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The Promoter (1952)

The Card (original title)
Approved | | Comedy | 14 August 1952 (Sweden)
In Edwardian Staffordshire, charming rogue Edward "Denry" Machin (Alec Guinness), the son of a washerwoman, believes he must give destiny a hand to rise in the world.


Ronald Neame


Arnold Bennett (novel), Eric Ambler (screenplay)
Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »




Complete credited cast:
Alec Guinness ... Edward Henry 'Denry' Machin
Glynis Johns ... Ruth Earp
Valerie Hobson ... Countess of Chell
Petula Clark ... Nellie Cotterill
Edward Chapman ... Herbert Duncalf
Veronica Turleigh ... Mrs. Machin
George Devine George Devine ... Mr. H. Calvert
Joan Hickson ... Mrs. Codleyn
Frank Pettingell ... Police Superintendent
Gibb McLaughlin ... Emery
Joey the Mule Joey the Mule ... Joey the Mule


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 <kyousten@bev.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Lock Up Your Dollars and Doughnuts...here's that man again! See more »




Approved | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


Bursley, the town where this movie takes place, is a fictionalized version of Burslem, one of the constituent towns that make up Stoke-on-Trent, also known as the "Potteries" or, as in the movie, "the city of five towns". See more »


Inside the moving van, the position of the match in Denry's hand changes between shots. See more »


Mrs. Machin: You can live where ya like... but i'm stayin' here.
See more »


Colonel Bogey
Music by Kenneth Alford
See more »

User Reviews

A forgotten jewel
12 September 2002 | by rjkohnSee all my reviews

(Hallmark Home Entertainment VHS 91 mins) I first saw this movie almost exactly fifty years ago. At that time it was known as The Promoter. This film shows without a doubt the enormous talents of Alec Guinness. I seem to feel that it did not receive the acclaim of some other Guinness films possibly due the date of its release, 1952. Just after Lavender Hill Mob and before A Captain's Paradise. There is absolutely nothing I didn't like about the picture. The three principal ladies were all superb. This was the only film Guinness made with Petula Clark or Glynis Johns. He did make Great Expectations and Kind Hearts and Coronets with Valerie Hobson. I have always remembered one scene with Guinness and Johns. In the movie they are engaged and Johns spends Guinness' money as fast as she could. At one store the shop keeper asks for the name and address, so as to be able to have the package delivered. Guinness, without hesitating one instant answers, "Rockefeller - Buckingham Palace." Wonderful film - great entertainment!

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Release Date:

14 August 1952 (Sweden) See more »

Also Known As:

The Promoter See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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