Well, despite being a huge Coen brothers’ fan, I’ve deliberately avoided this for years in fear of what might have been done to an Ealing classic. Re-watching the hilarious Raising Arizona recently inspired me to brave The Ladykillers.
It turned out not to have been entirely awful – though it’s far from their best work, even though their trademark love of visuals/verbals are present & correct and the soundtrack is truly glorious (although the gospel church inserts mostly outstayed their welcome without developing the narrative any). Also, moving the setting to the deep South actually helped me watch it on its own merits, without endless comparisons to the 1955 film, which was a plus.
However – and not for the first time while watching a US movie, so maybe I shouldn’t lay this one at the Coens’ feet, specifically – I felt in need of subtitles. Hanks delivers his lines (in a peculiar, strangled accent) at top speed, as if he’s scared he’ll forget them and some of the broader Southern accents had us sofa monkeys quite mystified, y’all.