Born in Edinburgh, Alastair Sim began life as the academic he was often to play on screen. Briefly in the family tailoring business, he was soon involved in teaching poetic drama in his native Edinburgh. In his late twenties Sim came to London, and friends, seeing him perform in amateur productions, urged him to turn professional. Sim came to the fore with the three popular Inspector Hornleigh comedy thrillers made between 1938 and 1941, they also marked the first major association between himself and the filmmaking partnership of Frank Launder and Sidney Gilliat, later to give him several of his best roles. Alongside Mario Zampi’s deliciously dark LAUGHTER IN PARADISE three of the Sim/Laundner/Gilliat partnerships are to be found in this collection.
Securing the public’s affection in films such as Hue and Cry, Scrooge and the whimsical farce FOLLY TO BE WISE, a project close to Sim’s heart, the 1950s saw Sim emerge as one of Britain’s biggest stars. GEORDIE ably demonstrated that the public would pay to see Sim even when he did not enjoy top billing, the film also demonstrating the actor’s ability to quietly impose himself on projects in supporting roles. Sim continued to have audiences eating out of his hand, doubling as the headmistress and her bookie brother in The Belles of St Trinian's, and becoming one of the world's least likely assassins in the irreverent THE GREEN MAN. At the end of the decade Sim established a notable rapport with Ian Carmichael – the pair reuniting the following year for the seminal School For Scoundrels – as an avaricious uncle in the political satire LEFT, RIGHT.
United Kingdom released, PAL/Region 2 DVD: LANGUAGES: English ( Mono ), SPECIAL FEATURES: Box Set, Interactive Menu, Multi-DVD Set, Scene Access, SYNOPSIS: The Green Man Alistair Sim plays a mild, innocuous little watchmaker who spends his off-hours as a professional assassin. His present target is windbag cabinet member Raymond Huntley. After various misfire attempts, Sim plants a bomb in a small radio and waits for the tube to warm up--but the authorities by now are on to him. The Green Man has some excellent setpieces, notably a droll snatch of black humor involving a body stuffed in a piano. The film's only debit is that, in the play upon which it is based, Frank Launder and Sidney Gilliat's Meet the Body, Sim's character is secondary, almost peripheral. By reshaping the film into a star vehicle, much of the play's intimate (albeit ghoulish) charm is dissipated. Folly to Be Wise A newly-arrived army padre is put in charge of camp entertainment and has the idea of putting on a Brains Trust with local notables. Unfortunately for him, it emerges from a question on the rights and wrongs of marriage that there is more going on between three of the panellists than he wants to know about - though the audience obviously thinks differently. Geordie Concerned about his small stature, a young Scottish boy applies for a mail-order body building course, successfully gaining both height and strength. At the age of 21, he displays a talent for hammer-throwing, and is selected to represent Britain in the 1956 Olympic Games in Melbourne, Australia. Left Right and Centre At the Earndale by-election natural history expert and TV personality Bob Wilcot for the Conservatives finds himself up against Billingsgate girl Stella Stoker for the socialists. Amateur politician against committ...Alastair Sim Collection ( The Green Man / Folly to Be Wise / Geordie / Left Right and Centre / Laughter in Paradise )