Alec Guinness






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        Biography
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        ac·tor/'akt-r/
        {Noun}

          1. A person whose profession is acting on the stage, in movies, or on television.
          2. A person who behaves in a way that is not genuine.


        2016: Forever Ealing Book Reviewed, Photos & In Stock. In depth review of The Ladykillers added with photos of UK Dvd.


        During the 1979 British Academy Film and Television Arts awards, Sir Alec Guinness, coming forward to collect the Best Actor prize for his brilliant portrayal of secret service man George Smiley in the BBC's Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, seemed daunted at the prospect of addressing the audience and the TV cameras.


          "I shrivel up every time someone mentions Star Wars to me."
          - ALEC GUINNESS


        Lawrence of Arabia Two Disc UK Set [DVD] [2001] - Also reproduced the 1962 souvenir booket which makes up the Dvd booklet of this release. Fascinating read
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        When, shy and diffident, he eventually stepped up to the microphone, his hurried thank-you suggested all the embarrassment of a schoolboy at a prize-giving, not the charismatic ease of a much-feted star acknowledging another tribute to his genius. But then Alec Guinness was a supreme example of the actor who hides behind the mask of his characters and who prefers to let his performances speak for him...(scroll down).




        alec guinness in kind hearts and coronets

        Sir Alec Guinness - Kind Hearts and Coronets (1949) - Digitally Restored Dvd Available: AMAZON.CO.UK



          "I don't know what else I could do but pretend to be an actor."
            - ALEC GUINNESS



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        KIND HEARTS & CORONETS

        {Trivia}

          The film's title comes from Tennyson's 1842 poem Lady Clara Vere de Vere:

          Kind hearts are more than coronets,
          And simple faith than Norman blood.



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        THE DISCREET CHARM OF ALEC GUINNESS


        (Cont.):
        Consequently he was an unknown quantity. Very few critics penetrated the makeup: the nearest that biographer Kenneth Tynan came was when he described Guinness as:


          'a master of anonymity . . . the whole presence of the man is guarded and evasive'.


        Guinness himself has remarked.


          'I was always rather embarrassed with me personally, and I was glad to go into a thin cardboard disguise.'


        In the years since his death in 2000, a documentary has come out about his life and still we are left little nearer knowing the man. What we do know is that he wrestled with his bi-sexuality in an era far less forgiving than now; that he could be spiteful to his wife of 62 years (and that is hardly newsworthy as who hasn't had rows with partners?); that he had a difficult relationship with his mother; that he and the director David Lean didnot always see eye to eye; and that he grew to loath his fame from his appearance in Star Wars. Beyond that we are no nearer knowing the real Alec Guinness and that is no doubt how the great man would have wanted it to be.

        What we know is the fragments from a life; the outline of a man.

        He was born Alec Guinness de Cuffe (de Cuffe was his mother's surname; he never knew the identity of his father) in London in 1914 and educated at private schools in the South. At 18 he took a job as a copy-writer in an advertising agency, but the stage beckoned and in 1934 he won a scholarship to the Fay Compton Acting School. John Gielgud saw him, was impressed, and gave him his first break as Osric in Hamlet; by 1938 Guinness had the lead in the Old Vic's modern dress version of the play. He joined the Royal Navy in 1941 and quickly became an officer...(scroll down).



        alec guinness in kind hearts and coronets

        Sir Alec Guinness - Kind Hearts and Coronets (1949) - Digitally Restored Dvd Available: AMAZON.CO.UK


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        KIND HEARTS & CORONETS

        {Trivia}

          Chalfont, the family home of the d'Ascoynes, is in real life Leeds Castle in Kent, England

          The original screenplay had Guinness only playing four parts; in fact, he ended up with eight.



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        (Cont.):
        After the war he returned to the stage and in 1946 began his film career as Herbert Pocket in David Lean's Great Expectations. It was a character well known to him - he had played Pocket in his own stage adaptation of Dickens' novel in 1940. Lean next cast him as Fagin in Oliver Twist (1948). If the revered Kind Hearts and Coronets (1949) (salary: £ 6,000) which followed, was to establish Guinness as the screen's most perceptive and refined interpreter of English idiosyncracy, his Fagin first revealed him as a master of disguise. An extraordinary study in nervous, jealous avarice masquerading as avuncular warmth, the fumbling, hook-nosed old Jew - sketched straight from Cruikshank's illustrations - his beard matted and his heavy- lidded eyes sparked with cunning, repels and demands sympathy at the same time. Guinness' remarkable performance was regarded as anti-Semitic in 1948 and the American release of Oliver Twist was long delayed.


          The Ealing comedies and more stage-work occupied Guinness for the next few years and he became a major star.


        The Man in the White Suit (1951), The Lavender Hill Mob (also 1951, Oscar nominated, salary: £ 6,000), and The Ladykillers (1955) have become classics of cinema and each successive generation are discovering the charm of a younger Guinness through these exquisite films.

        He was the detective- Priest in Father Brown (1954), and a cardinal held captive in The Prisoner (1955); perhaps the logical conclusion to this sequence was his Pope Innocent III in Fratello Sole, Sorella Luna (1972, Brother Sun, Sister Moon). Guinness was himself received into the Roman Catholic Church in the mid-Fifties.


          His script for The Horse's Mouth earned him an Oscar nomination.


        He was reunited with Lean in 1957 and won the Best Actor Oscar for The Bridge on the River Kwai. Guinness has probably never been more intense, more fierce: his Colonel Nicholson, leader of British POWs held by the Japanese, is a fanatic, a figure of iron will perverted by blind pride: the skill and endurance of his men in building a bridge for the enemy means much more to him than the need to win the war.


          Our Man in Havana followed in 1959.


        Like many actors of his generation, Sir Alec (he was knighted in 1959) tended to play supporting cameo roles from the Sixties onward. He was Oscar-nominated as the old wizard in Star Wars (1977)...(scroll down).



        alec guinness in kind hearts and coronets

        Sir Alec Guinness - Kind Hearts and Coronets (1949) - Digitally Restored Dvd Available: AMAZON.CO.UK


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        LADYKILLERS

        {Trivia}

          It's an amazing compliment but many people still think that Professor Marcus was played by Alastair Sim. In fact Guinness based the role on him and did so wonderfully, seamlessly.


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        (Cont.):
        The making of Star Wars has passed into legend. Money ran out during the making the first film and in lieu of wages Guinness agreed to take a percentage of the profits from the film (but not the merchandise). When George Lucas inquired how Guinness had invested his share of the profits he replied that they were in his postal account!

        Guinness grew to hate his involvement in Star Wars and reportedly claimed to throw away all Star Wars related fan mail without even opening it. And to be honest, Guinness was quite right to feel that way. Yes, it brought him rewards financially and generations of fans know him for this work but then many of them would know him for this work alone and that is wrong. There is no way Star Wars should overshadow the Ealing classics or the TV work or the work for Lean. Put simply, there are a hundred parts that the genius of Guinness should be remembered for before Star Wars.


          In the 1970s Laurence Olivier advertised polaroid cameras on Japanese TV but he wasn't deluged with stills from these adverts asking him to sign them. So put into that context Guinness decision not to sign Star Wars merchandise after years of doing so becomes perfectly understandable.


        One of his finest film role of the Eighties, as the sad old patriarch in Little Dorrit (1987), meant he was aptly reunited with Charles Dickens.

        In television, he found he another great role: that of John Le Carré's master spy George Smiley in a pair of acclaimed 1980s TV mini series, Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy and Smiley's People. Indeed, can anyone read the books and not see Alec Guinness' Smiley whenever the name appears on the page?...(scroll down).



        alec guinness in kind hearts and coronets

        Sir Alec Guinness - Kind Hearts and Coronets (1949) - Digitally Restored Dvd Available: AMAZON.CO.UK


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        TINKER, TAILOR, SOLDIER, SPY

        {Trivia}

          Smiley's house is actually in Bywater Street, Chelsea.


        ------------


        (Cont.):
        Sir Alec was married to Merula Salaman from the 20th June 1938 to his death on the 5th August 2000. Merula passed away on October 17 2000, just two months after her husband.

        For many years they had lived in the Hampshire village of Petersfield. They had one son, actor Matthew Guinness (born 1940).

        Guinness died of liver cancer in Midhurst, Sussex. When John Le Carré suggested to his widow that they should arrange a West End theatre night in memory of the great man he was reproached and reminded that Guinness would have hated such an idea.


          His estate was valued at around £2.5 million.


        Despite his modesty, Guinness will be remembered as not just one of the greats of both British cinema and theatre but world cinema at that. His body of work is unsurpassed and the later parts in terms of quality of the work and performance far outshine that of Olivier (who he had a quiet dislike for), Mills and even Gielgud.

        No other actor has come close to his quite authority on screen, his discreet charm. And it is these qualities that stay with the viewer.

        Sir Alec Guinness is one of the few actors who never disappointed in any role he played no matter the quality of the piece. And it is in his work and work alone that one can hope to discover anything about the man and even there we do not know where the part ends and the real Guinness begins.

        And that is perhaps how it should be.



        Filmography | Alec Guinness & The Making of Star Wars
        It's All Alec, It's Awesone ... It's The Alec Guinness Wall of Posters

        British War Dvds | Alec Guinness Collection (Screen Icons) Dvd Boxset
        Caesar & Cleopatra UK Dvd (1976)
        Barnacle Bill | The Captain's Paradise | The Card
        The Comedians | Dr. Zhivago | Great Expectations
        Kind Hearts and Coronets | The Ladykillers | The Lavender Hill Mob
        Lawrence of Arabia | Oliver Twist | Quiller Memorandum
        Raise The Titanic | Tunes of Glory | Twelfth Night
        Star Wars Episode 4 (IV) Ltd Edn 2 Dvd Set

        Deborah Kerr | Vivien Leigh | Margaret Lockwood | Jean Simmons

        Alec Guinness Dvds & Books @ Amazon.com | Alec Guinness Posters | Photos
        Alec Guinness autographs, photographs and more @ ebay.co.uk (direct link to signed items) - just checked and a bigger selection than I have seen everywhere else




        alec guinness in kind hearts and coronets

        Sir Alec Guinness - Kind Hearts and Coronets (1949)



        Star


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        Films
        F I L M O G R A P H Y



        guinness


        1. 1934   Evensong (extra)
        2. 1946   Great Expectations
        3. 1948   Oliver Twist
        4. 1949   Kind Hearts and Coronets
        5. 1949   A Run for Your Money
        6. 1950   Last Holiday
        7. 1950   The Mudlark
        8. 1951   The Lavender Hill Mob
        9. 1951   The Man in the White Suit
        10. 1952   The Card (USA: The Promoter)
        11. 1953   Malta Story
        12. 1953   The Captain's Paradise
        13. 1954   Father Brown (USA: The Detective)
        14. 1954   The Stratford Adventure (doc: as himself) (CAN)
        15. 1955   To Paris With Love
        16. 1955   The Prisoner
        17. 1955   Baker's Dozen (TV)
        18. 1955   The Ladykillers
        19. 1955   Rowlandson's England (doc: narr. only)
        20. 1956   The Swan (USA)
        21. 1957   The Bridge on the River Kwai
        22. 1957   Barnacle Bill (USA: All at Sea)
        23. 1958   The Horse's Mouth (+sc)
        24. 1959   The Scapegoat
        25. 1959   The Wicked Scheme of Jebal Deeks (TV)
        26. 1959   Our Man in Havana
        27. 1960   Tunes of Glory
        28. 1961   A Majority of One (USA)
        29. 1962   HMS Defiant (USA: Damn the Defiant!)
        30. 1962   Lawrence of Arabia
        31. 1964   The Fall of the Roman Empire (USA)
        32. 1965   Hotel Paradiso
        33. 1965   Situation Hopeless, but Not Serious (USA- GER)
        34. 1965   Doctor Zhivago (USA)
        35. 1966   The Quiller Memorandum
        36. 1967   The Comedians (GB-GER-FR)
        37. 1969   Twelfth Night (TV)
        38. 1970   E.E. Cummings (TV)
        39. 1970   Cromwell
        40. 1970   Scrooge
        41. 1972   Fratello Sole. Sorella Luna (GB: Brother Sun. Sister Moon) (IT-GB)
        42. 1973   Hitler: the Last Ten Days (GB-IT)
        43. 1974   Gift of Friendship (TV)
        44. 1976   Murder by Death (USA)
        45. 1977   Star Wars (USA)
        46. 1979   Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy (mini)
        47. 1980   The Empire Strikes Back
        48. 1980   Little Lord Fauntleroy (TV)
        49. 1980   Raise the Titanic! (USA)
        50. 1982   Smiley's People (mini)
        51. 1983   Return of the Jedi (USA)
        52. 1983   Lovesick (USA)
        53. 1984   A Passage to India
        54. 1984   Edwin (TV)
        55. 1985   Monsignor Quixote (TV)
        56. 1987   Little Dorrit
        57. 1988   Handful of Dust
        58. 1991   Kafka
        59. 1992   Tales from Hollywood (TV)
        60. 1993   A Foreign Field
        61. 1994   Mute Witness
        62. 1996   Eskimo Day (TV)



        guinness




        Biography | Alec Guinness & The Making of Star Wars
        It's All Alec, It's Awesone ... It's The Alec Guinness Wall of Posters

        British War Dvds | Alec Guinness Collection (Screen Icons) Dvd Boxset
        Caesar & Cleopatra UK Dvd (1976)
        Barnacle Bill | The Captain's Paradise | The Card
        The Comedians | Dr. Zhivago | Great Expectations
        Kind Hearts and Coronets | The Ladykillers | The Lavender Hill Mob
        Lawrence of Arabia | Oliver Twist | Quiller Memorandum
        Raise The Titanic | Tunes of Glory | Twelfth Night
        Star Wars Episode 4 (IV) Ltd Edn 2 Dvd Set

        Deborah Kerr | Vivien Leigh | Margaret Lockwood | Jean Simmons

        Alec Guinness Dvds & Books @ Amazon.com | Alec Guinness Posters | Photos
        Alec Guinness autographs, photographs and more @ ebay.co.uk (direct link to signed items) - just checked and a bigger selection than I have seen everywhere else


        Star


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