The Man in the White Suit (1951)

THE MAN IN THE WHITE SUIT (1951)
Article 2260 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 5-25-2007
Posting Date: 10-20-2007
Directed by Alexander Mackendrick
Featuring Alec Guinness, Joan Greenwood, Cecil Parker

A man invents a fabric that will never wear out and never needs cleaning. He soon finds himself the pariah of the textile industry and the labor force, as the invention will put them out of work.

This will probably be the only one of Alec Guinness’s Ealing comedies that I will watch for this series. It’s a shame; Guinness is a fine actor, and this comedy about planned obsolescence and the way society has become used to it is thoughtful, deeply satirical, quite amusing, and even quite moving towards the end. It’s extremely well acted by all, and the cast also includes MIchael Gough and Ernest Thesiger, two faces very familiar to horror fans. The movie doesn’t go for wackiness as much as it slightly exaggerates what could be a very real situation; like all good satirical comedies, it’s a little too convincing to be shrugged aside. Some of the special effects are very effective; I love the luminosity of the suit which occasionally makes it look like Guinness was shot in negative photography. Highly recommended.

 

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