February 26, 2017


The Card – 1952 | 85 mins | Comedy, Drama | B&W


Plot Synopsis

The Card

Amusing adaptation by Eric Ambler of Arnold Bennett’s novel ‘The Card’; a young man’s rags-to-riches story set in the Potteries. Neame’s Ealing-light period comedy is stylish and witty but ultimately feels restrained with the few comic moments provided by Guinness landing either in a canal or the sea.

Set in the early 1900s, Denry Machin (Alec Guinness) is an impoverished young wheeler-dealer determined to be the master of his own destiny. After giving his exam results a slight ‘lift’, he immorally climbs his way up the employment and social ladder, charming everyone as he goes. He ends up as a successful loan shark riding aboard a horse and cart, affectionately known as ‘The Card’. Before long he’s running a pleasure boat, sponsoring the local football team, and Bursley’s youngest ever Mayor. His demeanour means that his love life is as full as his social calendar, but his comparative ineptitude with women causes him to remain bewitched by Ruth Earp (Glynis Johns), an impoverished piano teacher and tenant. With gold digger Ruth, the Countess of Chell (Valerie Hobson) and impoverished Nellie Cotterill (Petula Clark) the three women in Denry’s life – in a short time he’s married and has climbed to the top of the social ladder.

Production Team

Ronald Neame: Director
T Hopewell Ash: Art Direction
Oswald Morris: Cinematography
Motley: Costume Design
Clive Donner: Editing
Biddy Chrystal: Makeup Department
WT Partleton: Makeup Department
William Alwyn: Original Music
John Bryan: Producer
Eric Ambler: Script
Gordon K McCallum: Sound Department
Harry Miller: Sound Department
CC Stevens: Sound Department


Alec Guinness: Edward Henry \’Denry\’ Machin
Glynis Johns: Ruth Earp
Valerie Hobson: Countess of Chell
Petula Clark: Nellie Cotterill
Edward Chapman: Mr Duncalf
Veronica Turleigh: Mrs Machin
George Devine: Mr Calvert
Joan Hickson: Mrs Codleyn
Frank Pettingell: Police Superintendent
Gibb McLaughlin: Emery

blog comments powered by Disqus