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1951, Rialto Pictures, 85 min, UK, Dir: Alexander Mackendrick

When research chemist Alec Guinness creates a fabric that never wears out or gets dirty, the entire British textile industry gives chase - to suppress an invention that would eventually render it obsolete. This richly satirical look at how progress creates unlikely alliances (between labor and capital) and divisions (between science and business) is one of the Ealing Studios’ brightest comedies. With Joan Greenwood.

1955, Rialto Pictures, 91 min, UK, Dir: Alexander Mackendrick

Among the last of the great Ealing Studios comedies, and one of the few shot in color, this delightful film stars Alec Guinness as Professor Marcus, a musician who rents a room from a widow (Katie Johnson) to use as a rehearsal space. At least that’s what he tells her; Marcus and his “string quartet” (which includes Peter Sellers and his future PINK PANTHER nemesis, Herbert Lom) are actually criminals plotting a robbery. When the old lady finally realizes the truth, the gang decides to kill her - but that’s easier said than done.

1967, Warner Bros., 97 min, USA, Dir: Alexander Mackendrick

Wonderfully sly, wistful satire of Malibu beach culture in the ’60s from the director of SWEET SMELL OF SUCCESS. East Coast schlep Tony Curtis reinvents himself as a sun-tanned swimming pool salesman, amid a carnival of muscle boys, surfer girls, astrologers, skydivers and more. One of the great lost comedies of the ’60s - as good as THE LOVED ONE or LORD LOVE A DUCK. With Sharon Tate.

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