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      Passport to Pimlico

      Released Oct 26, 1949 1h 25m Comedy List
      95% Tomatometer 19 Reviews 83% Audience Score 1,000+ Ratings The accidental explosion of an undetonated German bomb left over from World War II unearths a long-buried cellar containing both fabulous riches and a previously unknown royal charter from King Edward IV that cedes the surrounding land to the last Duke of Burgundy. Since the charter has never been rescinded, the London district of Pimlico is now legally the long-lost Duchy of Burgundy, and therefore no longer subject to British law, including postwar rationing and pub closure hours. Read More Read Less

      Critics Reviews

      View All (19) Critics Reviews
      Wendy Ide Times (UK) One of the most endearingly quirky of all the Ealing comedies, Passport to Pimlico combines gentle eccentricity with a politely subversive spirit. Nov 28, 2023 Full Review Jake Wilson The Age (Australia) A near-perfect expression of the lightly anarchistic ethos associated with Britain's Ealing studio, with a host of great character actors and a script by... TEB Clarke that stands as a model of how to develop an absurd situation step by step. Oct 30, 2020 Full Review David Jenkins Little White Lies A worthy restoration and a reminder of a (short) period when Britain were world leaders of thoughtful film comedy. Rated: 4/5 Jun 5, 2012 Full Review Roger Moore Movie Nation The laughs still land and the picture still plays, a sentimental dip into the beginnings of “Keep Calm” and keep your sense of humor nostalgia that endures in a very different U.K. to this very day. Rated: 3.5/4 Dec 10, 2023 Full Review Matt Brunson Film Frenzy The comedy unwinds at a frenetic pace. Rated: 3/4 Jan 27, 2022 Full Review Neely Swanson Easy Reader (California) An excellent reason to watch the film, however, is to get a good look at what London looked like after the war. The devastation from the blitz is everywhere; rebuilding was only just beginning. Nov 30, 2020 Full Review Read all reviews

      Audience Reviews

      View All (128) audience reviews
      Audience Member A jolly good anti bureaucracy film. Down with the state, up with independence. I found this one of my favourite Ealing studio comedies. Rated 3.5 out of 5 stars 01/28/23 Full Review kevin w An entire block of postwar Ealing Studio regulars pepper this bit of nonsensical whimsy as found riches lead to an impoverished part of cockney London improbably ceding from the realm. It's all a platform to get a couple of real local beefs aired (rebuilding the Empire's quite naturally gonna have problems) in a lighthearted way and a kind of inhouse "stiff upper lip, ol'boy!" There's a smile or two to be had what with the goofball shenanigans, as well as a look at life on the streets of London after a devastating war no less. Rated 3 out of 5 stars 03/30/23 Full Review William L The postwar Ealing films inhabit a unique place in British culture - a series of lighthearted comedies that celebrates distinctive idiosyncrasies of the UK with typically internal conflicts that feel passionate but never descend into hatred. Based on generational and cultural distinctions alone, the films don't necessarily resonate with modern audiences in the same way that they did upon release (as an American watching more than 70 years later, neither the UK patriotism or commentaries on rationing feel incredibly sharp, but it is easy to see how contemporary audiences would have likely reacted to such a charming premise that handles its thoughts on national identity with poise and a note of well-balanced humor, even if it hasn't really aged exceptionally well. (3.5/5) Rated 3.5 out of 5 stars 11/13/20 Full Review Audience Member A gem of the gentle if irreverent humour in which Ealing Studios excelled during the late forties and early fifties. Set against the continuing strictures of rationing in post-war Britain, the conceit of a piece of London being found to be sovereign territory of Burgundy leaves the way open for a tale of the little man against the state machinery. After temporarily enjoying freedom from the restrictions borne by the rest of the country, the newly independent Pimlico finds itself cut off from supplies by the British government until supportive citizens take it upon themselves to help out their oppressed neighbours. Margaret Rutherford is, as always, a delight and the rest of the cast, with so many familiar faces, carry the story forward in great form. Whilst it might be considered something of a period piece, Passport To Pimilico still resonates in its illustration of the struggle of the individual against the state and the ever-taxing question of self-determination. A wonderful comedy that deserves a far wider audience than it has enjoyed in recent decades. Rated 4 out of 5 stars 01/30/23 Full Review Audience Member Hilarious comedy about a street in Pimlico, London, which turns out to be part of the Duchy of Burgundy, making the residents technically foreigners. Of course this leads to all sorts of complications. Margaret Rutherford particularly hilarious as Professor Hatton Jones, but all the cast are good and you get a real feel of what postwar London was like. Rated 5 out of 5 stars 01/21/23 Full Review Audience Member Another of those Ealing Studios comedies - this time without Alec Guinness - that takes an absurd premise to the nth degree. In this case, Stanley Holloway falls in the hole created by a newly exploded bomb (leftover from the war) and finds some buried treasure. Said treasure includes a royal decree providing land to the Duke of Burgundy for his own separate country - and thus the fine folks on a few streets in central London suddenly find themselves foreigners. As the Home Office (led by those two comic Brits from Hitch's The Lady Vanishes) struggles to figure out what to do, Burgundy becomes lawless. Then begins a series of battles with Britain over customs, immigration, and the like. As I said, the film crosses merrily into absurd territory and makes some points about British society and the recent period of austerity at the same time. Amusing, if not hilarious. Rated 3.5 out of 5 stars 02/04/23 Full Review Read all reviews
      Passport to Pimlico

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      Movie Info

      Synopsis The accidental explosion of an undetonated German bomb left over from World War II unearths a long-buried cellar containing both fabulous riches and a previously unknown royal charter from King Edward IV that cedes the surrounding land to the last Duke of Burgundy. Since the charter has never been rescinded, the London district of Pimlico is now legally the long-lost Duchy of Burgundy, and therefore no longer subject to British law, including postwar rationing and pub closure hours.
      Director
      Henry Cornelius
      Producer
      Michael Balcon
      Screenwriter
      T.E.B. Clarke
      Distributor
      Eagle-Lion Films Inc. [us]
      Production Co
      Ealing Studios
      Genre
      Comedy
      Original Language
      English
      Release Date (Theaters)
      Oct 26, 1949, Original
      Release Date (Streaming)
      Aug 13, 2018
      Runtime
      1h 25m