The Man in the White Suit

[Screenshot]Back for another busrt of activity. Eventually I’ll catch up with what I watched, and then I can start doing things in realtime.

So, The Man in the White Suit. It’s got Alec Guinness, playing basically a straight man in over his head. Guinness’s performance is surprisingly not terribly comic. The humor is generally fairly dry, although it’s there.Considering the underlying social commentary aspect is probably more trouble than it’s worth, since the plot requires that industrialists be both fabulously myopic in commissioning Guiness’s project without realizing the obvious consequences, and reactionary in trying to quash what they themselves have created. Which, come to think of it, describes an awful lot of industries pretty well. This story would actually be a pretty great metaphor for the adent of digital media and resultant backlash, but that it predates it. But industries themselves never change, I guess. Durable synthetic fibers did come, and I never heard that riots in Manchester came with it.

A point of note in the story, otherwise drily humorous but nothing to write home about: the lab setups, with bubbling beakers and those swirly glass tubes, have a camp value most at home in
either the backdrop of an educational film of a horror movie. But it works reasonably well in this comic context. While the ridiculousness of the lab-glass isn’t really played for comic effect, it is used as a context for the theme and incidental music, which sounds exactly the way a cliché lab setup looks.

See also: IMDB, Wikipedia.


About Jake
I'm a mathematics professor at the University of Louisville, and a geek.

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