The Man in the White Suit

“I think I’ve succeeded in the co-polymerization of amino acid residues and carbohydrate molecules, both containing ionic groups! It’s really perfectly simple."

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. We talk about why we find this film so fascinating, and how this film is really the foundation for our podcast. We chat about Guinness and the way he plays his character, as well as many of the other wonderful actors who do so well here, namely Joan Greenwood, Cecil Parker and Michael Gough. We discuss the wonderful cinematography by Douglas Slocombe, working with more shadows than we’ve seen before, as well as Mackendrick and what he brings to the table. And we chat about some of the effects, from the luminescent suit to the stunt of Guinness scaling the side of the house to escape. It’s a brilliant film, one which we both love, and one which more people should really see. So check it out then tune in!

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