The Man in the White Suit

Watch The Man in the White Suit

"Guinness is Back...Working Wonders With Wile, Whimsey and Wit!"
  • NR
  • 1951
  • 1 hr 25 min
  • 7.3  (10,680)

The Man in the White Suit is a 1951 British comedy film directed by Alexander Mackendrick and starring Alec Guinness, Joan Greenwood, and Cecil Parker. The film tells the story of Sidney Stratton (Alec Guinness), a brilliant but naïve scientist who invents a fabric that never gets dirty and never wears out. This invention threatens to destroy the textile industry and causes a power struggle between the mill owners, the workers, and the scientists.

The film is set in a small town in Northern England, where Sidney Stratton is a research chemist at a textile mill. Sidney is a brilliant scientist, but his unconventional methods and his obsession with creating a fabric that never wears out have made him an outcast in the scientific community.

One day, Sidney discovers a new formula that creates a fabric that never gets dirty and never wears out. Excited about his discovery, he decides to try it on a suit. He creates a white suit made of this fabric and wears it to work. The other workers are fascinated by the suit and start to call him "the man in the white suit." Sidney is convinced that his invention will change the world and make him famous.

However, Sidney's invention creates a power struggle between the mill owners, who see the invention as a threat to their business, and the workers, who see it as a way to improve their working conditions. Sidney becomes the focal point of this struggle, as both sides try to use him for their own purposes.

The mill owner, Birnley (Cecil Parker), tries to buy Sidney's invention and keep it off the market, but Sidney refuses. The workers, led by Daphne Birnley (Joan Greenwood), Birnley's daughter, see Sidney as a hero and want to use the invention to improve their working conditions. Sidney, caught in the middle, tries to find a way to make his invention work for everyone.

The film is a satire of the industrial society of post-WWII Britain, with its power struggles, class divisions, and labor disputes. The scientists are portrayed as disconnected from the real world, obsessed with their own theories and ideas. The mill owners are portrayed as greedy and shortsighted, willing to sacrifice their workers for profit. The workers are portrayed as oppressed and exploited, but also capable of organizing and fighting for their rights.

Alec Guinness is brilliant as Sidney Stratton, the eccentric and idealistic scientist who is both naïve and stubborn. His portrayal of Sidney is a mixture of comedy and drama, as he struggles to navigate the complex world of the textile industry. Joan Greenwood is also excellent as Daphne Birnley, the strong-willed and independent daughter of the mill owner. She is both a love interest for Sidney and a leader of the workers, and her portrayal is both funny and touching.

The film is also notable for its use of visual humor and inventive cinematography. The scenes of Sidney walking through the town in his white suit, followed by a crowd of admirers, are both hilarious and surreal. The scene of Sidney climbing a chimney to test his fabric is also a classic. The film is shot in black and white, which adds to its timeless quality.

Overall, The Man in the White Suit is a brilliant and charming film that still holds up today. It is a satire of the industrial society that is both funny and poignant, and it features some of the best performances by Alec Guinness and Joan Greenwood. It is a must-see for anyone who loves British comedy and satire.

The Man in the White Suit is a 1951 comedy with a runtime of 1 hour and 25 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 7.3.

The Man in the White Suit
Where to Watch The Man in the White Suit
The Man in the White Suit is available to watch free on Plex and Kanopy. It's also available to stream, download, buy and rent on demand at Amazon Prime, FlixFling, The Roku Channel, Apple TV, Amazon, Vudu, Google Play and YouTube VOD. Some platforms allow you to rent The Man in the White Suit for a limited time or purchase the movie and download it to your device.
  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 25 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    7.3  (10,680)