Alec Guinness

Alec Guinness

7 Episodes

Heralded by Peter Ustinov as “the outstanding poet of anonymity” for his virtuosic ability to disappear into a role, British cinema icon Alec Guinness was the ultimate example of character actor as movie star, renowned for his nuanced, fully inhabited performances and dazzling range. Beginning his film career under the direction of David Lean in the acclaimed Dickens adaptations GREAT EXPECTATIONS and OLIVER TWIST, Guinness was soon launched to international stardom with his brilliant turns in a run of beloved Ealing comedies: the delightful crime caper THE LAVENDER HILL MOB; the razor-sharp satire THE MAN IN THE WHITE SUIT; and the wickedly funny KIND HEARTS AND CORONETS, which contains no fewer than nine quintessential Guinness performances.

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Alec Guinness
  • Alec Guinness Teaser

    Episode 1

  • Great Expectations

    Episode 2

    Directed by David Lean • 1946 • United Kingdom

    One of the great translations of literature into film, David Lean's GREAT EXPECTATIONS brings Charles Dickens's masterpiece to robust on-screen life. Pip, Magwitch, Miss Havisham, and Estella populate Lean's magnificent miniature, beautifully photog...

  • Oliver Twist

    Episode 3

    Directed by David Lean • 1948 • United Kingdom

    Expressionistic noir photography suffuses David Lean's OLIVER TWIST with a nightmarish quality, fitting its bleak, industrial setting. In Dickens' classic tale, an orphan wends his way from cruel apprenticeship to den of thieves in search of a tru...

  • Last Holiday

    Episode 4

    Directed by Henry Cass • 1950 • United Kingdom
    Starring Alec Guinness, Beatrice Campbell

    Told by his doctor he has no more than a few months to live, drab British workingman George Bird (Alec Guinness) decides to spend his savings on lodging at a seaside resort. Once there, however, he finds his...

  • The Card

    Episode 5

    Directed by Ronald Neame • 1952 • United Kingdom
    Starring Alec Guinness, Glynis Johns

    Alec Guinness and Glynis Johns are at their best in THE CARD, a story of an enterprising young man determined to succeed in a hard, cruel world. In the course of his upward climb, he meets an equally sharp-w...

  • The Horse’s Mouth

    Episode 6

    Directed by Ronald Neame • 1958 • United Kingdom

    In Ronald Neame's film of Joyce Cary's classic novel, Alec Guinness transforms himself into one of cinema's most indelible comic figures: the lovably scruffy painter Gulley Jimson. As the ill-behaved Jimson searches for a perfect canvas, he dete...

  • Tunes of Glory

    Episode 7

    Directed by Ronald Neame • 1960 • United Kingdom
    Starring Alec Guinness, John Mills

    In Ronald Neame’s TUNES OF GLORY, the incomparable Alec Guinness plays Jock Sinclair—a whiskey-drinking, up-by-the-bootstraps commanding officer of a peacetime Scottish battalion. A lifetime military man, Sinclai...