The Horse's Mouth (1958)


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Movie Info

The Horse's Mouth is an acting and a writing tour de force for Alec Guinness, who authored the screenplay in addition to starring in the film. Gulley Jimson (Alec Guinness) is an aging artist with a reputation as a genius, though he lives an impoverished life. Jimson has reached the point in his life where he no longer feels any need to moderate his irascible persona -- he has a taste for alcohol and a tendency toward boisterous spirits where the ladies are concerned -- in search of canvasses to … More

Rating: Unrated
Genre: Classics, Comedy
Directed By:
Written By: Alec Guinness
In Theaters:
On DVD: Jun 4, 2002
United Artists


as Gully Jimson

as Coker

as Sarah Monday

as Sir William Beeder

as Lady Beeder

as Capt. Jones

as Alabaster
Show More Cast

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Critic Reviews for The Horse's Mouth

All Critics (18) | Top Critics (3)

Full Review… | June 24, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

Full Review… | May 20, 2003
New York Times
Top Critic

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

It smacks more of an Ealing low-brow whimsical comedy than anything more artistic.

Full Review… | April 7, 2009
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Guinness creates a unique, full-bodied porttrait of the artist as an always-young man.

July 5, 2004
F5 (Wichita, KS)

Ao mesmo tempo comovente e hilário, o filme traz Guinness em uma de suas melhores performances - e a luta do pintor Gulley Jimson para realizar sua visão é inesquecível.

February 3, 2004
Cinema em Cena

Audience Reviews for The Horse's Mouth


Alec Guinness out does himself in this comic slice of life of an all out artist visionary, ever on the lookout for his next drink, woman, or blank wall space ... and perhaps in just that order as well. Over-the-top, loud, and rambunctious, and that's before he's out of bed in the morning, his friends struggle to understand him while everyone else gazes on in sheer disbelief. A bit o'fun from England, and written by Guinness as well.

Kevin M. Williams

Super Reviewer

This bittersweet comedy, scripted by and starring Alec Guinness, came very warmly recommended, and it didn't disappoint. I suppose it could be described as one of the best films Ealing never made. Guinness is brilliant as Gulley Jimson, an eccentric, uncompromising artist in search of the perfect 'canvas' to do justice to his vision, and Guinness' own literate screenplay is good enough to make me wish he'd written a few more. The film is generally excellent, but I did occasionally catch myself wondering whether Alexander Mackendrick (Whisky Galore!, The Man in the White Suit, The Ladykillers) might have made something even more special out of it, had he directed instead of Ronald Neame. One of the things I most enjoyed about The Horse's Mouth was the look of the film, especially the location photography: the duffel-coats, the double-deckers, the drabness of suburbia; as an incidental snapshot of a time and place, for some reason it reminded me of Michael Powell's Peeping Tom. There are some very enjoyable character performances, particularly Renee Houston as Jimson's sweetly devious ex-wife and Kay Walsh as his abrasive but kindhearted female friend. Mike Morgan, who plays Gulley's devoted follower, Nosey, died of meningitis before the film was completed!

Stephen M

Super Reviewer

gully jimson, mad artist, is my favorite alec guiness character. it's a shame so few people have seen or heard of this film. 4 for the film, 5 for guiness :)

Stella Dallas

Super Reviewer

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