as well know. I was lying. I am a thief. It was madness to attempt it. We weren't cut out for crime, either of us.
Policeman: We?
Pendlebury: My partner and I.
Sidewalk Vendor: Your partner? Here, if you're working with the fence who's got them other pictures...
Policeman: Shh! Carry on.
Pendlebury: Oh I make no excuses. All my life it's been my ambition to surround myself with rare and beautiful things. Suddenly faced with this golden opportunity...
Sidewalk Vendor: Here, you call that picture of mine rare and beautiful?
Pendlebury: Since you will keep on interrupting me, you ought to know it's a charming example of an early Rochet, while he was still under the influence of Corot.
Sidewalk Vendor: Oh yeah? How much is it worth?
Pendlebury: Ten pound, to those who can afford it.
Sidewalk Vendor: Oh blimey. I've had it marked up for five bob.

Lackery: Bellamy's? In Bromley?
Shorty: That's right. Last June. Twelver.
Lackery: I was casing that joint the night you got pinched.
Shorty: Well, what do you know? Shorty Fisher.
Lackery: Nice to meet you.
Pendlebury: Excuse me, I may be a bit slow but do I understand that you two are, in fact, both professional criminals?
Shorty: Well, what else do you take us for, ruddy snoopers?
Lackery: What's the setup?

Henry Holland: [about his promotion out of the bullion office] I'm too old to change my views now, sir.
Turner: Nonsense. You're never too old to better oneself. Think of what you can do with an extra 15 shillings a week.
Henry Holland: But sir, I like the bullion office. It holds all I ever wished for.
Turner: The trouble with you, Holland, if I may speak frankly, is that you do not have enough ambition. When a good opportunity comes along grab it with both hands. May not occur again.
Henry Holland: Very good, sir. I'll follow your advice.

Turner: And, erm, here's the order for tomorrow's consignment. Somewhat larger that I expected: 212 bars.
Henry Holland: That won't worry me, sir.
Turner: Dependable to the last. I'm going to miss you, Holland.
Henry Holland: You're very kind, sir. I shall always have the happiest memories of the dear old bullion office.
Turner: Has Mr. Applecrumby spoken to you about your holiday?
Henry Holland: Yes, sir. I'm going to Paris.
Turner: Paris, hey? You're stepping out, Holland. Wonderful isn't it, what a little extra money will do?
Henry Holland: Yes, it's going to make a big difference to me.

Henry Holland: A minute later, the guard will appear around this corner, and you, Pendlebury, will detain him for at least half a minute. Ask him for a light, ask him the way, ask him anything, but keep him there, we must have those thirty seconds.
Pendlebury: Edgar.
Henry Holland: I beg your pardon?
Pendlebury: Isn't one supposed to say that when one's being briefed? On my rare visits to the cinema...
Henry Holland: The word is "roger."
Pendlebury: Oh, roger. How silly of me.

Pendlebury: Now it's all over, I suppose I may dare say it's been a most remarkable coup.
Shorty: The biggest job of its kind since One-Eyed Dobson got away with the GIs' pay packets. Two million dollars, Grosvenor Square, 'forty-five.
Henry Holland: That was before devaluation. And this is one million pounds.
Shorty: Oh, that's right. Blimey. We've got the record!

Pendlebury: By Jove, Holland, it's a good job we're both honest men.
Henry Holland: It is indeed, Pendlebury.

Henry Holland: Instead of changing as usual at Charing Cross, I came straight on to Rio de Janeiro. "Gay, sprightly, land of mirth and social ease." Pendlebury.
British man: Plus six Eiffel Towers. How much did they fetch?
Henry Holland: Twenty-five thousand pounds. Enough to keep me for one year in the style to which I was, ah, unaccustomed.


  • The men who broke the bank - and lost the cargo!
  • He stole $3,000,000 in gold and that's a lot of BULLion!


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