''The Ladykillers'' is a 1955 British BlackComedy from Creator/EalingStudios about a gang of criminals who rent a room from Mrs. Wilberforce (Katie Johnson) in her lopsided house that sits above a railway tunnel. The gang consists of Herbert Lom as Louis Harvey, Danny Green as "One-Round" Lawson, Creator/PeterSellers as Harry Robinson, Cecil Parker as "Major" Courtney and Creator/AlecGuinness as Professor Marcus. The gang attempt to commit a payroll robbery and use the house as a base, which proves harder than they think with Mrs. Wilberforce around.

The screenwriter, William Rose, who also wrote ''Film/GuessWhosComingToDinner'' and ''Film/ItsAMadMadMadMadWorld'', claimed to have dreamed the whole film.

It was remade by Creator/TheCoenBrothers in 2004, changing the base of operations to a house connected to a Mississippi riverboat's vault, and including a significant subplot about the old (now) black lady's ironic support of Bob Jones University. It also increases the violence far beyond what would have been acceptable when the original was made. It shares many tropes with the classic 1955 version. The remake's cast includes Creator/TomHanks, Irma P. Hall, Marlon Wayans, Creator/JKSimmons, and Creator/RyanHurst.

A stage version premiered in England in 2012 based on the original, edited by Graham Linehan of ''Series/BlackBooks'' and ''Series/FatherTed''. It received extremely positive reviews and featured an AllStarCast, with [[Creator/PeterCapaldi Peter Capaldi]] as Marcus and Ben Miller as [[FunnyForeigner Louis]].

!!Tropes common to both versions:
* AnyoneCanDie: By the end of the film, the old lady is the last person standing.
* BritishTeeth: Professor Marcus', which are thankfully not Guinness' natural chompers. And while Prof. Dorr is American, his teeth are also pretty askew.
* TheCameo:
** (2004) Yep, that's Creator/BruceCampbell as the Humane Society rep.
** Creator/FrankieHowerd is in the 1955 film as a barrow boy whose day is inadvertently ruined by Mrs. Wilberforce.
* TheCaper
* CassandraTruth: When Mrs. Wilberforce/Mrs. Munson tries to return the money, the cops just don't believe her and tell her to keep it. It's heavily implied that they have been [[WindmillCrusader led astray]] before by listening to her.
* DrawingStraws: The gang do this to determine which of them will do away with Mrs. Wilberforce/Ms. Munson. They use matchsticks in the 1955 version, and broom straws in the 2004 version.
* DumbMuscle: One-Round Lawson/Lump Hudson.
* DwindlingParty: The group becomes this while trying to rid of Ms. Wilberforce/Ms. Munson.
* MurderIsTheBestSolution: Being an incredibly annoying and persnickety landlady? Kill the old woman! Obviously there is also the practical reason of the chances of her becoming a witness, but by the point they propose it she has annoyed every single member of the gang.
* PlethoraOfMistakes: In both versions the heist itself works perfectly; what happens ''afterward'', on the other hand...
* ASimplePlan: The more ''complicated'' plan (the theft) goes off without a hitch. The simple plan is killing the annoying old woman in the house.
* SpannerInTheWorks: The old woman, regardless of version, is so annoying that the gang eventually decides to kill her. They all die trying.
* StupidCrooks: Even the Professor, the criminal mastermind of the crew, is not really all there in terms of intelligence -- he's just better at using big words and being intellectually fancy.
* UnwittingInstigatorOfDoom: Mrs. Wilberforce/Munsen, though on a smaller scale. In the 1955 film, along with ruining the crooks' day she manages to make a barrow boy (pushcart vendor, for you Americans) and a taxi driver reconsider their careers.
* VehicleRoofBodyDisposal: In the original film, the criminals dispose of the ever-accumulating bodies by dumping them on the freight trains that pass below the boarding house. In the 2004 remake, set on the Mississippi, the same but with a landfill barge.

!!The 1955 film contains examples of:
* AccidentalTruth: Professor Marcus claims that if Mrs. Wilberforce went to the police they wouldn't want the money back. They don't, but not for the reasons he claimed.
* ARareSentence: "Give the parrot his medicine!"
* ArmedBlag: The gang hold up an armored van transporting a large quantity of cash.
* AxCrazy
* BerserkButton:
** Professor Marcus tends to flip when called 'crazy'. This is usually accompanied by an over-the-top crescendo of epic proportions from the score, and tell-tale looks of expectant horror on the faces of the gang. Luckily, something usually happens to interrupt Marcus.
** Don't call One-Round stupid.
* {{Bizarrchitecture}}: A mild sort-- the house's foundation has subsided due to bombing during the London Blitz. Pictures never hang right, and it seems to have [[RunningGag screwed up the grandfather clock too.]]
* ClassicalMusic: The gang pose as a string quintet.
* ClockKing: Professor Marcus has it timed down to the moment how long it will take to do the heist and how long it will take for Mrs. Wilberforce to retrieve the trunk, however, he couldn't plan for Mrs. Wilberforce herself.
* {{Cloudcuckoolander}}: Mrs Wilberforce
* {{Delinquent|s}}: Harry's a slangy [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Teddy_Boy Teddy Boy.]]
* DriverOfABlackCab: Mrs. Wilberforce accidentally drives one out of business.
* TheEdwardianEra: The good old days for Mrs. Wilberforce.
* ExactWords: When Mrs. Wilberforce asks One-Round where he learned to play the cello (which he had only been pretending to play), he truthfully replies that he "just sorta... picked it up".
* TheFifties: But in that extremely unglamorous British way.
* GentleGiant: "One-Round" Lawson.
* GigglingVillain: After [[spoiler:Major Courtney's]] fall from the roof:
-->'''Professor:''' Is he hurt? ''(giggles)''\\
'''Louis:''' ''(deadpan'') I shouldn't think he felt a thing.
* {{Leitmotif}}: Boccherini's Minuet, which the gang pretend to play.
* LondonGangster: Not the most extreme example, but definitely one of the most eccentric.
* NeverMessWithGranny: Even grocers and cabbies aren't safe from the unintentional wrath of Mrs. Wilberforce.
* NoOneIsIndispensable: Professor Marcus says this to Louis, [[spoiler:very truly]].
* NostalgiaFilter: Mrs. Wilberforce.
* NothingCanStopUsNow
* PetTheDog: One Round and Mrs. Wilberforce.
* PirateParrot: The late Captain Wilberforce wasn't in the least piratical, but he was a nautical man and this is reflected in the vocabulary of his parrots. "Squawk! Swab the deck!"
* {{Ruthless Foreign Gangster|s}}: Louis is continental, and is the first one to suggest killing Mrs. Wilberforce outright.
* SanitySlippage: Professor Marcus at the end. After his plan has totally been fooled, Louis calling him "crazy" for the second time is the last straw.
* ScarfOfAsskicking: Professor Marcus is a very subtle example of this trope.
* ShoutOut:
** The picture of Captain Wilberforce is Admiral Lord Horatio D'Ascoyne from ''Film/KindHeartsAndCoronets''.
** Alec Guiness' performance is essentially aping fellow actor Alastair Sim (best known as [[TheScrooge Scrooge]] in the 1951 film), the role having allegedly been written for Sim in the first place.
* SlasherSmile: Professor Marcus.
* SmokingIsCool: After all, it is {{the Fifties}}.
* SpotOfTea: Mrs. Wilberforce interrupts the gang with offers of the drink and has elderly friends over for nice cuppas.
* SuddenlyShouting: "Major, Major, Major... [[HypocriticalHumor CALM DOWN]]!"
* ThatSyncingFeeling: Even when only Louis is upstairs and everyone else is busy trying to catch the parrot, the record still sounds like a full quintet is playing; after it starts skipping, Louis takes it off the table, looks at it wistfully for a moment, and shatters it. Mrs. Wilberforce, naturally, is too dotty to ever notice.
* TenLittleMurderVictims: Purely by accident.
* WickedCultured: Professor Marcus.
* WhatCouldPossiblyGoWrong: Professor Marcus outright asks this.
* WindmillCrusader: Mrs. Wilberforce

!!The 2004 film contains examples of:
* AsianStoreOwner: The introduction to the General shows him rather brutally foiling a hold-up in his shop.
* BlackDudeDiesFirst: They all fall in quick succession, but [[spoiler:Gawain]] is the first to go.
* BlatantLies: Prof. Dorr's utterly preposterous explanation for the money scattered about the cellar. Despite being perfectly credulous up to that point, Ms. Munson doesn't buy it.
* BloodyHilarious: Garth loses his finger while trying to demonstrate the stability of his explosives. "You could light this stuff on fire, hit it with a hamm-" '''BOOM!'''
* BrawnHilda: Garth's girlfriend, Mountain Girl.
* CatchPhrase: Garth has "Easiest thing in the world." and "Trial balloon."
* ChekhovsGag: The General's cigarette and Garth's IBS.
* TheConvenientStoreNextDoor: The old lady's house.
* CrimeConcealingHobby: Professor Dorr renting out an old lady's basement so he and his friends can practice classical music. In fact, they're digging a tunnel to rob a nearby casino vault, playing recorded music to mask the sounds of their work. While Dorr is Wicked Cultured and likely is a musical enthusiast, the rest of the crew... [[BookDumb aren't.]]
* CreepyChangingPainting: The picture of Mr. Munson (though it's more of a humorous changing painting). Its facial expression changes in reaction to the events around it (most obviously with an expression of surprise at an explosion, and a satisfied smirk at a KarmicDeath).
* DeathByIrony:
** [[spoiler:While Garth's strangling isn't exactly ironic, Mountain Girl doesn't save him because she mistook his groans for his Irritable Bowel Syndrome.]]
** [[spoiler:The General dies in a rather convoluted chain of events after Ms. Munson's cuckoo clock scares him into swallowing his cigarette, which he always hid in his mouth because of Munson's disapproval.]]
** [[spoiler:Prof. Dorr. After prominently reciting Creator/EdgarAllanPoe's "The Raven," he dies when a real raven lands on the head of one of the bridge's gargoyle statues - which promptly breaks off and clonks Dorr in the head, knocking him off of the bridge.]]
* DisneyVillainDeath: [[spoiler:Dorr]] is conked on the head by a falling gargoyle head, which sends him over the railing of the bridge, where his coat gets caught on a hook and hangs him. Then his coat rips and he falls onto a [[RunningGag garbage barge]].
* DumbassHasAPoint: Professor Dorr thinks aloud as he tries to come up with an elaborate scheme to deal with a potential obstacle to their heist. Lump tries to interject with an idea, only to be silenced several times by Dorr. When he is finally allowed to speak, he asks "couldn't we just bribe the guy?" It works.
* DumbIsGood: Lump. Then again, he's too dumb to even be good at being good.
* DumbJock: Lump Hudson. His EstablishingCharacterMoment is what ends his football career.
* {{Fingore}}: Garth Pancake blows his finger off in an accidental explosion. The film concludes with a cat spitting the finger in a trash barge in the river below.
* ForeignRemake
* GetAHoldOfYourselfMan: The General to Lump, after Garth's demonstration goes wrong.
* IceCreamKoan: When discussing what to do with Mrs. Munson.
-->'''Professor G.H. Dorr:''' ''(to the General)'' You, sir, are a Buddhist. Is there not a "middle" way? \\
'''The General:''' Mm. Must float like a leaf on the river of life... and kill old lady.
* ImmediateSelfContradiction: At the beginning, when Mrs. Munson is complaining to the police about hip hop music:
--> '''Munson''': And, Sheriff, do you know what they call colored folks in them songs? Have you got ''any idea''?\\
'''Sheriff''': No, ma'am, I don't think...\\
'''Munson''': Niggers! I don't even want to say the word. Now, I won't say it ''twice'', I can tell you that. I say it one time, in the course of swearin' down my complaint. Niggers!
* ImpairmentShot: Several in the POV montage that both introduces Lump and explains why he's so... special.
* MuggingTheMonster: The General's establishing character moment is this (he's the monster).
* PottyEmergency: ''*grunt*'' "IBS!" "You be what?"
* SesquipedalianLoquaciousness: Prof. Dorr has far more words than sense.
* ShoutOut: Boccherini's Minuet is played at one point when the gang are having a discussion.
* SirSwearsalot: Nearly all of the film's heavy profanity issues forth from Gawain. [[spoiler:All cursing noticeably stops after he dies]].
* SouthernGentleman: Professor Dorr certainly has the look down pat.
* TooDumbToLive: All Dorr has to do is leave one chamber on his revolver empty, counting on poor [[spoiler: Lump to look down the barrel and try again when it doesn't fire the first time. Lump]] doesn't let him down.
* UncleTomfoolery: Gawain.