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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?


This movie was the first collaboration between Director Ronald Neame and Sir Alec Guinness. They made another three movies together over the years. See more »


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


Herbert Duncalf: Our leading citizen! What great cause has he ever been identified with?
Countess of Chell: I think I can tell you that, Mr Duncalf. It's quite simple. He's been identified with the great cause of cheering us all up!
See more »


Colonel Bogey
Music by Kenneth Alford
See more »

User Reviews

20 November 2003 | by henry-girlingSee all my reviews

Very well adapted from the novel by Arnold Bennett, this is a warm and witty comedy about the rise of a washerwoman's son from obscurity to becoming the Mayor. In a series of episodes Edward Henry (Denry as his mother called him) Machin demonstrates his acumen in business, his eye for the main chance, noticing what Shakespeare called the 'tide in the affairs of men that leads on to fortune'. (Literally in one episode!)

In all of his this you can not help liking Denry, especially as he is perfectly played by Alec Guinness. As the narrator says, he is not dishonest, he just likes to give providence a helping hand. As Denry grows older Guinness wonderfully captures each facet of his character. He is well supported by the other cast members, each one also perfect for their roles. It is hard to think of a better cast film, even down to the small roles.

The film captures well the look of the Potteries. The small houses, the pottery kilns, the canal. This place is living and breathing, populated by interesting people. An excellent film, splendid in all departments and well worth seeing many times.

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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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