The Man in the White Suit (1951)
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Critic Reviews for The Man in the White Suit
The film is a paean to individualism, dreamers and pioneers, and seems to advocate that, fundamentally, society functions best on an equilibrium between capital and labour.
The picture is very enjoyable. Its observation of people, its carefully sustained tempo, its apt incidental thrusts. have real individuality and distinction.
That Stratton proves so unable to resist his hubris surely provides the film with a cautionary subtext, but this is beautifully complicated by an ending that denies the possibility of rehabilitation.
Clever and witty, this Oscar-nominated British comedy displays the talents of Alec Guinness long before he became an international star with Bridge on the River Kwai.
Alec Guinness' sharp bird nose and watery eyes helped him play characters who were misfits on the margins of society. He made for a kindly but stubborn rebel in the Ealing comedies.
Audience Reviews for The Man in the White Suit
"Man in the White Suit" is perhaps, along with "Kind Hearts and Coronets," the pinnacle of the Ealing film. It's a very sophisticated and subtle comedy/farce that takes a dig at a number of the cultural institutions that characterise northern England. It's not so much a satire directed at capitalism but an opprobrium of the suspicious relationship between capital and labour and the broader unworkable relationship of commercial achievement with scientific progress. The success of the film resides in the subtlety with which these issues are explored and the even-handedness by which they are dealt with. At a more basic level the film is an excellent example of a farce as the frustration, misinterpretation and exaggerated comedy are delivered with a breath-taking pace. Very well written, even better direction and uniformly spot-on performances make this one of the great British films of the 1950s.
I thought it was pretty dull to be honest. I thought it was meant to be just sci-fi, but it turned out it was a sci-fi comedy, which usually don't work. And it didn't. It wasn't funny, and it was just boring.
Another great Ealing Comedy, with the star of the studio, Alec Guiness always teriffic in the productions. Not as great as previoious ealing productions, such as Kind Hearts and Coronets, but still a must see, for British comedy and Ealing fans.
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