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Saturday, May 28, 2016

The Man In The White Suit (1951)

An eccentric chemist (Alec Guinness) invents a fiber that never wrinkles, wears out or gets dirty. But when the fabric industry as well as its workers realize that his invention will render them obsolete, he becomes an enemy and must be stopped. I'm not a fan of the popular Ealing studio comedies from Great Britain. Everyone seems to adore them but they leave me indifferent. THE MAN IN THE WHITE SUIT is an exception, I'm quite fond of it. Directed by Alexander Mackendrick (SWEET SMELL OF SUCCESS), the film is a pointed satire on big business and the nature of planned obsolescence as well as the power of unions. At the center of all this is Alec Guinness, one of the most acclaimed dramatic actors of his generation that we tend to forget he's a master at comedy too. Add that minx Joan Greenwood to the mix and the film is a real treat. Mackendrick directs at a brisk clip and gets us to the end without wearing out its welcome. With Cecil Parker, Ernest Thesiger, Michael Gough and Vida Hope. 

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