TV Cream

Hall of Fame

GUINNESS, Alec

guinnessAh, ‘The Stranger in our Midst’. The mask behind the mask. His own name escapes him. The only role that was beyond his grasp was that of himself… and other interminable Front Row guff. But the very presence of such over-hearty obfuscation belies a certain critical unease in being unable to usefully describe just what he was up to. Sidney Stratton, Henry Holland, Denry Machin, Colonel Nicholson, Father Brown, Dr Zhivago, Adolf Hitler… just put your notebooks away and let him get on with it, it’s easier in the long run.

FINEST HOUR:
Something old, something new, something borrowed… well, by his own admission his magisterial (Christ, we’re at it now) Professor Marcus in The Ladykillers was half-inched from Alastair Sim’s seedy pseudo-psychic Henry Squales in London Belongs to Me, and Kind Hearts and Coronets is too obvious a choice even for Barry Norman, so let’s plump for a film a lot of people have a problem with – not least Guinness himself, who wrote the script – The Horse’s Mouth, and his wayward, foot-obsessed artist Gulley Jimson. And we’re sticking by that choice. ‘I hope they don’t laugh…’

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