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The Man in the White Suit (1951)

Approved | | Comedy, Drama, Sci-Fi | April 1952 (USA)
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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:

Roger MacDougall (play), Roger MacDougall (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:
Alec Guinness ... Sidney Stratton
Joan Greenwood ... Daphne Birnley
Cecil Parker ... Alan Birnley
Michael Gough ... Michael Corland
Ernest Thesiger ... Sir John Kierlaw
Howard Marion-Crawford ... Cranford (as Howard Marion Crawford)
Henry Mollison ... Hoskins
Vida Hope Vida Hope ... Bertha
Patric Doonan Patric Doonan ... Frank
Duncan Lamont ... Harry
Harold Goodwin ... Wilkins
Colin Gordon ... Hill
Joan Harben Joan Harben ... Miss Johnson
Arthur Howard Arthur Howard ... Roberts
Roddy Hughes 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:

Guinness is Back...Working Wonders With Wile, Whimsey and Wit! See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Sci-Fi

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

April 1952 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

El hombre del traje blanco See more »

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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:

Ealing Studios See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System) (Gaumont-Kalee)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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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 Mr. Harrison is called by a woman because he is wanted by Mr. Corland, he is blowing into a glass vial on a side counter which was not there in the previous shot. 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.
See more »

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User Reviews

conflicting messages
18 June 2004 | by cogsSee 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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