Every film that has ever been nominated for an Academy Award in any category. Enjoy!
The Man in the White Suit
Guinness is Back...Working Wonders With Wile, Whimsey and Wit!
The unassuming, nebbishy inventor Sidney Stratton creates a miraculous fabric that will never be dirty or worn out. Clearly he can make a fortune selling clothes made of the material, but may cause a crisis in the process. After all, once someone buys one of his suits they won't ever have to fix them or buy another one, and the clothing industry will collapse overnight. Nevertheless, Sidney is determined to put his invention on the market, forcing the clothing factory bigwigs to resort to more desperate measures...
The joy of Ealing comedies is they're so often considered to be the domain of homely traditional English values, all quaint and innocuous. Of course, nothing could be further from the truth, and the very best of Ealing's output were trenchant affairs that took an obvious delight in their scalpel like incisions into the underbelly beyond their seemingly cosy appearance.
Alexander Mackendrick, American born and raised in Scotland, was perhaps more disposed than most in turning a critical almost outsider like surgically aloof eye to the Ealing ethos and, in Alec Guinness' wonderful turn as inventor Sidney Stratton, he explores beautifully what his biographer Philip Kemp claims was his favourite theme, that of a 'lethal innocence' in his protagonists. Guinness…
Alec Guinness stars as Sidney Stratton, an inventor who's obsessed by his project: making the perfect cloth. He can't hold a job because of this - his experiments turn out to be dangerous for men and buildings. One day, he makes his dream come to, but he quickly finds out there are other interests at stake.
Great comedy by the famous Ealing Studios with a serious implication: stat of the art in business and its interests against inventions making life easier - or even change our way of life. The film is made in one of those despressing Northern English industrial towns you are delighted to make photographs in - but even more so to go away from it.
"Why can't you scientists leave things alone? What about my bit of washing when there's no washing to do?" – Mrs. Watson (Edie Martin)
Entertaining and effective satire that features Alec Guinness as Sidney Stratton, a bumbling scientist intent on producing a form of cloth that won't wear out, but Capital and Labor conspire to suppress what they fear will be their undoing. This invention doesn't quite work out the way he planned, but Sydney would go on to work for MI6.
There are two outstanding bits of sound design; Sydney's lab contraption, and Joan Greenwood's voice.
This film concerns young inventor Sidney Stratton (another superb role from Alec Guinness) who is, without his factory bosses knowing, working on a new fabric which will never destruct, never need mending, never need cleaning. A wonder fabric which will revolutionise the world.
The mill owners get greedy and think of the immense profits they will make putting the wonder material into production; while the workers revolt at the thought of their standard job roles being eroded. The plethora of situations within 'The Man in the White Suit' gives a lot of scope for humour - the appearance of Ernest Thesiger is a real hoot - along with the sharp social comment.
Of course, the twist at the end makes fools of everyone, from Sidney to the great and good of the UK's industry. It's a good movie and one which hasn't dated too badly.
This review reportedly contains spoilers. I can handle the truth.
One of the most visually inventive comedies I've seen, but what elevates it to greatness is Guinness's comic prowess and a Coen-like farm team of distinctive supporting players. Extra-credit for an adept handle on what makes capitalism inherently ridiculous while admitting that it's not as simple as it might seem to change it.
Before the socially awkward scientist with the crazy-brilliant ideas became a Disney staple in the 1960s (and revived in THE IMITATION GAME in the 20-teens), Alec Guinness established the template in THE MAN IN THE WHITE SUIT. There's good humor and some keen observation here, but the pacing doesn't quite work and the movie drags a bit.
Funny, eccentric fantasy satire. Great dialogue. I haven't seen much early Alec Guiness and he's such an interesting character in this. Love the music. And all the chemistry scenes. Very entertaining.
It's quaint, British, and charmingly slapstick. But it's more than that.
On the surface, it's a rather pointless tale. However, it's one of the deepest films out there. And takes a lot of thinking about when you're not laughing.
“I think I’ve succeeded in the co-polymerization of amino acid residues and carbohydrate molecules, both containing ionic groups! It’s really perfectly simple."
Ealing Studios comedies, particularly the ones we’ve been talking about, have all had a bit of an anti-establishment feel to them but “The Man in the White Suit” feels like they were trying to something a bit more with it. The film is fascinating satirical comedy looking at the relationship between the factory owners and the union laborers in England back in the 50s that doesn’t just focus on their differences but also finds a way to bring the two groups together. The reason for their coming together is, of course, the titular character, played wonderfully by Sir…
Lots of pre-Gilliamesque interiors. Guinness does a dreamy eyed protagonist, almost cartoonishly one-dimensional. All determination and pluck. The restored print looks amazing. The most polite and restrained slapstick I've ever seen. A social satire slapstick ballet. Has a vaguely Moliere-feeling resolution, a deus ex machina literally woven into the story. Great British acting faces from the forties and fifties. Gadgets. The working class. The ruling class. Sound effects. Close ups. Night time streets empty for perfunctory chases. Double crosses galore. For fans of Sellers, Gilliam, and all actors whose first name became Sir.
The film is basically the idea of someone (Alec Guinness) inventing a fabric that never gets dirty or damaged. It falls into the same sort of problems that often get talked about with things like a car that runs on water and the like. My real problem with it is that it just feels so tiresome, the movie seems to go through the same motions over and over. I like the concept, but the film isn't nearly as durable as the fabric is supposed to be. Perhaps there's something fitting in that.
Benjamin Frankel's hurried and manic main titles FTW.
Library not having said score FTL.
Alexander Mackendrick's whip-smart "The Man in the White Suit" is the type of film that would provide you with a killer college paper. You can read all kinds of things in the picture.
Ealing Studios made a legendary run of comedies in the fifties, many of which starred Alec Guinness, and this is my first one of them!
What struck me about The Man in the White Suit is how satirical and biting it is...both labour and capital are outraged by an invention that Guinness's character (a young and eccentric scientist named Stratton) creates that may be too high quality to allow them to exploit the textile market. As a result, the old order engages in a mad struggle to stop his invention from being revealed to the public. Our world is shown to be materialistic, disposable, and at the mercy of vested interests that are more concerned with making money in their…
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