The Horse's Mouth Movie Review
Cast & Crew
Director : Ronald Neame
Screenwriter : Alec Guinness
It is bizarre to see Guinness strutting about a fancy London flat, drumming on a silver tray like a tambourine and muttering in a throat-tangling, guttural roar, but he loves the role so much it's hard not to like him -- even if he is a jerk. Guinness adapted the book himself, earning a solo credit for the screenplay.
While the plot takes a while to get going, it rumbles to a head when Jimson finagles his way into a house of wealthy couple and convinces himself he's got a 7,000 pound commission to paint a mural on their wall. When the couple leaves for Jamaica, he hawks their possessions for his "advance."
And so the story continues, as the couple returns home to find not just a tiger on the wall but hole in the floor and a statue chiseled downstairs by one of Jimson's friends. The absurdity continues, but the scenes of painting the mural are the highlight of the film -- all centered around Guinness's loving and deliciously out-of-character performance.
Given the Criterion treatment, the new DVD features a new interview with director Ronald Neame, a short documentary by D.A. Pennebaker (which was originally packaged with the theatrical release of Horse's), and a great printed booklet about the film.
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