|Directed by||Charles Frend|
|Written by||T. E. B. Clarke|
|Produced by||Michael Balcon|
|Edited by||Jack Harris|
|Music by||John Addison|
|Distributed by||Metro Goldwyn Mayer|
Barnacle Bill (released in the US as All at Sea) is a 1957 Ealing Studios comedy film, starring Alec Guinness. He plays an unsuccessful Royal Navy officer and six of his maritime ancestors. This was the final Ealing comedy (although some sources list Davy as the last), and the last film Guinness made for Ealing Studios. His first Ealing success was in Kind Hearts and Coronets (1949), in which he also played multiple roles.The film was written by the screenwriter of Passport to Pimlico .
William Horatio Ambrose wants desperately to live up to the proud family tradition; the Ambroses have always been mariners (even if not distinguished ones), hence their family motto, "Omnes per Mare" ("All at Sea"). In humorous vignettes, Guinness portrays six of his ancestors, starting with a confused caveman rowing in circles in his coracle, and ending with his own father's ignominious demise at the Battle of Jutland. Ambrose has a debilitating problem however: he suffers from violent seasickness. As a result, his contribution to the Second World War consists of testing cures for the malady.
When he retires from the Royal Navy as a captain, he purchases a dilapidated late Victorian era amusement pier (the closest thing to a command of his own) with his life savings. The workers are an apathetic bunch, led by an insolent Figg, who quits as soon as the new owner begins imposing some semblance of discipline. With the assistance of his new second-in-command, a former RN rating named Tommy, and much hard work with help by a group of bored local teenagers, Ambrose soon has the pier repaired.
Then he has to deal with the local town council, headed by the crooked Mayor Crowley and the hostile Arabella Barrington, who mistakes him for a Peeping Tom when they first meet. Every time he comes up with an ingenious way to make his business profitable, they see to it that the council outlaws it. When Crowley decides to confiscate and demolish Ambrose's pier and Barrington's bathing huts (under compulsory purchase) to further his own business interests, she resigns from the council and informs Ambrose. He counters by registering his property as a "foreign" naval vessel (christened the Arabella), under the flag of convenience of the easygoing country of "Liberama", which puts it outside the town's jurisdiction. He soon attracts many happy, paying passengers for his stationary inaugural "cruise".
Thwarted, Crowley hires Figg to take his dredger and demolish the structure late at night. Using a seasickness remedy suggested by Barrington, Ambrose is able to take to sea and foil the scheme (with his ghostly ancestors watching approvingly), but in the process, part of the pier becomes detached and floats away. He remains aboard to prevent salvagers from claiming it and drifts over to France, where he is hailed as a naval hero.
As appearing in Barnacle Bill, (main roles and screen credits identified):
Guinness appeared in the film as a favour to the director. In later years, he recalled it as "wretched, (a film) ... I never wanted to do and only did out of friendship to Charley Frend." Although Barnacle Bill was the last Ealing comedy, it was shot at Hunstanton Pier and Elstree Studios, as Ealing Studios had closed and was sold to the BBC for television production.
Barnacle Bill opened at the Empire Cinema in London on the 11 December 1957and was released under the title All At Sea in the United States.
Barnacle Bill (as All at Sea) was reviewed in The New York Times by Bosley Crowther. His review was sympathetic to the failings of the film and script but he did see redeeming qualities in Guinness's performance. "Mr. Clarke's whimsical notion doesn't sail quite the untroubled sea that Mr. Guinness' pier does. It runs into roughness, now and then, which requires rather diligent overacting and farcical behavior by all hands. But Mr. Guinness, who has made an art of underplaying, never goes too far overboard ..."
According to MGM records above, the film cost $659,000 to make (see budget note 1 above) and earned $405,000 in the US and Canada, plus $545,000 elsewhere, ($950,000 in total, see note 1 above) resulting in a return on investment of 44%, and a profit of $291,000.
Kind Hearts and Coronets is a 1949 British crime black comedy film. It features Dennis Price, Joan Greenwood, Valerie Hobson and Alec Guinness; Guinness plays nine characters. The plot is loosely based on the novel Israel Rank: The Autobiography of a Criminal (1907) by Roy Horniman. It concerns Louis D'Ascoyne Mazzini, the son of a woman disowned by her aristocratic family for marrying out of her social class. After her death, Louis decides to take revenge on the family and take the dukedom by murdering the eight people ahead of him in the line of succession to the title.
The Ealing comedies is an informal name for a series of comedy films produced by the London-based Ealing Studios during a ten-year period from 1947 to 1957. Often considered to reflect Britain's post-war spirit, the most celebrated films in the sequence include Kind Hearts and Coronets (1949), Whisky Galore! (1949), The Lavender Hill Mob (1951), The Man in the White Suit (1951) and The Ladykillers (1955). Hue and Cry (1947) is generally considered to be the earliest of the cycle, and Barnacle Bill (1957) the last, although some sources list Davy (1958) as the final Ealing comedy.
Oliver Twist is a 1948 British film and the second of David Lean's two film adaptations of Charles Dickens novels. Following his 1946 version of Great Expectations, Lean re-assembled much of the same team for his adaptation of Dickens' 1838 novel, including producers Ronald Neame and Anthony Havelock-Allan, cinematographer Guy Green, designer John Bryan and editor Jack Harris. Lean's then-wife, Kay Walsh, who had collaborated on the screenplay for Great Expectations, played the role of Nancy. John Howard Davies was cast as Oliver, while Alec Guinness portrayed Fagin and Robert Newton played Bill Sykes.
The Man in the White Suit is a 1951 British satirical science fiction comedy film made by Ealing Studios. It stars Alec Guinness, Joan Greenwood and Cecil Parker and was directed by Alexander Mackendrick. The film was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Writing (Screenplay) for Roger MacDougall, John Dighton and Alexander Mackendrick.
Genevieve is a 1953 British comedy film produced and directed by Henry Cornelius and written by William Rose. It stars John Gregson, Dinah Sheridan, Kenneth More and Kay Kendall as two couples comedically involved in a veteran automobile rally.
Francis Bosley Crowther Jr. was an American journalist, writer, and film critic for The New York Times for 27 years. His work helped shape the careers of many actors, directors and screenwriters, though his reviews, at times, were perceived as unnecessarily mean. Crowther was an advocate of foreign-language films in the 1950s and 1960s, particularly those of Roberto Rossellini, Vittorio De Sica, Ingmar Bergman, and Federico Fellini.
Tunes of Glory is a 1960 British drama film directed by Ronald Neame, based on the 1956 novel and screenplay by James Kennaway. The film is a "dark psychological drama" focusing on events in a wintry Scottish Highland regimental barracks in the period immediately following the Second World War. It stars Alec Guinness and John Mills, featuring Dennis Price, Kay Walsh, John Fraser, Duncan MacRae, Gordon Jackson and Susannah York.
Charles Herbert Frend was an English film director and editor, best known for his films produced at Ealing Studios. He began directing in the early 1940s and is known for such films as Scott of the Antarctic (1948) and The Cruel Sea (1953).
Last Holiday is a 1950 British film featuring Alec Guinness in his sixth starring role. The low key, dark comedy was written and co produced by J. B. Priestley and directed by Henry Cass, featuring irony and wit often associated with Priestley. Shooting locations included Bedfordshire and Devon. The film was co-written by an uncredited J. Lee Thompson.
Barnacle Bill may refer to:
The Comedians is a 1967 American political drama film directed and produced by Peter Glenville, based on the 1966 novel of the same name by Graham Greene, who also wrote the screenplay. The stars were Richard Burton, Elizabeth Taylor, Peter Ustinov, and Alec Guinness. Paul Ford and Lillian Gish had supporting roles as a presidential candidate and wife, as did James Earl Jones as an island doctor. The role played by Elizabeth Taylor was originally intended for Sophia Loren.
The Magnet is a 1950 British comedy film featuring Stephen Murray, Kay Walsh and in his first starring role James Fox. The story involves a young Wallasey boy, Johnny Brent (Fox), who obtains the eponymous magnet by deception, leading to much confusion. When he is acclaimed as a hero, he is shamed by his own sense of guilt.
All at Sea may refer to:
Sir Alec Guinness was an English actor. After an early career on the stage, Guinness was featured in several of the Ealing comedies, including Kind Hearts and Coronets (1949), in which he played nine different characters, The Lavender Hill Mob (1951), for which he received his first Academy Award nomination, and The Ladykillers (1955). He collaborated six times with director David Lean: Herbert Pocket in Great Expectations (1946), Fagin in Oliver Twist (1948), Col. Nicholson in The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957), for which he won both the Academy Award for Best Actor and the BAFTA Award for Best Actor, Prince Faisal in Lawrence of Arabia (1962), General Yevgraf Zhivago in Doctor Zhivago (1965), and Professor Godbole in A Passage to India (1984). In 1970 he played Jacob Marley's ghost in Ronald Neame's Scrooge. He also portrayed Obi-Wan Kenobi in George Lucas's original Star Wars trilogy; for the original 1977 film, he was nominated for Best Supporting Actor at the 50th Academy Awards.
The Card is a 1952 British comedy film version of the 1911 novel by Arnold Bennett. In America, the film was titled The Promoter. It was adapted by Eric Ambler and directed by Ronald Neame. It stars Alec Guinness, Glynis Johns, Valerie Hobson, and Petula Clark. The film was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Sound.
Davy is a 1958 British comedy-drama film directed by Michael Relph and starring Harry Secombe, Alexander Knox and Ron Randell. It was the last comedy to be made by Ealing Studios and had the distinction of being the first British film in Technirama. Davy was intended to launch the solo career of Harry Secombe, who was already a popular British radio personality on The Goon Show, but it was only moderately successful.
High Barbaree is a 1947 American drama war film directed by Jack Conway. It stars Van Johnson and June Allyson, in the third of their six screen pairings. The screenplay based on the novel High Barbaree (1945) by authors Charles Nordhoff and James Norman Hall.
Brothers in Law is a 1957 British comedy film directed by Roy Boulting and starring Richard Attenborough, Ian Carmichael, Terry-Thomas and Jill Adams. The film is one of the Boulting brothers successful series of institutional satires begun with Private's Progress in 1956. It is an adaptation of the 1955 novel Brothers in Law by Henry Cecil, a comedy set in the legal profession.
Passionate Summer is a 1958 British drama film directed by Rudolph Cartier and starring Virginia McKenna, Bill Travers and Yvonne Mitchell. It is also known by the alternative title Storm Over Jamaica. It was based on a best-selling 1949 novel by Richard Mason called The Shadow and the Peak.
The Scarf is a 1951 American drama, suspense, crime, psychological, thriller film noir directed by Ewald André Dupont and starring John Ireland, Mercedes McCambridge, James Barton, and Emlyn Williams. The screenplay concerns a man who escapes from an insane asylum and tries to convince a crusty hermit, a drifting saloon singer, and himself that he is not a murderer.