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The Ladykillers (2004)

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An eccentric, if not charming Southern professor and his crew pose as a classical ensemble in order to rob a casino, all under the nose of his unsuspecting but sharp old landlady.

Directors:

Ethan Coen, Joel Coen

Writers:

Joel Coen (screenplay), Ethan Coen (screenplay) | 1 more credit »

A Guide to the Films of the Coen Brothers

From Blood Simple to the new The Ballad of Buster Scruggs, we take a look at the offbeat stylings of Academy Award-winners Joel and Ethan Coen.

Dude, let's go bowling

6 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Tom Hanks ... Professor G.H. Dorr
Irma P. Hall ... Marva Munson
Marlon Wayans ... Gawain MacSam
J.K. Simmons ... Garth Pancake
Tzi Ma ... The General
Ryan Hurst ... Lump Hudson
Diane Delano ... Mountain Girl
George Wallace ... Sheriff Wyner
John McConnell ... Deputy Sheriff
Jason Weaver ... Weemack Funthes
Stephen Root ... Fernand Gudge
Lyne Odums ... Rosalie Funthes (as Baadja-Lyne Odums)
Walter K. Jordan ... Elron (as Walter Jordan)
George Anthony Bell George Anthony Bell ... Preacher
Greg Grunberg ... TV Commercial Director
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Storyline

A remake of the 1955 comedy, the story revolves around a Southern professor who puts together a group of thieves to rob a casino. They rent a room in an old woman's house, but soon she discovers the plot and they must kill her, a task that is more difficult than it seems. Written by lcheala@imdb.com

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The greatest criminal minds of all time have finally met their match. See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Crime | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language including sexual references | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Vietnamese

Release Date:

26 March 2004 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Ladykillers See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$35,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$12,634,563, 28 March 2004, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$39,799,191

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$76,747,441
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital | SDDS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Marva Munson (Irma Hall), the owner of the house the robbers use, bears the same name as the judge in the Coen Brothers' subsequent film, Intolerable Cruelty (2003). In both cases, the women are African-Americans. See more »

Goofs

The criminals intent to collapse the tunnel in order to leave no trace of the crime, however, all this would have done is leave a trench between Mrs. Munson's house and the casino. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Sheriff Wyner: Unh... Oh! Afternoon, Miss Munson.
Marva Munson: Afternoon, Sheriff. You know the Funthes boy?
See more »

Crazy Credits

Special thanks to ... the residents of Natchez, Mississippi See more »

Connections

Referenced in Comic Relief Does University Challenge (2005) See more »

Soundtracks

Troubled, Lord I'm Troubled
Traditional
Performed by Bill Landford & The Landfordaires
Courtesy of Columbia Records by arrangement with Sony Music Licensing
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

Quite enjoyable but lacking few really good touches and it is certainly far from being a match for the Coen's best work or the original
10 July 2004 | by bob the mooSee all my reviews

Marva Munson is a religious woman in the Deep South who has a room to rent and a large character. She takes in the rather eccentric and rather charming gentleman Professor G.H. Dorr, who asks if he may use her basement for his musical ensemble to practice. However Dorr's real plan is to tunnel out of the basement and into the underground money store of a nearby casino.

However, the plan doesn't go exactly to plan and the one thing Dorr hasn't accounted for is a little old lady discovering what's really going on.

Having spent last Saturday afternoon in the company of the original (very good if not a classic) I decided to spend part of this Saturday in a cinema with the remake. The plot is pretty much the same as the original, with only the characters and the specifics of the job changing; in terms of concept, some plot details and even some scene set ups it hasn't changed that much and I quite enjoyed seeing elements I recognised. The film is quite fun on its own terms but it is not great and it becomes rather frustrating to not only compare it to the original but to also have in mind that this is a film from the Coen brothers. I say this because, aside from Dorr himself, the film lacked their usual assured wit and eye for character.

Dorr is a fine character in the mould of the original but the rest of the characters are really lacking. How many Coen films have the characters been more important than anything else? Here we have characters with the usual 'things' about them, but here these 'things' are really lazy and obvious – like someone was trying to ape the Coens. So MacSam becomes a lazy 'mo-fo' talking black character, The General is a quiet, calm Oriental and Pancake's twist is that he has IBS – practically giving us fart jokes, in a Coen brothers movie!

These secondary characters deliver very little whereas usually the Coens provide much to love in their support. The change to the character of the little old lady is a big mistake too – the whole idea is that the lady is not a match for the crooks but overcomes them by accident, here it is apparent from the start that Munson is more than a match for any of them! The cast are pretty mixed and pretty much do what they can with what they are given. For that reason Hanks is great and adds cream to the top of Guinness' performance in the original – he is funny and well worth watching but the film dips when he is offscreen. Hall is very good and it is not her fault that her character is misjudged; she works her facial expressions very well and I enjoyed her even if I longed for a role like the original had. Simmons tries hard but the IBS thing spoils what little he had, Hurst is just a lump (literally) and is annoying rather than funny, Ma is pretty funny because of how he acts but even the whole flip-cigarette-inside-mouth thing is an old joke. And then we come to Wayans. Wayans is not the sort of person I ever thought I'd see in a Coen brothers movie and he just does his usual 'mo-fo' ethnic stereotype thing here, he is annoying and his character just smacks of a complete lack of imagination.

The soundtrack is full of good gospel stuff and it makes it feel a lot more lively than the original and this energy does help cover some of its failings – but not that well. Overall it is fun and it is worth a look, but if you have seen the original or like the Coens then you will struggle to see past its failings at times. The characters are not as well written as they could have been and it is not as funny as it needed to be (the original wasn't laugh out loud either, but then it had other strengths that this doesn't). It has just about enough going for it to be worth watching once but it is both a sub-par Coen brother's film and a sub-par version of a better film.


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