Then check out this collection of these wonderful, classic Ealing Studios comedies starring the inimitable Alec Guinness. Odd and whimsical, these films are loaded with not only astringent British wit, but also quirky and vivid characterizations, social satire, and just pure fun and outright slapstick. They cast a bemused and knowing eye on British attitudes of class & propriety, and poked sharp fun at them. Briefly:
THE MAN IN THE WHITE SUIT: A brilliant but stubbornly obtuse and obsessed scientist pursues his dream of a miracle fabric in the heart of the British textile industry, in the end pleasing no one but himself. As he is beset by conservative owners on one side, and radical unionists on the other, we get a light satire on the mixed blessings of technology.
THE CAPTAIN'S PARADISE: A ship's captain has a wife in each port, one for domesticity and one for fun. So pleased with his own pleasure he doesn't realize that each woman is only half-fulfilled...
The films are: Kind Hearts & Coronets The Lavender Hill Mob The Man in the White Suit The Ladykillers The Captain's Paradise The last is available only in the set while the others can be bought separately. The movies, of course, are all excellent so I'm just commenting on the quality of the DVDs. I got the collection for Christmas and haven't watched all the films yet but did go through the ones I haven't watched to see how the transfers looked -- all extremely good, probably the best I've ever seen them. "The Ladykillers" is MUCH improved over the VHS versions I've rented which tended to have both very greyed out blacks and blown highlights. The film is in widescreen format with black bars at top and bottom. The rest of the movies were filmed in 4x3 ratio - which is how they are presented. There are closed captions but only the type that must be set on the TV - the white lettering within a black band. There are none of...
From the Ealing Studios and the 50s via Anchor Bay comes a terrifc, long overdue set of sly, witty, intelligent satires and farces starring the late Sir Alec Guiness. All the titles are availbale as single discs, but the only way to get the marvelous THE CAPTAIN'S PARADISE is to buy the set.
In THE MAN IN THE WHITE SUIT, find out what happens when an idealist young chemist (Guinness) invents a fabric that won't wrinkle, won't get dirty and won't wear out. What's a miracle fabric to the consumer is the end of a job to mill workers and soon Guinness is the must hunted man in the UK.
No, THE LAVENDER HILL MOB is not about the gay mafia. It's about a meek bank clerk (Guinness) who devises a plot to steal the gold bullion in his own bank by melting it down and molding it inside little Eiffel Tower souvenirs to be shipped to France. Naturally things go wrong and the delicious suspense is in rooting for the bad guys to get away with it.
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