Passport to Pimlico
The great TEB Clarke – writer of classic Ealing Comedies such as Hue And Cry, The Lavender Hill Mob and The Titfield Thunderbolt – strikes again with this rib-ticking ode to the human spirit and post-war rationing in Britain.
Clarke’s story is set in the supposedly dark days just after the Second World War, in a heavily bombed London borough – where money is in short supply, but humour definitely isn’t.
Stanley Holloway (above left) is Pimlico shopkeeper and all-round good egg Arthur Pemberton – a communityminded man determined to transform his Blitz-ravaged locale into something to be proud of, but thwarted by a lack of funds. His neighbours’ fortunes look set to change, however, when an unexploded bomb goes up in smoke, exposing a stash of buried treasure and an ancient charter revealing that their homes in sunny Miramont Gardens are, in fact, legally part of Burgundy and the British government has no jurisdiction .
Far from being the answer to their problems, this unusual discovery is just the start of them, as the locals find themselves swapping one set of red tape – those ration books and ID cards – for another, in the form of Her Majesty’s Customs and Excise. Still, where there’s a will there’s a way, and at least they’ve got gin and crisps. Just because there’s not a war on anymore, doesn’t mean there’s a lack of spirit. A typically upbeat comedy from the great Ealing Studios.