Sir Alec Guinness

Murder By Death

February 6, 2015

Neil Simon saw Alec Guinness reading the script for “Star Wars” on the set of “Murder By Death,” and very soon after that, Guinness would be known as Obi Wan Kenobi to the world. But there is so much more to Guinness before that series of films, and in this particular series, so much humor. Join us — Pete Wright and Andy Nelson — as we close out our Sir Alec Guinness series with Robert Moore’s 1976 film “Murder By Death.”

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The Ladykillers

January 31, 2015

Alec Guinness’s Professor Marcus really meets his match with Katie Johnson’s Mrs. Wilberforce in Alexander Mackendrick’s 1955 Ealing Studios comedy “The Ladykillers,” what some call the last great comedy from the studio. Where he plots and schemes to rob a bank truck, she makes tea and makes sure her guests act like gentlemen – even when those men are thieves. It’s a great premise for this film, and one that makes at least half of us on the show laugh. Join us – Pete Wright and Andy Nelson – as we continue our Sir Alec Guinness series with “The Ladykillers.”

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The Man in the White Suit

January 23, 2015

Ealing Studios comedies, particularly the ones we’ve been talking about, have all had a bit of an anti-establishment feel to them but “The Man in the White Suit” feels like they were trying to something a bit more with it. The film is fascinating satirical comedy looking at the relationship between the factory owners and the union laborers in England back in the 50s that doesn’t just focus on their differences but also finds a way to bring the two groups together. The reason for their coming together is, of course, the titular character, played wonderfully by Sir Alec Guinness. Join us — Pete Wright and Andy Nelson — as we talk about this great Alexander Mackendrick film from 1951 as the next in our Guinness series.

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The Lavender Hill Mob

January 16, 2015

Sir Alec Guinness had already proven both his comedic and dramatic prowess by the time he came to Ealing Studios’ “The Lavender Hill Mob” in 1951, a point in his career when he was making two films a year. He’d continue working in both comedy and drama throughout his career, but we’re lucky to still be talking about his comedies because “The Lavender Hill Mob” is an absolute delight. Join us — Pete Wright and Andy Nelson — as we continue our Sir Alec Guinness series with a conversation about his seventh film, directed by Charles Crichton.

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Kind Hearts and Coronets

January 9, 2015

Sir Alec Guinness may always be remembered as Obi Wan Kenobi, but his career goes far beyond those three little science fiction films he did late in his career. He worked many times with David Lean. He gave life to the spy George Smiley long before Gary Oldman. And he starred in a number of the great Ealing comedies, his first of which is Kind Hearts and Coronets, where he pulls a Peter Sellers by playing eight of the characters in the film. Join us — Pete Wright and Andy Nelson — as we begin our Sir Alec Guinness series by talking about Robert Hamer’s 1949 comedy Kind Hearts and Coronets.

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