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The Ladykillers
ID:
2004
Comments:
Director: Ethan Coen, Joel Coen
Screenplay: Ethan Coen, Joel Coen, William Rose
Producer: Barry Josephson, Barry Sonnenfeld, David Diliberto
Cast: Tom Hanks, Marlon Wayans, Irma P. Hall, J.K. Simmons, Tzi Ma
Genre: Comedy

Running Time: 104
Aspect Ratio:  1.85:1 (NTSC )
Sound: Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles: Spanish, French
Features:
Studio:  Walt Disney Video DVD Region:  1 R
DVD Release:  Sep 2004 Discs:  (DVD) [$14.99]
Purchase: 
Reviews:  If you've never enjoyed Alec Guinness in the classic 1955 British comedy that inspired it, the Coen brothers' remake of "The Ladykillers" may well prove hilarious. For starters, it's got Tom Hanks in a variation of the Guinness role, eccentrically channeling Colonel Sanders, Tennessee Williams, and Edgar Allan Poe in his southern-fried performance as Prof. Goldthwait Higgins Dorr, Ph.D. (named after an actual arts institute curator from the Coens' native Minnesota), a deliciously verbose con man who needs a secret headquarters for his five-man plot to rob a riverboat casino moored on the Mississippi. In the film's funniest and least-caricatured role (and even she can't elude the Coens' comedic stereotyping), Irma P. Hall plays the churchgoing widow who rents a room to Dorr, whose crew of "musicians" (in keeping with the original's plot) use the lady's root cellar to tunnel to the casino's cash-rich counting room. Rampant mishaps ensue, the body count rises among Dorr's band of idiots (including Marlon Wayans, spouting nonstop profanities), and the Coens put their uniquely stylish stamp on everything. It's a funny movie, allowing for some nagging flatness to the material, but if you've seen the original (and other vintage comedies from the heyday of Britain's low-budget Ealing Studios), you'll eventually wonder, "what were they thinking"? Accounting for all the qualities that grace any Coen movie (this being the first time the brothers have officially shared directorial credit), this revamped "Ladykillers" is a mixed blessing, both entertaining and superfluous. "--Jeff Shannon"


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