7.1/10
3,183
38 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)
Reviews
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 5 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »

Photos

Edit

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 ... Lady Beeder
Michael Gough ... Abel
Reginald Beckwith ... Capt. Jones
Ernest Thesiger ... Hickson
Gillian Vaughan Gillian Vaughan ... Lollie
Learn more

More Like This 

Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

After World War II, a Highland Regiment's acting Commanding Officer, who rose from the ranks, is replaced by a peace-time Oxford-educated Commanding Officer, leading to a dramatic conflict between the two.

Director: Ronald Neame
Stars: Alec Guinness, John Mills, Susannah York
Comedy | Drama | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

An altruistic chemist invents a fabric which resists wear and stain as a boon to humanity, but big business and labor realize it must be suppressed for economic reasons.

Director: Alexander Mackendrick
Stars: Alec Guinness, Joan Greenwood, Cecil Parker
Comedy | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A distant poor relative of the Duke D'Ascoyne plots to inherit the title by murdering the eight other heirs who stand ahead of him in the line of succession.

Director: Robert Hamer
Stars: Dennis Price, Alec Guinness, Valerie Hobson
Comedy | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A meek bank clerk who oversees the shipment of bullion joins with an eccentric neighbor to steal gold bars and smuggle them out of the country as miniature Eiffel Towers.

Director: Charles Crichton
Stars: Alec Guinness, Stanley Holloway, Sidney James
Comedy | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Five oddball criminals planning a bank robbery rent rooms on a cul-de-sac from an octogenarian widow under the pretext that they are classical musicians.

Director: Alexander Mackendrick
Stars: Alec Guinness, Peter Sellers, Cecil Parker
The Scapegoat (1959)
Crime | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

An English schoolteacher meets his lookalike, a French count; and unwillingly swaps identities with him.

Director: Robert Hamer
Stars: Alec Guinness, Bette Davis, Nicole Maurey
The Promoter (1952)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

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 ... See full summary »

Director: Ronald Neame
Stars: Alec Guinness, Glynis Johns, Valerie Hobson
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

The Captain of a ferry boat between the restricted British colony in Gibraltar and Spanish Morocco has a woman of differing appeal and temperament in each port.

Director: Anthony Kimmins
Stars: Alec Guinness, Peter Bull, Charles Goldner
Documentary | Short | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Set to a classic Duke Ellington recording "Daybreak Express", this is a five-minute short of the soon-to-be-demolished Third Avenue elevated subway station in New York City.

Director: D.A. Pennebaker
The Swan (1956)
Comedy | Romance | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Princess Beatrice's days of enjoying the regal life are numbered unless her only daughter, Princess Alexandra, makes a good impression on a distant cousin when he pays a surprise visit to ... See full summary »

Director: Charles Vidor
Stars: Grace Kelly, Alec Guinness, Louis Jourdan
The Split (1968)
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

Thieves fall out when over a half million dollars goes missing after the daring and carefully planned robbery of the Los Angeles Coliseum during a football game, each one accusing the other of having the money.

Director: Gordon Flemyng
Stars: Jim Brown, Diahann Carroll, Ernest Borgnine
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

The first secret is what we don't tell people, the second secret is what we don't tell ourselves, and the third secret is the truth. The death of a psychologist is investigated by his teenage daughter and a former patient.

Director: Charles Crichton
Stars: Stephen Boyd, Jack Hawkins, Richard Attenborough
Edit

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:

A Really Champion Show! See more »

Genres:

Comedy

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Sir Alec Guinness felt that an educated accent for Gulley Jimson would be suited to an artist, but was not right for an eccentric. "So I tried to find a voice in which no one would be able to detect an accent of any sort, a kind of gritty, rough manner of speaking. When I found it, I felt myself free to just relax on that and say the lines as they came." 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 your feet like?
Charwoman: Why?
Gulley Jimson: If they're really old, trampled feet - as I suspect - I'd like to draw them.
Charwoman: Draw your own feet!
[she leaves]
Gulley Jimson: Old women's feet... thin, flat, long, clinging to the ground like reptiles.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Curious George (2006) See more »

Soundtracks

Lieutenant Kije
by Sergei Prokofiev (as Prokofieff)
Arranged by Kenneth V. Jones
Conducted by Muir Mathieson
See more »

User Reviews

 
Ageless, clever, endearing comedy
2 January 2005 | by Lucky-63See 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.


30 of 32 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 38 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »
Edit

Details

Country:

UK

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 »

Contribute to This Page

Your Next Binge Watch Awaits

Looking for something to watch? Check out IMDb's "What to Watch" series to find out what's really worth watching.



Recently Viewed