Register  |   Log In  |  
Sign up to our weekly newsletter    
Search   
Empire Magazine and iPad
Follow Me on Pinterest YouTube Tumblr
Empire
Trending On Empire
Star Wars: The Force Awakens Teaser Trailer
The Farewell To Middle-earth Issue
Review Of The Year 2014
Subscribe: Get 12 Issues For £25
Buy the perfect Christmas present this year
Farewell To Middle-earth
Full details of our Peter Jackson-edited issue
Reviews
STAR RATINGS EXPLAINED
Unmissable 5 Stars
Excellent 4 Stars
Good 3 Stars
Poor 2 Stars
Tragic 1 Star

FILM DETAILS
Certificate
U
Cast
Stanley Holloway
Betty Warren
Barbara Murray.
Directors
Henry Cornelius.
Screenwriters
T E B Clarke.
Running Time
84 minutes

LATEST FILM REVIEWS
Annie
2 Star Empire Rating
Theory Of Everything, The
4 Star Empire Rating
Bringing Tibet Home
3 Star Empire Rating
Kon-Tiki
4 Star Empire Rating
Enemy
4 Star Empire Rating



5 STAR REVIEWS
Leviathan
5 Star Empire Rating
Le Jour Se Lève
5 Star Empire Rating
Tony Benn: Will And Testament
5 Star Empire Rating
Nightcrawler
5 Star Empire Rating
Babadook, The
5 Star Empire Rating

Passport to Pimlico
All back to Burgundy...


submit to reddit


Plot
After an unexploded bomb exposes a hidden treasure trove, the residents of post-war Pimlico find an ancient document that declares they are officially part of Burgundy in France. Thinking it could be a good earner, they declare independence from Britain, despite the best efforts of the British government to stop them.


Review
Passport to Pimlico

Loveably dotty, while still smartly caustic (with a broad political message beneath its sly humour), this is the Ealing ethos at its very best. Indeed, with its communal hi-jinks, rich swathe of eccentric characters, and madly original plot it could be there most complete film. Who else would think up such a neat ploy as this tidy corner of London, populated with salt-of-the-Earth types, declaring themselves independent? It is a comedy about what is means to be British. Arguably, the subject of every single Ealing comedy, but never so piquantly observed as here.
 
This droll plot efficiently covers a lot of ground and a huge array of well-developed characters (stand out, as ever, is the peerless Margaret Rutherford as the exuberant professor who first spots the contractual clause), hanging on the idea that this wholesome patriotic community are willing enough to turn cheek to the rules if it means an end to rationing, stifling liquor laws, and the opportunity of making a few bob (“We always were English and we'll always be English," demands one upstart resident. "And it’s just because we are English that we're sticking up for our right to be Burgundians!"). The British bureaucrats counter by cutting off the food supply.
 

Director Henry Cornelius, with T.E.B. Clarke’s extraordinary script (Ealing’s finest), is turning a satirical eye on the our natural tendencies for bureaucracy and boorish nationalism, as well as good old British truculence, yet we still come out of it a stalwart bunch; the fervour of wartime patriotism not entirely dimmed by 1949. Special mention should also go to Lionel Banes’ in situ photography capturing a post-war London, spread wide by bomb damage, rarely seen in the movies.


Verdict
An entertaining effort from the Ealing studios, that sadly hasn't proved as enduring as its peers.


Reviewed by Ian Nathan

Write Your Review
To write your review please login or register.

Your Reviews

Average user rating for Passport to Pimlico
Empire Star Rating

Classic British cinema

In the cinema or on the telly, you're in for a treat. Clever, well acted and funny. Who needs 3D? ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by sjmlondon at 12:41, 22 June 2012 | Report This Post


Classic British cinema

In the cinema or on the telly, you're in for a treat. Clever, well acted and funny. Who needs 3D? ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by sjmlondon at 12:41, 22 June 2012 | Report This Post


SUBSCRIPTION OFFERS

SAVE UP TO 69% GET 12 ISSUES FOR ONLY £25
Get the best seat in the house by subscribing to the world's biggest movie magazine today. Save up to 69% and every month you'll get exclusive subscriber-only covers, access to the biggest stars and the best news, reviews and behind-the-scenes reports straight from the set. Click here to find the perfect offer for you


CURRENT HIGHLIGHTS
Review Of The Year: 10 Best Soundtracks Of 2014
The scores and OSTs to add to your playlist

Watch: Night At The Museum's Cast Share Their Favourite Robin Williams Performance
Ben Stiller, Owen Wilson and Ben Kingsley pay tribute to the actor

Watch: Jack O'Connell And Luke Treadaway Talk Unbroken
On POWs, panto and how to name your bomber

Review Of 2014: The 15 Best Cameos Of The Year
Our favourite one-scene movie-stealers

8 Things You Can Learn From The BFI's Star Wars Exhibition
The original crawl, a 'grotesque' villain and a very different princess

Review Of The Year: 40 Worst Posters Of 2014
One-sheets that you'd rather not have on your wall

Hobbit Q&As: Ian McKellen On Finally Saying Goodbye And Farewell To Gandalf The Grey
Read our exclusive Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies interviews

Subscribe to Empire magazine
Get 12 Issues Of Empire For Only £25!

Get exclusive subscriber-only covers each month!

Subscribe today

Subscribe to Empire iPad edition
Get The Empire iPad Edition Today

Subscribe and save maney on annual digital subscription

Subscribe today
Buy single issues

Get 12 issues of Empire for just £25!
Get exclusive subscriber-only covers each month Subscribe today!
Empire's Film Studies 101 Series
Everything you ever wanted to know about filmmaking but were afraid to ask...
The Empire iPad Edition
With exclusive extras, interactive features, trailers and much more! Download now
Home  |  News  |  Blogs  |  Reviews  |  Future Films  |  Features  |  Interviews  |  Images  |  Competitions  |  Forum  |  iPad  |  Podcast  |  Magazine Contact Us  |  Empire FAQ  |  Subscribe To Empire  |  Register
© Bauer Consumer Media Ltd  |  Legal Info  |  Editorial Complaints  |  Privacy Policy  |  Bauer Entertainment Network
Bauer Consumer Media Ltd (company number 01176085 and registered address 1 Lincoln Court, Lincoln Road, Peterborough, England PE1 2RF)