The Horse's Mouth (1958)

Approved  |   |  Comedy  |  11 November 1958 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.8/10 from 2,482 users  
Reviews: 35 user | 28 critic

A somewhat vulgar but dedicated painter searches for the perfect realization of his artistic vision, much to the chagrin of others.



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



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Complete credited cast:
Kay Walsh ...
Dee Coker
Renee Houston ...
Sara Monday
Mike Morgan ...
Robert Coote ...
Sir William Beeder
Arthur Macrae ...
A.W. Alabaster
Veronica Turleigh ...
Lady Beeder
Reginald Beckwith ...
Capt. Jones
Gillian Vaughan ...


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 <>

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Release Date:

11 November 1958 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Un genio anda suelto  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)



Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Mike Morgan died ten days before the end of shooting. Some of his lines were dubbed by an unknown actor in post-production. See more »


(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 »


Hodges: Are you sure that Sir and Lady Beeder are expecting you?
Gulley Jimson: Expecting me? They're down on their knees praying for me.
See more »


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


Lieutenant Kije
by Sergei Prokofiev (as Prokofieff)
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User Reviews

Ageless, clever, endearing comedy
2 January 2005 | by (Seattle) – See all my reviews

"Horse's Mouth" certainly stands up well in it's advanced age; at 45 years old it has remained as timeless as any of the great comedic films.

One IMDb writer has tagged Gully as a "vulgar" painter, which goes to show that the sensitivities this film violated are still around. Pinching your loving ex's bum and tickling the rich lady's knee (shades of Groucho), though, are pretty tame today.

Gully Jimson is a rich character, Chaplin-like, who single-mindedly pursues painting while disillusioning aspiring young Nosey about the artist's life. All growled on tiptoes by one of film's classic great actors.

Jimson is a man who's given up all else, including health, wealth, conventional relationships, to live in a leaky houseboat with a vision. But as the story develops it, like all great literature, manages to puncture almost all of life's rationalizing balloons. Jimson is valorized as is Don Quixote, without suggesting that his hero's journey is a painless one.

All is set in a colorful environment with a delightful if conventionally unpolished cast, all the improbably gleeful turns that make the Marx movies so delightful, and a director who contrives seamlessly with Guiness to create a clever and hilarious marvel that can be enjoyed over and over.

Heck yeah, there's even a chase scene! And pull your socks up!

The DVD version includes a short by Pennebaker that feels as fresh and contemporary, accompanied by a Duke Ellington tune, which played along with "Horse's" original release.

23 of 24 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Who was the artist Jimson is based on? Meryllevykryza
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