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1952, Park Circus/MGM, 85 min, UK, Dir: Ronald Neame

Spy novelist Eric Ambler might have seemed an unlikely choice to adapt Arnold Bennett’s novel about a charming go-getter, but the result is a thoroughly enjoyable comedy. Alec Guinness plays one of his first romantic leads as Denry Machin, a young man whose ambition and occasional willingness to bend the rules help him rise through the ranks of society. Among the women who catch his eye are Glynis Johns, Valerie Hobson and future singing star Petula Clark.

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