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Man in the White Suit, The

Entry updated 30 January 2017. Tagged: Film.

Film (1951). Ealing Studios. Directed by Alexander Mackendrick. Written by Roger MacDougall, John Dighton, Mackendrick, based on the play The Man in the White Suit by MacDougall. Cast includes Joan Greenwood, Alec Guinness, Cecil Parker and Ernest Thesiger. 85 minutes, cut to 81 minutes. Black and white.

A Scientist creates a monomolecular artificial fibre (see Monomolecular Wire) that neither wears out nor gets dirty. To prove it, he makes himself a shining white suit that retains its pristine condition throughout the film. Attempts are made by clothing manufacturers and their workers to suppress the new material. Finally its inventor is cornered in a street where, suddenly and symbolically, his suit begins to disintegrate and is torn to shreds by the angry mob. The film ends with the scientist planning a second attempt. This fine film is a witty and pertinent Satire whose success owes more to the traditions of the Ealing comedies than to Genre SF. [JB]


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