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The Man in the White Suit (1951)

Approved | | Comedy, Drama, Sci-Fi | April 1952 (USA)
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ON DISC
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:
...
...
...
...
...
...
Cranford (as Howard Marion Crawford)
...
Hoskins
Vida Hope ...
Patric Doonan ...
Frank
...
Harry
...
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:

El hombre del traje blanco  »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$3,874, 18 November 2012, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$8,265, 27 January 2013
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System) (Gaumont-Kalee)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Alec Guinness performed the stunt of climbing down the side of the mansion. He was convinced by a technician, that the piano wire holding him up would not break, since only piano wire with kinks in it would be prone to breaking. As he got to about four feet from the ground, the wire did in fact break. See more »

Goofs

When Hill disturbs Michael Corland at the table, he holds a piece of paper. The paper swaps hands between shots. 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.
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Connections

Referenced in Just a Minute: Episode #2.2 (1994) See more »

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User Reviews

conflicting messages
18 June 2004 | by 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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