Best Movies by Farr
The Man in the White Suit Poster
Released Runtime Category
1952 85 Comedy
Director Language
Alexander Mackendrick English
Alec Guinness, Joan Greenwood, Cecil Parker

The Man in the White Suit

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What's it About

After he's booted from a job at a textile factory for conducting an unauthorized (and costly!) experiment in the research lab, amateur scientist Sidney Stratton (Guinness) finesses his way into the lab of rich competitor Alan Bimley (Parker). With the help of Bimley's comely daughter Daphne (Greenwood), Sidney manages to continue his experiments, and invents a miracle white fabric that never stains and lasts forever. But the unions and industrialists aren't too happy with the implications of a product that never needs to be replaced.

Why we love it

One of the snappier satires to emerge from Britain's Ealing Studios in the 1950s, Mackendrick's wry, wonderful "White Suit" is built around the expressive comic performance of Guinness, playing a dreamy, obsessive chemist without the means (or the elite credentials) to fund his pet project. Greenwood, always a fine mix of dotty and genteel, is a lovely, airy presence as Sidney's champion, and the cast of eccentric Ealing character actors (like wheezing elder Ernest Thesiger) is top notch as well. Mackendrick slyly incorporates a bit of political commentary into this seemingly frivolous farce, poking fun at the machinations of industrial tycoons and union activists alike. Buoyant and funny, this "White Suit" wears exceedingly well.

BEST MOVIES BY FARR is your personal guide to great movies to rent, stream, or buy; to watch at home or on-the-go. Led by film advocate John Farr, the Best Movies by Farr team works as a "quality filter" for the discerning moviegoer. Every day, we bring you the best of the best, the fantastic familiar films and hidden gems, to answer that age-old question: "What should we watch tonight?"