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The Man in the White Suit (1951)

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

Writers:

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

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Sidney Stratton
...
Daphne Birnley
...
Alan Birnley
...
Michael Corland
...
Sir John Kierlaw
...
Cranford (as Howard Marion Crawford)
Henry Mollison ...
Hoskins
Vida Hope ...
Bertha
Patric Doonan ...
Frank
Duncan Lamont ...
Harry
Harold Goodwin ...
Wilkins
...
Hill
Joan Harben ...
Miss Johnson
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:

Should they let him play...or should they put him away? See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Sci-Fi

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

April 1952 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

L'homme au complet blanc  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$3,874 (USA) (16 November 2012)

Gross:

$8,265 (USA) (25 January 2013)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System) (Gaumont-Kalee)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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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

Bertha, Birnley Mill worker: New aren't you?
Sidney Stratton: Uhh, yes.
Bertha, Birnley Mill worker: Never worked in a mill before?
Sidney Stratton: Oh yes, several.
Bertha, Birnley Mill worker: I know. Leave school, into the first blind alley job that comes along. Too old for that. Into another and another. By the time you're thirty, what are you? Flotsam floating on the flood tide of profits. There's Capitalism for you.
Sidney Stratton: It wasn't quite like that. I got a scholarship to Cambridge.
Bertha, Birnley Mill worker: But you hadn't got the old school tie. Oh, you can't tell *me*. Discrimination. I've seen plenty. Where were you going with this lot?
Sidney Stratton:
Bertha, Birnley Mill worker:
Sidney Stratton:
[...]
See more »

Connections

Featured in Film Extra: Alec Guiness (1973) See more »

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User Reviews

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18 June 2004 | by ((e.g. London, England)) – See all my reviews

"Man in the White Suit" is perhaps, along with "Kind Hearts and Coronets," the pinnacle of the Ealing film. It's a very sophisticated and subtle comedy/farce that takes a dig at a number of the cultural institutions that characterise northern England. It's not so much a satire directed at capitalism but an opprobrium of the suspicious relationship between capital and labour and the broader unworkable relationship of commercial achievement with scientific progress. The success of the film resides in the subtlety with which these issues are explored and the even-handedness by which they are dealt with. At a more basic level the film is an excellent example of a farce as the frustration, misinterpretation and exaggerated comedy are delivered with a breath-taking pace. Very well written, even better direction and uniformly spot-on performances make this one of the great British films of the 1950s.


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