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A charming and ambitious young man finds many ways to raise himself through the ranks in business and social standing- some honest, some not quite so. If he can just manage to avoid a certain very predatory woman... Written by
Ken Yousten <email@example.com>
The Card must have been an interesting if somewhat painful film for Alec Guinness to make. This might have been the most autobiographical piece of work Guinness ever did.
In The Card Guinness plays the son of washerwoman who learned early on to keep an eye out for the main chance and always strive to improve yourself by whatever means. In real life Guinness's mother should only have been a washerwoman In fact she was a prostitute who never married his father, whomever that could have been. In real life Guinness overcame bigger obstacles than his character in The Card ever did.
But I'm sure he drew from real life in playing Denny Machin. Guinness in 91 minutes goes from a humble clerk to a position of real power in his area of England. The story is how he did it, the legal and extralegal methods employed and the people he used. When you think about it, The Card is a kinder, gentler version of Room At The Top.
Guinness courts two women on his way up, Valerie Hobson the widow of a local lord and dancing instructor Glynis Johns. Glynis is quite the climber herself as we learn when the story unfolds. In fact she nearly steals the film from Guinness, no easy task.
The Card which was released in the USA under the title of The Promoter is a good followup to such other Guinness everyman roles like he had in The Lavendar Hill Mob. The screenplay is quite good, I was kept very entertained seeing how Guinness could always make lemonade out of lemons. Definitely required viewing for Alec Guinness's legion of fans.
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