Alec Guinness was an English actor who is best known to the current generation for his portrayal of Obi-Wan Kenobi in George Lucas's original 'Star Wars' trilogy (19977-83). However, he earned recognition decades earlier for his collaboration with David Lean in six successful movies – 'Great Expectations' (1946), 'Oliver Twist' (1948), an 'Academy Award'-winning role in 'The Bridge on the River Kwai' (1957), 'Lawrence of Arabia' (1962), 'Doctor Zhivago' (1965), and 'A Passage to India' (1984). He is also known for appearing in the Ealing black comedies such as 'Kind Hearts and Coronets' (1949), in which he played nine characters, and 'The Ladykillers' (1955). The latter, along with his two 1951 movies 'The Lavender Hill Mob' and 'The Man in the White Suit', are considered among the best British films.
Some of the best Alec Guinness movies from his diverse filmography include 'The Card' (1952), 'The Swan' (1956), 'Our Man in Havana' (1959), 'The Fall of the Roman Empire' (1964), 'The Quiller Memorandum' (1966), 'Scrooge' (1970), 'Cromwell' (1970), 'Brother Sun, Sister Moon' (1972) and 'Hitler: The Last Ten Days' (1973). Colonel Jock Sinclair in 'Tunes of Glory' (1960) is considered one of his best roles by fans and critics alike.
After Japanese commandant Colonel Saito orders British POWs to build a railway bridge over the River Kwai, senior British officer Colonel Nicholson initially opposes illegal use of prisoners but later convinces fellow soldiers against delay-tactics in order to prove British superiority. Meanwhile, escaped US commander Shears is forced to join a four-man commando mission to destroy the bridge.
The movie is based on the life of T.E. Lawrence who was sent to Arabia to aide Prince Faisal. He becomes a liaison between the British and the Arabs who are fighting the Turks. His daring victories against the Turks makes Lawrence the hero, but his own exploits weigh heavily on his soul.
Fleeing from a brutal imperial attack on the ice planet Hoth, Luke Skywalker and his R2-D2 crash-lands on Dagobah, where he trains under Master Yoda. Meanwhile, Han Solo and Princess Leia flee to Bespin, where they are captured by Darth Vader as baits to eventually lure in Luke, whom he plans to seduce to the dark side.
The Ladykillers is a black comedy crime film which tells the story of five criminals who rent rooms in an elderly widow’s home and plan and execute a bank robbery. However, when the widow discovers that they have committed a robbery, they decide that one of them needs to kill and silence her.
Based on the popular novel by Charles Dickens, Oliver Twist is a drama film which tells the story of an orphaned boy, and his involvement with various criminals in his search of a true home.
Captured by the diabolical Darth Vader, resistance leader Princess Leia sends two droids, R2-D2 and C-3PO, with the blueprint of planet-destroying Death Star to Jedi master Obi-Wan Kenobi. He trains simple moisture farmer Luke Skywalker, who teams up with smuggler Han Solo, his first mate Chewbacca, and the two robots, and embarks on an epic rebel mission.
Scrooge is a musical film which revolves around Ebenezer Scrooge, a bitter money-lender, who does not share the merriment of Christmas, unlike all people around him. He exploits his employees and even treats his own nephew and acquaintances bitterly. His life takes a turn when he is visited by the doomed ghost of his former partner, who tells him that he would be visited by three spirits on Christmas.
The conclusion film of the original Star Wars trilogy, the movie sees the rebel heroes undertake a risky mission to save Han Solo from Jabba the Hutt before launching an attack to destroy the powerful mobile space station, Death Star, and ultimately defeat the evil empire.
The age-old tale of romance is set against the backdrop of World War I, the 1917 Russian revolution, and the Russian Civil War. Yuri Zhivago is in love with Lara, who ends up marrying Pasha Antipov. Zhivago marries Tonya. Years later, fate brings Yuri and Lara back together again only to cruelly tear them apart.
Philip is an orphan who lives with his older sister and her husband who is a blacksmith. He falls for Estella, a beautiful and cruel teenage girl. However, after some time, he is unable to meet her anymore as she leaves for France, and Philip begins his apprenticeship as a blacksmith. His life takes an interesting turn when a mysterious benefactor offers to transform him into a gentleman.
Henry is a meek bank clerk who is in charge of overseeing the shipments of gold. Along with his eccentric neighbor, he soon plans to steal gold bars, and smuggle them out of the country.
Eccentric millionaire Lionel Twain invites five renowned private detectives to his castle for a ‘dinner and murder,’ and after sealing off his house, he challenges them to find the killer of a murder that will occur at midnight. He announces 1million for solving the case. Long before midnight, Twain’s blind butler, Bensonmum, is found dead. What is the mystery behind the tricky set-up?
A Passage to India is an adventure drama film which takes us to the 20th century when India was still under British rule. The film revolves around Adela Quested who is sailing from England to India, with Mrs Moore, the mother of her intended bridegroom. She soon gets acquainted with Dr Aziz, whom she later accuses of attempting to rape her.
Gifted chemist Sidney Stratton, obsessed with the idea of inventing everlasting fiber, loses several jobs for demanding expensive research equipment. Finally he succeeds and develops a white suit out of fiber that doesn’t stain or wear off. Though initially heralded as a great inventor, soon mill-owners and workers, who realize the threat to their livelihood, try to suppress the inventor and his invention.
The movie revolves around the life of Edward Henry Machin who uses his wits to advance in the society from a poor man to a Mayor, gaining the reputation of being a ‘card’. However, his machinations are put to test by his lover, Ruth Earp, and his true love for Nellie Cotterill.
Queen Victoria is in mourning for last fifteen years. Meanwhile, a street urchin finds a piece of jewelry containing her image and learns that she is the “mother of all England”. Taking this to be true, he goes to Windsor Castle, where he slips past the guards; but is ultimately caught and taken as an assassin. Luckily, help comes from an unlikely place
Bertha Jacoby, a widow who lost her son in World War II hates the Japanese. But while relocating to Tokyo, she meets Japanese Buddhist and businessman Koichi Asano on the ship. As her views change, she falls in love with Asano and plans to marry him much to the dismay of her daughter and son-in-law.
Kafka is a clerk working for an insurance company, who is drawn into a strange world of mystery and danger when a close friend and colleague disappears all of a sudden. Eventually, this event leads him to discover a mysterious and underground society, having strange objectives.
Though descended from a family of celebrated sailors, Royal Navy Captain Ambrose, is troubled with chronic seasickness. After the war, he buys a crumbling amusement pier in a small British coastal town of Sandcastle-on-sea, but encounters strong opposition from local authorities. However, he finds a way through the storm to save the Victorian pier from demolition and makes it a thriving venture.
A professional art thief and a master of disguise, Flambeau, successfully manages to steal holy relic from Father Brown. Father Brown can figure out how a criminal mind works and therefore lays out a trap to catch Flambeau. His aim is to not only get the priceless relic back, but also save the soul of the thief.
Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius decides that his loyal and trustworthy General Livius should be the one to succeed him. However, before he could announce this, the friends of his son Commodus, poisons him, so that they can secure their political futures. Commodus becomes the new leader, but he turns out to be quite corrupt, arrogant and ineffectual. Livius accepts him as the ruler, but changes his mind, after he threatens to kill Aurelius’s daughter.
Playwright Feydeau tries to overcome his writer’s block by observing people around. Benedict Boniface, husband of domineering Angelique, adores next-door neighbor Marcelle, ignored wife of architect Henri Cot. Boniface and Marcelle decide on a rendezvous at the ‘no-tell’ Hotel Paradiso, the place that Henri is assigned to inspect. More characters add to the ensuing confusion giving the playwright story for successful play.
As the Second World War is ending, two officers are forced to parachute into enemy territory, while flying over Nazi Germany. They are captured by a lonely German warden who keep them prisoner in his basement. However, even after the war has ended, he decides not to tell them, as he is delighted to have their company.
Psychiatrist Saul Benjamin is smitten by a new patient, Chloe Allen, and becomes jealous of anyone else who comes close to her. He also starts neglecting his other patients, ending up being reviewed by a board of inquiry. Throughout the movie, he is warned and advised by the ghost of Dr. Sigmund Freud.
Evensong is a musical film which is inspired by the life of Nellie Melba, who was one of the most famous singers of the late Victorian era and the early 20th century. She was also known for being the first Australian to have achieved international recognition in classical music.
Alec Guinness Awards
|The Bridge on the River Kwai||Best Actor in a Leading Role||1958|
|The Bridge on the River Kwai||Best Actor - Drama||1958|
|Smiley's People||Best Actor||1983|
|Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy||Best Actor||1980|
|The Bridge on the River Kwai||Best British Actor||1958|