In THE MAN IN THE WHITE SUIT, find out what happens when an idealist young chemist (Guinness) invents a fabric that won't wrinkle, won't get dirty and won't wear out. What's a miracle fabric to the consumer is the end of a job to mill workers and soon Guinness is the must hunted man in the UK.
No, THE LAVENDER HILL MOB is not about the gay mafia. It's about a meek bank clerk (Guinness) who devises a plot to steal the gold bullion in his own bank by melting it down and molding it inside little Eiffel Tower souvenirs to be shipped to France. Naturally things go wrong and the delicious suspense is in rooting for the bad guys to get away with it.
THE LADYKILLERS is a very black comedy about a gang of crooks who rent a room from a kindly, elderly lady. But her constant interference (tea and cookies anyone?) with their perfect crime plans is too much and they decide to kill her. Sadly, they don't know what they are up against when evil confronts pure innocence (or so it seems). Peter Seller is featured in his first major screen role. Guinness is wonderful as a pale, demented, buck toothed cold-hearted, cynical criminal mastermind.
In KIND HEARTS AND CORONETS Sir Alec plays eight very different roles. Dennis Price costars as a man who decides to knock off all his d'Ascoyne relatives that stand in his way of inheriting a dukedom. A terrific twist ending.
Anc THE CAPTAIN'S PARADISE is about a droll, confient ferry boat captain (Guinness) who has a dutiful British housewife in Gibralter and spitfire vixen spouse in Tangier -- his two ports of call. A careless anniversary gift spoils the charade. Not only must he outwit two betrayed women, he must outsmart a firing squad. A terrific movie that reveals just about all you need to know about the battle of the sexes.
This great set of nearly forgotten Guinness films will be fresh to a new generation of videophiles. I have the collection and the transfers look great. Limited extras include a Guinness bio and trailers. Worth every penny.
THE MAN IN THE WHITE SUIT: A brilliant but stubbornly obtuse and obsessed scientist pursues his dream of a miracle fabric in the heart of the British textile industry, in the end pleasing no one but himself. As he is beset by conservative owners on one side, and radical unionists on the other, we get a light satire on the mixed blessings of technology.
THE CAPTAIN'S PARADISE: A ship's captain has a wife in each port, one for domesticity and one for fun. So pleased with his own pleasure he doesn't realize that each woman is only half-fulfilled by such an arrangement until the applecart is upset.
KIND HEARTS AND CORONETS: Guinness plays all the members of an aristocratic family being done-away-with by a disinfranchised illegitimate heir (a deliciously arch Dennis Price). A bunch of clueless upper class twits are done-in by a clever and ruthless "tradesman".
THE LAVENDER HILL MOB: An apparently meek and unambitious clerk masterminds the perfect gold heist with the aid of some bumbling cohorts. Everything that goes wrong turns out to go right and they bring off a huge robbery. But, of course, there is a snag....proving the "wobbewy" was the easy part. (Loved the lisp!)
THE LADY KILLERS: Saved the best for last. Guinness is the "Professor" a brilliant, half-mad mastermind of a motley gang of crooks. Using his unwitting landlady in the train robbery, a brilliant but "flawed" stroke, the gang is stymied in their getaway and begins to deconstruct themselves one by one while trying to "deal" with Mrs."Lopsided". This delectably dark little comedy is a gem, building its hilarity bit by bit concisely and economically. A classic comedy.
In all of these films Alec Guinness is ably supported by some of the cream of British acting, including: the aforementioned Dennis Price, plus Joan Greenwood, Cecil Parker, Ernest Thesiger, Michal Gough, Stanley Holloway, Herbert Lom and Peter Sellars.
For those with a taste for wit and whimsy, these classic films are a delight!