The Horse's Mouth

"Good"

The Horse's Mouth Review


Alec Guinness channels Peter O'Toole in a rare comedic role in The Horse's Mouth, wherein he plays the beloved, irascible painter Gulley Jimson, from the novel of the same name.

It is bizarre to see Guinness strutting about a fancy London flat, drumming on a silver tray like a tambourine and muttering in a throat-tangling, guttural roar, but he loves the role so much it's hard not to like him -- even if he is a jerk. Guinness adapted the book himself, earning a solo credit for the screenplay.

While the plot takes a while to get going, it rumbles to a head when Jimson finagles his way into a house of wealthy couple and convinces himself he's got a 7,000 pound commission to paint a mural on their wall. When the couple leaves for Jamaica, he hawks their possessions for his "advance."

And so the story continues, as the couple returns home to find not just a tiger on the wall but hole in the floor and a statue chiseled downstairs by one of Jimson's friends. The absurdity continues, but the scenes of painting the mural are the highlight of the film -- all centered around Guinness's loving and deliciously out-of-character performance.

Given the Criterion treatment, the new DVD features a new interview with director Ronald Neame, a short documentary by D.A. Pennebaker (which was originally packaged with the theatrical release of Horse's), and a great printed booklet about the film.



The Horse's Mouth

Facts and Figures

Run time: 97 mins

In Theaters: Tuesday 11th November 1958

Distributed by: United Artists

Production compaines: Knightsbridge Films

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 93%
Fresh: 13 Rotten: 1

IMDB: 7.8 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Starring: as Gulley Jimson, as Dee Coker, as Sara Monday, as Nosey, as Sir William Beeder, as Abel, Veronica Turleigh as Lday Beeder, Reginald Beckwith as Capt. Jones, Arthur Macrae as A.W. Alabaster

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