Movieland Mystery Photo (Updated + + + +)

March16, 2019, Mystery Photo
This week’s mystery movie was the 1951 Ealing Studios film “The Man in the White Suit,” with Alec Guinness, Joan Greenwood, Cecil Parker, Michael Gough, Ernest Thesiger, Vida Hope, Howard Marion Crawford, Miles Malleson, Henry Mollison, Patric Doonan and Duncan Lamont.

Based on the play by Roger MacDougall, screenplay by Roger MacDougall, John Dighton and Alexander Mackendrick,  production supervisor Hal Mason, photography by Douglas Slocombe, edited by Bernard Gribble, unit production manager L.C. Rudkin, sound supervisor Stephen Dalby, camera operator Jeff Seaholme, assistant director David Peers, recordist Arthur Bradburn, continuity Felicia Manheim, costume designer Anthony Mendeleson, special processes Geoffrey Dickinson, special effects by Sydney Pearson, makeup by Ernest Taylor and Harry Frampton, hairstyles by Barbara Banard, scientific adviser Geoffrey Myers, additional photography by Lionel Banes, art director Jim Morahan, associate producer Sidney Cole, music by Benjamin Frankel, played by the Philharmonia Orchestra, conducted by Ernest Irving. Produced by Michael Balcon, directed by Alexander Mackendrick.

“The Man in the White Suit” is available on DVD from Amazon.

Writing in the New York Times (April 1, 1952), Bosley Crowther said:

There is every good reason why Alec Guinness should be the darling of the British Treasury and the toast of the London City (despite his forays in “The Lavender Hill Mob”). For certainly Mr. Guinness and the pictures in which he appears are the most amusing, if not the most profitable, exports from Britain these days. And now, in “The Man in the White Suit,” which arrived last night at the Sutton, the popular actor also is providing a sobering lesson in national economy.

Sobering may not be the best word — or even the right one — to apply to this deft and sardonic little satire on the working of modern industry, and for letting it slip into the context we quickly apologize. Although the subject is obviously serious and the moral may be a trifle sad, the prevalent spirit of the screenplay is mischievous, impudent and droll. And the performance of Mr. Guinness, as a textile chemist who collides head-on with vested interests when he invents an ever-wearing fabric, is in his most antic deadpan style.

March 11, 2019, Mystery Photo

For Monday, we have some mysterious laboratory equipment. Nobody in the film (except for our mysterious leading man) approves of such goings-on.

Update: This is the infernal gadget that produces the (supposedly) indestructible fabric for the white suit in question. The sound effects are marvelous and you can hear them here.

March 12, 2019, Mystery Photo

For Tuesday, we have a mystery chap examining our mystery contraption. His companions have been cropped out due to their lack of mysteriousness. They will appear later in the week. Neither our mystery chap nor his less mysterious companions approve of such goings-on.

March 13, 2019, Mystery Photo

Update: As promised, the uncropped version of our mystery photo, showing Roddy Hughes (center) examining the infernal contraption with, from left, Cecil Parker, Colin Gordon and Michael Gough.

March 13, 2019, Mystery Photo

For Wednesday, we have three mysterious chaps from the Center for the Advanced Study of Unapproved Goings-On.

Update: This is Desmond Roberts, Ernest Thesiger and Howard Marion Crawford.

March 13, 2019, Mystery Photo
Our mystery woman also does not approve of such goings-on, although she approves of our mysterious leading man.

Update: This is Vida Hope.

Brain Trust roll call: Howard Mandelbaum (mystery movie, Tuesday’s mystery guest and all the actors cropped out of Tuesday’s mystery photo), Sheila (mystery movie), E. Yarber (mystery movie and a fond recollection of the audio accompanying Monday’s mystery photo), Anne Papineau (mystery movie and Tuesday’s mystery gent), and Earl Boebert (mystery movie and a fond recollection of the audio that Monday’s mystery contraption makes).

March 14, 2019, Mystery Photo

For Thursday, we have a mystery girl. She isn’t sure what to make of such goings-on.

Update: This is Mandy Miller.

Brain Trust roll call: Howard Mandelbaum (Wednesday’s mystery guests), Mike Hawks (mystery movie and Wednesday’s mystery gent No. 2), Chrisbo (mystery movie and Wednesday’s mystery gent No. 2), Floyd Thursby (mystery movie and Wednesday’s mystery guests), Anne Papineau (Wednesday’s mystery gents) and E. Yarber (Tuesday’s and Wednesday’s mystery guests).

March 15, 2019, Mystery Photo

For Friday… (using a shadowy image to preserve some small shred of mysteriousness)… we have our mystery leading man and mysterious leading lady. The lapel game is strong with our mystery gent.

“It looks like that suit is wearing you!”

Update: This is Alec Guinness and Joan Greenwood.

Brain Trust roll call: Mary Mallory (mystery movie, several of Tuesday’s truncated gents, Nos. 2 and 3 from the Center for the Advanced Study of Unapproved Goings-On, Wednesday’s mystery woman and Thursday’s mystery girl), Howard Mandelbaum (Thursday’s mystery girl), E. Yarber (Thursday’s mystery girl), Mike Hawks (Thursday’s mystery girl), Anne Papineau (Wednesday’s mystery woman) and  Don Danard (No. 2 of the Center for the Advanced Study of Unapproved Goings-On).

About lmharnisch

I am retired from the Los Angeles Times
This entry was posted in 1951, Film, Hollywood, Mystery Photo and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

34 Responses to Movieland Mystery Photo (Updated + + + +)

  1. Don Danard says:

    That equipment looks nutty enough to have appeared in “The Bride of Frankenstein”.


  2. Anne Papineau says:

    Just Imagine?


  3. Bruce Reznick says:

    “The Invisible Ray?” (Wild guess of a movie I haven’t seen in 50+ years.)


  4. The Invisible Man (1933) Claude Rains, James Whale Dir.


  5. Anne Papineau says:

    “Just Imagine”


  6. Roddy Hughes in THE MAN IN THE WHITE SUIT.


  7. Sheila says:

    ‘The Man in the White Suit’?


  8. E. Yarber says:

    This week is The Man in the White Suit. Those tubes may not look very attractive, but their bubbles and squeaks formed the beat for a catchy musical number that was actually released on record.


  9. Anne Papineau says:

    On Tuesday, a bespectacled Roddy Hughes in “The Man in the White Suit.”


  10. Earl Boebert says:

    “The Man in the White Suit” Alec Guinness et al. Kept me up most of the night trying to attach a movie name to that vaguely familiar piece of gear. You really should post an audio of the wonderful sound that thing made.


  11. Back row: Cecil Parker, Colin Gordon, Michael Gough.


  12. Desmond Roberts, Ernest Thesiger, Howard Marion-Crawford; Vida Hope.


  13. MIKE HAWKS says:

    Ernest Thesiger makes this THE MAN IN THE WHITE SUIT.


  14. Chrisbo says:

    Is that Ernest Thesiger in The Man in the White Suit?


  15. Floyd Thursby says:

    This is the wonderful “The Man In The White Suit.” For Wednesday we have Ernest Thesiger, Howard Marion-Crawford, and Vida Hope.


  16. Anne Papineau says:

    On Wednesday, upper image, from left: Desmond Roberts, Ernest Thesiger, Howard Marion-Crawford. Lower image is Joan Greenwood. By the way I’m the proud owner of Ernest Thesiger’s tome, “Adventures in Needlepoint.”


  17. E. Yarber says:

    The cast so far:

    Tuesday: Front and center — Roddy Hughes. Cropped — Cecil Parker, Colin Gordon, Michael Gough.

    Wednesday: Desmond Roberts and Howard Marion Crawford behind Ernest Thesiger, with a solo shot of Vida Hope.

    Wish I had time to ramble about this one at further length, but am knee-deep in a project of my own. All Alec Guinness had to say about it in his autobiography was mentioning how he did his own stunts in a scene involving a fifty-foot wall. He didn’t think a strand of piano wire would hold his weight, but was assured there would be no problem unless there was a kink in the wire. The kink in question broke four feet above the ground, landing him hard on his back. Hopefully the suit survived.


  18. Mary Mallory says:

    THE MAN IN THE WHITE SUIT. Miles Malleson in glasses Tuesday, and Cecil Parker and Michael Gough hidden behind him. For Wednesday Ernest Thesiger is seated and Howard Marion Crawford stands to our right. Charlotte Mitchell is the woman. Mandy Miller for Thursday.


  19. Howard Mandelbaum says:

    Mandy Miller.


  20. E. Yarber says:

    Thursday is Mandy Miller. Her brief appearance here isn’t nearly as startling as Audrey Hepburn’s turn in Guinness’ previous effort THE LAVENDER HILL MOB, but she became a well-known child actress in Britain for a while, appearing as the title character in Alexander Mackendrick’s next film MANDY.


  21. MIKE HAWKS says:

    Mandy Miller


  22. Anne Papineau says:

    Charlotte Mitchell on Thursday


  23. Don Danard says:

    In the Wednesday Mystery shot, the man in the forground is Ernest Thesiger is I’m not mistaken.


  24. Don Danard says:

    The sour looking gentleman in the foreground on Wednesday is Ernest Thesiger.


  25. Mary Mallory says:

    Alec Guinness and Joan Greenwood.


  26. Howard Mandelbaum says:

    Alec Guinness, Joan Greenwood.


  27. MIKE HAWKS says:

    Mr. Guiness and Miss Greenwood.


  28. E. Yarber says:

    Actually, Alec Guinness is generally an actor in the shadows, emerging with a new persona with each character he portrays. It’s hard to think of another performer who appeared in a classic series of comedies, like his Ealing work, without essentially recreating the same role from one to another. Imagine BEGINNING that run with the eight-character turn in KIND HEARTS AND CORONETS, which would seem more like a culmination than an introduction. His co-star Joan Greenwood was mostly a stage actress, which makes her sporadic screen work all the more interesting. Who can forget that voice of hers?

    I have very fond memories of the Ealing comedies because my local PBS station showed one a week uninterrupted when I was a teenager, giving me an idea of how clever writing could be just as engaging as slapstick. I showed a few on home video to my punk rocker neighbors when I lived a block from Haight Street in San Francisco, and they found them quite anarchic.


  29. Anne Papineau says:

    Might that be our star, Alex Guinness, in a 2-shot with Joan Greenwood?


  30. Benito says:

    Alec and his mysterious gizmos! See also Our Man in Havana, wherein a lowly vacuum cleaner becomes a secret weapon in the mountains of Cuba worth dying for. Not to mention the Death Star


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