Best known to American audiences for his lacerating Burt Lancaster vehicle Sweet Smell of Success, Alexander Mackendrick had been turning out brilliant films at Britain’s Ealing Studios for nearly a decade before his American debut. Famous for its mixture of whimsy and dark humor in films like Kind Hearts and Coronets, Ealing found an ideal director in Mackendrick, an ex-documentarian as skilled at observational humanism as he was social satire. In honor of Mackendrick’s centennial, we’ll be screening two of his finest Ealing comedies this May, both in rare archival prints: Whisky Galore! (1949), Mackendrick’s Scots-vs.-English debut; and The Man in the White Suit (1951), his brilliant satire about a researcher (Alec Guinness) who invents an everlasting fiber, much to the consternation of the textile industry.
Wednesday, June 20, 8 p.m. .
(Alexander Mackendrick, UK 1949, 82 min.)
Wednesday, June 27, 8 p.m. .
The Man in the White Suit
(Alexander Mackendrick, UK 1951, 85 min.)