Cecil Parker

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The Court Jester Review


Very Good
Pleasant, though not particularly challenging, The Court Jester deconstructs and spoofs the swashbuckler movie with Danny Kaye as a hapless Robin Hood wannabe who stumbles his way into the court of the usurper of the crown. The film has a few classic moments, namely the famous, slapstick bit which begins, "The pellet with the poison is in the vessel with the pestle." Ah, what a knave...

The Man In The White Suit Review


Good
Cute and a little too pat, The Man in the White Suit offers Alec Guinness trapped in an undercooked story with so much wasted potential. Guinness plays Sidney Stratton, a textile researcher who -- after years of effort -- develops a miracle fabric that doesn't wear out or get dirty. Rather than find himself the company hero, he's immediately the subject of various lynch mobs: The company doesn't want such a fabric because they won't be able to sell new clothes every year, and neither do the workers, who know they'll soon be out of a job. Even the cleaning ladies are pissed. Funny stuff, but that's about the end of it. Ultimately you feel it could have gone miles further.

The Ladykillers (1955) Review


Good
As black comedies go, The Ladykillers (remade in 2004) is neither terribly black nor terribly comedic. The centerpiece performance by a sunken-eyed Alec Guinness doesn't ever raise the film above its simple beginnings, involving a band of crooks (led by Guinness) who use an old woman's home as home base for a heist. The crooks scheme to kill the old lady when she stumbles upon their plan. Slow and unbalanced, the movie doesn't make much of an impression, though some moments (like the crooks posing as a string quartet) are priceless.

Continue reading: The Ladykillers (1955) Review

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