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 ... See full summary »
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 tune played during the parade at the end of the movie is the "Colonel Bogey March", which was used prominently in another Alec Guinness film, The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957). See more »
Editing: In the parade at the end of the film, the star footballer signed by Machin (who doesn't yet appear in the cast credits) winks at the grandees during the march past in long shot followed second later by the close-up of the same action. See more »
One of the greatest British comedies of the 1950s and one of Alec Guinness' most satisfying roles early in his long career. As Denry Machin, son of a washerwoman and the "card" of the title, Guiness brings to life one of the almost forgotten stories about the "five towns" (Stoke-on-Trent) of Arnold Bennett. The old-fashioned and very English word "card" had to be translated into the American title "the promoter", but that is a far less accurate description of Denry Machin's combination of charm and opportunism.
He is supported by four magical actresses, in sharply contrasted roles. Gold-digger Glynis Johns, her friend Petula Clark, aristocrat Valerie Hobson and mother Valerie Turleigh are all charmed in their different ways by Guiness' smiles as he "gives providence a helping hand". William Alwyn's music is perfect, with a jaunty theme-tune that has lingered in my memory for more years than I care to remember. Ronald Neame's direction, also at the start of an impressive directorial career, brings the best out of Guinness, although the setting is disappointingly 'comedy-Northern' rather than specifically Stoke-on-Trent.
Overall a delightful film, and the perfect pick-me-up after watching a depressing Hollywood block-buster (Million Dollar Baby). And watch out for one of the movies' great sign-off lines, from Valerie Hobson.
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