The "true" story of William Friese Greene (Robert Donat) opens in 1921 and through a series of flashbacks, we see his struggle to bring recognition to his invention, the motion picture camera, but no one seems interested. After the credit goes to other men, notably Thomas Edison, he continues to perfect the instrument, working on the development of color film till the day of his death. It's not a particularly interesting film and it doesn't help any that Friese Greene is so obsessed with his work that he ignores his family, social and business responsibilities which makes it difficult to sympathize with him. Indeed, his selfishness is the indirect cause of his first wife's (Maria Schell) death and causes his second wife (Margaret Johnston, NIGHT OF THE EAGLE) to finally end their marriage. Surely the real Friese Greene's life couldn't have been this tedious. The Technicolor work of Jack Cardiff (BLACK NARCISSUS) is a treat though. Unexceptionally directed by John Boulting. The massive supporting cast includes Laurence Olivier, Michael Redgrave, Richard Attenborough, Glynis Johns, Margaret Rutherford, Peter Ustinov, Leo Genn, Kay Walsh, Robert Beatty, Stanley Holloway, Dennis Price, Emlyn Williams, David Tomlinson, Michael Hordern, Marius Goring, Barry Jones, Bernard Miles and Joan Hickson.
The Optimum DVD is a nice Technicolor transfer in the appropriate 1.33 ratio.