Saturday, November 17, 2012

The Man In The White Suit is the latest Ealing film to get a Blu-ray release from Studio Canal. The story deals with biochemist Sidney Stratton (the brilliant Alec Guinness) who appears to have created a fabric which resists wear and stains in a textile mill up in the North of England. But he finds himself increasingly marginalised when he finds himself isolated and without allies when both the manufacturers and the factory workers want to bury his invention. Directed by American Alexander Mackendrick (The Sweet Smell of Success), The Man In The White Suit is more of a bittersweet drama than an out and out comedy, with Stratton first introduced on screen as a factory janitor rather than a fully fledged scientist. Guinness is the stand-out here but it also has an excellent supporting cast including British cinema staples like Cecil Parker as mill owner Alan Birnley and the mesmerising Joan Greenwood as his daughter Daphne. It has dated a little but it is still a wonderful snapshot of Britain in the early fifties, albeit a slightly artificial feeling North of England. It deserves a Blu-ray release just as much as The Ladykillers, Lavender Hill Mob and Kind Hearts and Coronets and if a viewer hasn't seen this film and they're an Ealing aficionado, they're in for a treat.

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