Combustible Celluloid
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With: Alec Guinness, Kay Walsh, Renee Houston, Mike Morgan, Robert Coote, Arthur Macrae, Veronica Turleigh, Michael Gough, Reginald Beckwith, Ernest Thesiger, Gillian Vaughan
Written by: Alec Guinness, based on a novel by Joyce Cary
Directed by: Ronald Neame
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Running Time: 97
Date: 11/11/1958

The Horse's Mouth (1958)

3 Stars (out of 4)

Yeas and Neighs

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Collaborating with director Ronald Neame, Criterion has restored this gem with beautiful attention to color and light. Alec Guinness adapted the screenplay and stars as a brilliant, disheveled and demanding artist Gulley Jimson, who speaks in a rumbling growl. He takes over a mansion while its owners are on vacation and paints his latest masterpiece upon their wall, wrecking the place in the process. When that situation inevitably falls apart, he continues his search for the perfect canvas. It's an odd, meandering film, but very funny and strangely compelling. The Criterion Collection DVD contains a video interview with Neame, the original theatrical trailer, and D.A. Pennebaker's short film Daybreak Express, that had its world premiere with The Horse's Mouth.

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