The Ladykillers, 1955

Alec Guinness, as Professor Marcus, dupes elderly Mrs. Wilberforce, played by Katie Johnson, into believing he and his friends are musicians who must rent one of her rooms. The “band” of criminals plan out all the details of their robbery but run into many problems. Just as the thieves think they can taste success, it turns sour.

Before they played Chief Inspector Charles Dreyfus and Inspector Jacques Clouseau in the Pink Panther series of movies, Herbert Lom and Peter Sellers played two of the musician-criminals in The Ladykillers. Peter Sellers added to the comedy of the film by doing voice-overs for Mrs. Wilberforce’s birds, according to

The tagline for the film made me laugh: Meet “The Unholy Five” …The Most Befuddled Set of Assorted Thugs That Ever Fouled Up a Million Dollar Bank Robbery!!

The film was incredibly funny. William Rose was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Writing/Best Screenplay – Original.

Making Them Pay

This coming weekend, I’ll review a movie I’ve enjoyed. It’s a classic crime comedy starring Alec Guinness and Peter Sellers. The story shows criminals who get their due. Watching it, I guessed that the heroine of the story would have a bigger role in their comeuppance. But now that I think about it, the movie is a great example of chapter twelve of the book of Romans.

A quick summary of that chapter might be that we are to 1. be alert to God’s will so we can do it, 2. use the gifts we’ve been given so we can strengthen each other, and 3. live in love and patience. Verse thirteen reminds us to practice hospitality, and verse seventeen reminds us to live in harmony with one another.

The heroine of the story finds out she’s been duped and becomes quite displeased with the criminals. However, she doesn’t have to make them pay because the criminals get caught up in their own distrust.

Verse nineteen of Romans 12 tells us to leave room for God’s wrath. The movie isn’t really a Christian film, but it shows how leaving God enough space to work on our behalf can bring overwhelming blessing into our lives.

Today on Seek God With Me, I’m sharing a different set of verses to illustrate this issue. When some people read Romans 12, they often remember “Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.” But they forget all the other verses in the chapter. And often that verse spurs them on to take revenge on their own, rather than to wait on God’s hand in the matter.

Join me for today’s devotional at Seek God With Me.

Arsenic and Old Lace, 1944

Two aunts have a secret, one that doesn’t bother them at all. It’s their charity. But it bothers their nephew Mortimer. It has something to do with the hats in the cabinet. They think they’re doing something helpful. The sweet old ladies have “helped” a dozen old lonely men. So who will be the thirteenth?

Cary Grant as Mortimer Brewster and Peter Lorre as Dr. Einstein keep us guessing as they discover the bodies of the gentlemen Brewster’s aunts have killed with arsenic poisoning.

Are they nuts? Mortimer’s sure that his whole family is nuts.

Mortimer’s brother, Jonathan Brewster, was played by Raymond Massey in this Frank Capra directed film. They would’ve cast Boris Karloff in that role, but Karloff was unable to do the picture because he was appearing in the Broadway play. The running gag about Jonathan looking like Karloff keeps the humor going. They shot the film while the play was still on Broadway, but didn’t release the film until the play finally closed in 1944 after 1,444 performances.

According to, Cary Grant donated his $100,000 salary to the U.S. War Relief Fund. The film released to the American theaters in late 1944, but was shown to the Armed Forces overseas during 1943.

God Bless the Old Folks

One of the funny moments my family remembers is when my little brother was asked to pray over our meal when he was five or six years old. We were visiting my mom’s uncles and aunts. Everyone bowed their head and waited for their food to be blessed by God from the prayer of a child. My brother was brief, but a little distracted. No one knows what he was thinking that day. He ended his prayer with, “And God bless the old folks for they know not what they do.”

We never could figure out that prayer, but we agreed with a grin. Yes, God, bless the old folks.

Today at Seek God With Me, I’m reminding us all about the need for respect in our homes, churches, and schools. If we don’t learn respect for young and old alike in those common places, where will we learn it?

Join me at Seek God With Me.

The Talk of the Town, 1942

The Talk of the Town is about proving innocence. Cary Grant is Leopold Dilg, a man believed to have committed arson and murder who escapes jail in order to set the record straight about his innocence. Jean Arthur, as Miss Nora Shelley, encounters the wanted man when he tries to find shelter.

Ronald Colman gives a beautiful portrayal of Prof. Michael Lightcap, the law professor who has rented Miss Shelley’s cottage for the summer. The poor guy just wants some peace and quiet, but finds himself embroiled in the deceptions going on around him.

The relationship between Cary Grant’s character and Prof. Lightcap was developed with intelligence and sincerity. The Professor was charming enough for any woman to want to be with, but Cary Grant was just a smidge more enticing.

Lloyd Bridges made an unmistakable appearance in this movie as Donald Forrester. However, he wasn’t a big enough star at the time to be listed in the credits. According to, he was in 24 films in 1942. Fifteen of those roles were uncredited. During his sixty-plus years of acting, Bridges appeared in 216 movies, 32 of which didn’t list him in the credits. I think this shows that any successful career begins with hard work.

Accusing the Innocent

Why would a God-fearing man lie about crime? I’ve written about this at Seek God With Me.

While I’m not one to laugh at crime in the real world, there are instances when a crime was used in the past to bring people together. For instance, Joseph (in the book of Genesis) accused his brothers of a crime they didn’t commit in order to save their lives.

Read about accusing an innocent man at Seek God With Me.

It's A Wonderful World, 1939

This amusing movie is about a man who gets inconvenienced by a famous woman who is in the wrong place at the right time. James Stewart stars as the hero in this film which was released only five months before Mr. Smith Goes To Washington and seven years before his more famous film of a similar name It’s A Wonderful Life.

James Stewart is Guy Johnson, a private investigator who wants to save his client, a millionaire accused of murder. He has to find the next victim before anyone else gets killed. Claudette Colbert, as Edwina the poet, happens to be in the way, but helps him solve the mystery and falls for him in the midst of it.

Lots of laughs in this romantic comedy. Too bad the cops are shown to be dim-witted idiots who stand around while Guy and Edwina work the case for them. It’s too funny to be taken seriously, although James Stewart puts on some serious charm as a PI trying to save lives and earn his big payday. With a little more thought to the writing, this could’ve been much more entertaining. But as it is, it’s another look at why James Stewart is such a big star. He makes any movie worthwhile.

Stop The Villain

This month, I’ll share some movies I’ve enjoyed which star some appealing actors and actresses. These are romantic crime comedies, a genre that is hard to write well. I love the romance and the comedy, but the crime part of the story gives it the tension that makes everything work well together. Besides, stopping the villain is what makes the hero lovable.

Join me at Seek God With Me this month as I take a look at crimes in the Bible.

Today’s post is about a hero who helps stop a villain. This man wasn’t a hero because of his glimmering smile and well-muscled body, but because of his integrity, intelligence, wisdom, and reverence for the king. Check out Seek God With Me and take a look at this man of honor.