The Ladykillers – Channel 4

Dominated by Alec Guinness' enormous toothy grin, this deliberately eccentric comedy shows Ealing Studios' at the top of its game

Dominated by Alec Guinness’ enormous toothy grin, this deliberately eccentric comedy shows Ealing Studios’ at the top of its game.

Guinness plays Professor Marcus, the leader of a disparate bunch of crooks who take up residence in mild-mannered little old lady Katie Johnson’s boarding house.

They pretend to be a string quintet and then, instead of murdering her as planned, they end up trying to kill each other.

Cecil Parker is the Major, Peter Sellers wears a teddy boy outfit, Herbert Lom is Louis the psychopath and there’s even an encounter with a young Frankie Howerd.

The soft colours and real London locations make it great to look at and, most importantly, it is very funny – the perfect ending is a jewel in the crown of British film comedy.