Monday, October 08, 2007

Film Club: The Man in the White Suit

Last night found us watching the 1951 Ealing comedy classic "The Man in the White Suit" starring a very young Alec Guinness as a moderately deranged genius who invents an indestructible fabric for the textile industry.

As you'd expect, it's not a complicated or difficult viewing experience. The performances are more-or-less standard Ealing fare with the characters being mostly caricatures rather than fleshed out and believable.

But if you're watching an Ealing comedy for gritty realism and carefully crafted performances, you've made an error. This is a delightful film and deserves its reputation as a one of the best to come from the Ealing studios in its 1950s heyday.

The attempts at satire are a bit clumsy by modern day standards, with all the trades union members being heavily northern accented and all the industrialists being portrayed more-or-less as upper class twits. Jolly good knockabout stuff, though. All of us enjoyed a snigger or two and it was rollicking good fun to watch a comedy based on a lost set of social mores. Ah, those late lamented and supposedly innocent 'fifties...

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