2 August 2004 | The_Void
Classic Ealing Gem
The Man in the White Suit is one of those delightful comedies that Ealing studies made so well in the 40's and 50's. The plot of this one follows a man that invents a cloth that neither gets dirty nor breaks. Of course, this is a huge breakthrough in the world of textiles. However, things are not that simple as the cloth will threaten the way of life of many people, including cloth manufacturers, the cloth mill's workforces, and even an old lady that does her washing every week. The Man in the White Suit is a film about scientific advances, and the way that they don't always help; as the old woman says at one point in the movie, "Why cant you scientists just leave things alone?"
Like a lot Ealing comedies, this one stars Sir Alec Guinness. Alec Guinness is a fantastic actor; he has the ability to light up the screen with his presence (and he does in this film, literally), but he also manages to portray his characters in a down to earth and believable way. He is suitably creepy in this film, and he captures just the right atmosphere for his character; an intelligent and ambitious, but slightly naive scientist. Along with Guinness, The Man in the White Suit also features Joan Greenwood, the deep voiced actress that co-starred with Guinness in the simply divine "Kind Hearts and Coronets" and Michael Gough, a man that would go on to get himself the role of Alfred in the Batman films. The acting in the film isn't always great, but it is always decent, and it's fits with the film.
The Man in the White Suit is an intelligent, thought-provoking and witty comedy with a moral. The comedy isn't always obvious, and it doesn't always work, but the film is not meant to be a film that provokes belly laughs, so that is forgivable. I recommend this movie, basically, to anyone that is a fan of movies.