7.7/10
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36 user 28 critic

The Horse's Mouth (1958)

Approved | | Comedy | 11 November 1958 (USA)
A somewhat vulgar but dedicated painter searches for the perfect realization of his artistic vision, much to the chagrin of others.

Director:

Writers:

(novel), (screenplay)
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 5 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Kay Walsh ...
...
Mike Morgan ...
...
Sir William Beeder
Arthur Macrae ...
A.W. Alabaster
Veronica Turleigh ...
Lady Beeder
...
Reginald Beckwith ...
Capt. Jones
...
Hickson
Gillian Vaughan ...
Lollie
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Storyline

Gulley Jimson is broke, difficult, conniving, uncouth, and a welcher - but an artist. The visions in his head may not really satisfy him when realized, but the quest continues, for the perfect wall. The Beeders leave for six weeks of vacation and return to find a 7000 pound committment and the wall of their living room a national treasure, even though living with a wall mural of feet is not their cup of tea. Then - in a bombed out church scheduled for demolition - THE wall that can become his vision. Written by Bruce Cameron <dumarest@midcoast.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A Really Champion Show! See more »

Genres:

Comedy

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

11 November 1958 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Straight from the Horse's Mouth  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Ronald Neame was introduced to the Joyce Carey novel by Claude Rains, who was very anxious to play Gulley Jimson, but the director tried and failed to read the book. Several years later Alec Guinness came to him with his own adaptation. Neame reread the book and thought Guinness was perfect for the role. See more »

Goofs

(at around 12 mins) Gully Simson is served a pint of beer in the pub. The amount of beer in the glass varies inconsistently in subsequent shots. See more »

Quotes

Constable: Mr. Jimson?
Gulley Jimson: No. That's my first cousin, once removed, an artist who's always getting into trouble with the police. He just went up the road. Shall I call him back?
Constable: Have you just sent a telephone message of a threatening character to Mr. Hickson of Portland Place?
Gulley Jimson: I only said I'd burn his house down and cut his liver out.
Constable: Now he doesn't want to prosecute, but if you go on making a nuissance of yourself, well, he's gonna have to take steps.
Gulley Jimson: Would he rather I cut his liver out without phoning?
Constable: Now...
[...]
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The 52nd Annual Academy Awards (1980) See more »

Soundtracks

Lieutenant Kije
by Sergei Prokofiev (as Prokofieff)
Arranged by Kenneth V. Jones
Conducted by Muir Mathieson
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Too Neglected
11 November 2004 | by (New Jersey) – See all my reviews

My late wife, an artist, loved this film, and it gave me such insights into the way her mind worked. Guiness is wonderful; for once we see many levels of the character he portrays. Kay Walsh is so touching as the woman in his life, while Mike Morgan makes the perfect art groupie. It's funny to see Dr. Pastorious in old age; he has barely changed since Bride of Frankenstein.

The humor is gentle and quiet except for the studio renovation scene, but it is when Gully stands in front of a canvas that the truth of this film comes out. His almost soliloquy on the human foot; the scene where he shrugs and says that was not what he was trying to say, after he has ruined the toff's wall, these are priceless and our entry into an artist's mind. When the houseboat sets sail down the Thames, to the comment about the sea by the looney who pipes Gully aboard is a bit of perfection set on celluloid. He stands there, framing a vision of another canvas on the hull of a freighter, while reciting this wonderful doggerel that I always get mixed up when I try to say it, and all the while Nosey and Sara spur him on. I've never read the book and wonder if this represents his death, but I take from it what I will.

One other thought: there are certain films shot on location that should be filed away as time/place documentaries. This one is a perfect example: London 1958.


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