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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Little-Known British Comic Classic from the 1950s
"The Horse's Mouth,"(1958), is another brisk comic masterpiece of English cinema from the 1950's; a particularly rare one, as it is in color. It stars the hugely talented Alec Guinness, who led a number of these comedic achievements (The Ladykillers [DVD] [1955]; Kind Hearts And Coronets [DVD] [1949]), as well, of course, as many serious films (The Bridge On The River...
Published on 16 July 2010 by Stephanie De Pue

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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Straight from the Horse's Mouth
This film makes a brave attempt at summarising the complexities of Joyce Cary's superb novel about the painter Gulley Jimson and London just before the start of the second world war. Its value now is more as a historical document in that it shows 1950's London in colour. It completely fails to do justice to the richness of Gulley Jimson's views, thoughts and philosophy...
Published on 16 Mar 2012 by Enjaio


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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Little-Known British Comic Classic from the 1950s, 16 July 2010
By 
Stephanie De Pue (Wilmington, NC USA) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Horses Mouth [DVD] (DVD)
"The Horse's Mouth,"(1958), is another brisk comic masterpiece of English cinema from the 1950's; a particularly rare one, as it is in color. It stars the hugely talented Alec Guinness, who led a number of these comedic achievements (The Ladykillers [DVD] [1955]; Kind Hearts And Coronets [DVD] [1949]), as well, of course, as many serious films (The Bridge On The River Kwai [DVD] [1957]); Star Wars - The Original Trilogy [DVD] [1977]). In this particular case, "Horse's Mouth," Guinness also wrote the film for the screen, adapting it from the Joyce Cary novel of the same name (THE HORSE'S MOUTH A Novel). It was directed by Ronald Neame, ( The Odessa File [DVD] [1974]; The Poseidon Adventure [1972] [DVD]) who had a lovely light touch; it received one Oscar nomination.

It tells us of Gulley Jimson, obsessed painter always searching for the perfect realization of his artistic vision, scamming and riding roughshod over those unfortunates in his way as he goes. He receives sterling support from Kay Walsh as Coker, a friend/girlfriend, Renee Houston as Sara Monday, his ex-wife; and Mike Morgan, who died too young, at twenty-eight, ten days before the end of filming, so that his last lines had to be dubbed, as Nosey, a fervent young admirer. The young Michael Gough plays Adam, a sculptor/cohort. As Guinness wrote the part of Jimson for himself, he did, of course, tweak it a bit to make the artist more likable; and give him a better cinematic end. The film makes remarkable use of Lieutenant Kije, by Sergei Prokofiev, as its sound track. It was filmed at Shepperton Studios, Surrey; and on location in London: it gives us an equally remarkable picture of the then-contemporary city, still showing its war wounds. The color, so rarely used in 1950s British comedies, has been well-remastered; sound, too, is bright.

So why is it so undeservedly obscure? Same reason, I theorize, as it is in color: it was made not by Ealing Studios, (The Definitive Ealing Studios Collection [DVD]), so famous for its 1950s black and white English comedies, but by the upstart Knightsbridge Films. And who knows what that was all about, but it certainly has resulted in the film's being little-known.
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4.0 out of 5 stars An interesting take on what was a much harsher story but Guiness is wonderful., 28 Jun 2014
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This review is from: The Horses Mouth [DVD] (DVD)
I was reading the book again and, having seen the film some 50 years ago I thought I would take another look. The film is inescapably charming :how could it not be with Alec Guiness as a roguish Gulley Jimpson ? Entertaining , but with a rather heavy addition of farce. The book is much starker stuff and is one of the best accounts of what painting really is than I have read elsewhere - however the Bratby pictures in the film are a delight and very much to the point.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Satirical view of London art world, 3 Mar 2011
This review is from: The Horses Mouth [DVD] (DVD)
This film manages to capture visually the author's concept. A satire on the art world and the period. Great for a nostalgic view of London and life on the Thames. Alec Guinness excels.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great, 2 Jan 2013
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This review is from: The Horses Mouth [DVD] (DVD)
Best Alec Guinness film out there...... and few people know about it. He rarely entered a role so fully, whole body acting. Highly recommended.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Timeless Comedy, 27 July 2012
By 
Rm Burrell "Lefka Ori" (Greece) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Horses Mouth [DVD] (DVD)
This is Alec Guinness at his comic best. Delightful comedy in the vein of Ealing Studios which includes a wonderful performance by Kay Walsh ("This Happy Breed" etc). This is a lost gem from the golden era of British comedy
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Straight from the Horse's Mouth, 16 Mar 2012
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This review is from: The Horses Mouth [DVD] (DVD)
This film makes a brave attempt at summarising the complexities of Joyce Cary's superb novel about the painter Gulley Jimson and London just before the start of the second world war. Its value now is more as a historical document in that it shows 1950's London in colour. It completely fails to do justice to the richness of Gulley Jimson's views, thoughts and philosophy of art and life. Alec Guinness as screen writer and main character does just about avoid the temptation of caricature. Very worth a look but oddly enough although the film is in colour it can best be said to be a monochrome version of the exuberant technicolor of the writing in the novel. Read the book!
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1 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Horses Mouth, 4 Oct 2010
By 
Mrs. Elizabeth M. Goulder (Sutherland Scotland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Horses Mouth [DVD] (DVD)
Bought for someone else so I don't know how the film actually was - but the Amazon service an delivery were spot on!
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0 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Arrived in time despite the snow, 12 Feb 2011
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This review is from: The Horses Mouth [DVD] (DVD)
Arrived in time for Christmas despite the bad weather conditions. Was a present so can't say much about the DVD itself, however it is great to be able to find older films like this one on DVD.
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