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The Man in the White Suit (1951)

Approved | | Comedy, Drama, Sci-Fi | April 1952 (USA)
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2:46 | Trailer
An altruistic chemist invents a fabric which resists wear and stain as a boon to humanity, but big business and labor realize it must be suppressed for economic reasons.

Writers:

Roger MacDougall (play), Roger MacDougall (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 win & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Director: Charles Crichton
Stars: Alastair Sim, Frederick Piper, Harry Fowler
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Alec Guinness ... Sidney Stratton
Joan Greenwood ... Daphne Birnley
Cecil Parker ... Alan Birnley
Michael Gough ... Michael Corland
Ernest Thesiger ... Sir John Kierlaw
Howard Marion-Crawford ... Cranford (as Howard Marion Crawford)
Henry Mollison ... Hoskins
Vida Hope Vida Hope ... Bertha
Patric Doonan Patric Doonan ... Frank
Duncan Lamont ... Harry
Harold Goodwin ... Wilkins
Colin Gordon ... Hill
Joan Harben Joan Harben ... Miss Johnson
Arthur Howard Arthur Howard ... Roberts
Roddy Hughes ... Green
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Storyline

Sidney Stratton, a humble inventor, develops a fabric which never gets dirty or wears out. This would seem to be a boon for mankind, but the established garment manufacturers don't see it that way; they try to suppress it. Written by John Oswalt <jao@jao.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Guinness is Back...Working Wonders With Wile, Whimsey and Wit! See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Sci-Fi

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

April 1952 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Man in the White Suit See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$3,874, 18 November 2012

Gross USA:

$8,718

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$8,718
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Ealing Studios See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System) (Gaumont-Kalee)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The sounds of Stratton's experiment (described on the record label as "guggle glub guggle") were set to music by Jack Parnell and released on Parlophone R 3435 as "The White Suit Samba" with words by T.E.B. Clarke. See more »

Goofs

When Mr. Harrison is called by a woman because he is wanted by Mr. Corland, he is blowing into a glass vial on a side counter which was not there in the previous shot. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Alan Birnley: Now that calm and sanity have returned to the textile industry, I feel it my duty reveal something of the true story behind the recent crisis, a story which we were able, happily, to keep out of the newspapers at the time.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Dream Team: The Man in the White Suit (2006) See more »

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User Reviews

 
one of Alec Guinness' best films
1 July 2005 | by MartinHaferSee all my reviews

Although most Americans have little knowledge of his work other than Star Wars, Alec Guinness produced an amazing body of work--particularly in the 1940s-1950s--ranging from dramas to quirky comedies. I particularly love his comedies, as they are so well-done and seem so natural and real on the screen--far different from the usual fare from Hollywood.

This being said, this was the film that sparked my interest in these movies. It's plot was so odd and cute that it is very unlikely the film would have been made anywhere--except for Ealing Studios--which had a particular fondness for "little" films like this one.

Guinness is a nerdy little scientist that works for a textile company. He wants to experiment in order to create a synthetic fabric that is indestructible, though he is not working for the company as a researcher but for janitorial work! So, he tends to sneak into labs (either during the day if no one suspects or at night) and try his hand at inventing. Repeatedly, he is caught (such as after he blew up the lab) and given the boot until one day he actually succeeds! Then, despite the importance of the discovery, he sets off a completely unanticipated chain of events--and then the fun begins.

The film is a wonderful satire that pokes fun at industry, unions, the government and people in general.


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