"Get Back to God"
What You Need To Know:
THE LADYKILLERS reaches its inexorable conclusion amid a series of goofy mishaps and even goofier cover-ups cooked up by the smooth-talking professor. Despite the offensive vulgarity that much too often passes the lips of the professor’s bumbling compatriots, a strong Christian worldview permeates THE LADYKILLERS. The would-be assassins all get their just desserts from the All-Knowing God who watches over Mrs. Munson and the movie’s Gospel music soundtrack.
(CCC, PaPa, LLL, VV, S, A, D, M) Very strong Christian worldview where thieves and murderers get their comeuppance, with strong Christian heroine, lots of Gospel music, and positive references to God, the Bible, and Jesus, mitigated by plenty of very strong foul language and other pagan behavior, including a reference about one man allegedly being a Buddhist; at least 121 mostly strong obscenities, 19 strong profanities, two light profanities, and references to man’s irritable bowel disease which causes his stomach to growl viciously; lots of comic violence includes tree limb breaks when man tries to rescue cat, man gives mouth-to-mouth to dog that stops breathing while wearing gas mask, man loses finger in one explosion, cat takes man’s detached finger and runs away, explosion sends man flying across room, men try to bump off elderly lady, implied strangling, fighting, shooting and attempted shooting, man takes terrible tumble down stairs, bodies dumped onto floating garbage scow, character hit on head, and accidental hanging; no sex scenes, but sexual references in dialogue and man stares at woman’s behind as she walks across room and then talks about her; no nudity; alcohol use; smoking; and, lying to an innocent Christian lady, gambling casino, bumbling thieves steal money from casino, thieves fight among themselves, and sheriff humors elderly woman and ignores what she says, even on an important matter.
Tom Hanks delivers one of the funniest, classic performances of all time in THE LADYKILLERS, where he plays a charlatan professor leading a band of foul-mouthed, incompetent thieves. His brilliant performance sometimes gets lost in the R-rated dialogue of his goofy compatriots.
Created by Joel and Ethan Coen from a classic 1955 British comedy starring Alec Guinness and Peter Sellers, THE LADYKILLERS features Hanks as Professor Goldthwait Higginson Dorr, Ph.D. The smooth-talking professor figures that the quaint house of Marva Munson, a devout Southern Baptist black lady, makes the perfect headquarters for his plan to rob a nearby riverboat gambling casino. The caped, bucktoothed “mastermind” has assembled a gang of alleged experts, including a self-described demolition man from Hollywood called Pancake, a Vietnamese tunnel man known only as The General, a stupid ex-football player nicknamed Lump, and Gawain MacSam, the critical inside man who’s posing as a casino janitor. The gang sets up shop in the widowed Mrs. Munson’s root cellar, ostensibly so they can play old-fashioned chamber music with antique instruments. When Mrs. Munson stumbles onto their plot and threatens to notify the police unless they return the money, the gang of scatterbrain saps decides to kill her. After all, how hard can it be to knock off one old lady?
THE LADYKILLERS reaches its inexorable conclusion amid a series of goofy mishaps and even goofier cover-ups cooked up by the smooth-talking professor. Eventually, the shifty professor finds that he can’t talk his way past Mrs. Munson’s solid Christian values, or the disapproving glare of Mrs. Munson’s late husband, whose portrait hangs in the center of her quaint living room. The evocative ending composed by the Coen brothers helps to redeem the movie.
Despite the strong vulgarity that much too often passes the lips of Prof. Dorr’s compatriots, a strong Christian worldview permeates THE LADYKILLERS. The would-be assassins all get their just desserts from the All-Knowing God who watches over Mrs. Munson and the movie’s Gospel music soundtrack. THE LADYKILLERS is far more vulgar language-wise than the Coens’ previous Southern comedy, O BROTHER, WHERE ART THOU?, but the Christian worldview seems stronger. As the movie’s Gospel soundtrack literally sings out, God is watching you, so let’s get back to Him. The screenwriters should have taken that sentiment more to heart when they were writing the dialogue.