7.6/10
2,964
36 user 21 critic

The Horse's Mouth (1958)

Not Rated | | 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:

Ronald Neame

Writers:

Joyce Cary (novel), Alec Guinness (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:
Alec Guinness ... Gulley Jimson
Kay Walsh ... Dee Coker
Renee Houston ... Sara Monday
Mike Morgan Mike Morgan ... Nosey
Robert Coote ... Sir William Beeder
Arthur Macrae Arthur Macrae ... A.W. Alabaster
Veronica Turleigh Veronica Turleigh ... Lady Beeder
Michael Gough ... Abel
Reginald Beckwith Reginald Beckwith ... Capt. Jones
Ernest Thesiger ... Hickson
Gillian Vaughan 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 seven thousand 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:

Smart Alec See more »

Genres:

Comedy

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

11 November 1958 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Straight from the Horse's Mouth See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Knightsbridge Films See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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

Goofs

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

Quotes

Gulley Jimson: What are you doing?
Miss D. Coker: I'm saying my prayers; I forgot them.
Gulley Jimson: I thought you hated G-d.
Miss D. Coker: Maybe I do.
Gulley Jimson: Why do you pray then?
Miss D. Coker: Well, he's our Father, isn't he?
Gulley Jimson: That's a funny reason.
See more »

Connections

References The Czar Wants to Sleep (1934) 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

 
a movie that improved after a second time
1 July 2005 | by MartinHaferSee all my reviews

Although most Americans have little knowledge of his work other than Star Wars, Alec Guinness produced an amazing body of work--particularly in the 1940s-1950s--ranging from dramas to quirky comedies. I particularly love his comedies, as they are so well-done and seem so natural and real on the screen--far different from the usual fare from Hollywood.

I first saw this movie when I was about 13 or so, and didn't appreciate it very much. Years later, when I became fascinated with Guinness' comedies, I decided to give it another chance. And boy am I glad I did!! The movie concerns the life of an extremely edgy and rather nasty artist. Guinness really plays this up and creates one of the quirkiest and funniest characters I have ever seen. In essence, the man is a rascal that is driven to create his art regardless of what it takes to get it done! What I missed the first time I saw the film were the extremely catchy music and the amazing art created for this movie. I am not the biggest fan of modern art, but the second time i saw the movie I really liked most of the works done for the movie--it just was a darn shame that much of it was destroyed in the course of the movie! In addition to music and art, the performances throughout of all the actors was nearly perfect.

Finally, the version of the movie I saw last was from the Criterion Collection. Get this version!!!! It had so much wonderful background information about the actual art, the making of the movie, and interesting background information--such as how they got the musical score WITHOUT having to pay royalties and the incredibly sad tale of a magnificent performance by a young supporting actor that did not live to see the finished product.


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