THE MAN IN THE WHITE SUIT (1951) B/W 85m dir: Alexander Mackendrick

w/Alec Guinness, Joan Greenwood, Cecil Parker, Michael Gough, Ernest Thesiger, Howard Marion-Crawford, Duncan Lamont, Henry Mollison, Vida Hope, Patric Doonan

Comedy about a young scientist (Guinness) working in a textile plant who invents a cloth material that never wears, tears, or gets dirty. The industry unites to destroy him and his creation.

From The Movie Guide: "A sharp satirical comedy about the social contradictions of technology, THE MAN IN THE WHITE SUIT offers a tour de force by master comic Guinness. ...

"THE MAN IN THE WHITE SUIT, besides offering consistent humor and often hilarious scenes, is another minor masterpiece of acting on Guinness' part: he shows marvelous restraint that gives way to brief hysteria, emphasizing again the versatility of this astounding actor. Greenwood, meanwhile, with her striking eyes, haughty yet vaguely haunted manner and that one-of-a-kind voice, is at her peak, parrying comic thrusts with great aplomb. The reliable Parker shines yet again as the worried capitalist and, on the proletarian side, the forceful Hope and the adorable Edie Martin are especially outstanding. Special mention should also be made of Thesiger, that unique comic talent from several James Whale masterworks of the 1930s [for example THE BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN]. He is wonderful here as the decrepit but all-powerful industrial czar who decrees Sidney's [Guinness] fate for the sake of business. In addition to the laughs, this film also indicts the ruthless and manipulative ways of businessmen. The acerbic social criticism lacing the film, however, does not exclude union representatives either, and the result is an intelligently rounded satire. Mackendrick's formidable gifts as both director and screenwriter are on vivid display here."

THE MAN IN THE WHITE SUIT was nominated for an Oscar for Best Original Story (Roger MacDougall, John Dighton, Mackendrick).