The Card | 1952 | Alec Guinness, Valerie Hobson

The Card | 1952 | Alec Guinness, Valerie Hobson

Curiously ineffective Alec Guinness vehicle which takes full advantage of its star’s charisma, but adds little to the traditional rags-to-riches story, even though its protagonist’s immorality is meant to add spice. Guinness is the washerwoman’s son making his way out of the slums by forging exam results and securing a modest job that he uses as a springboard for his high ambitions.

He ends up as a loan shark, with little respect for his origins. Based on Arnold Bennett’s novel of the Potteries, the film’s setting is never romanticized, but the comedy wears thin and ultimately even Guinness’s classy performance succumbs to the aimless script.

Alec Guinness as Edward Henry ‘Denry’ Machin
Glynis Johns as Ruth Earp
Valerie Hobson as Countess of Chell
Petula Clark as Nellie Cotterill
Edward Chapman as Mr. Duncalf
Veronica Turleigh as Mrs. Machin
George Devine as Mr. Calvert
Joan Hickson as Mrs. Codleyn
Frank Pettingell as Police Superintendent
Gibb McLaughlin as Emery
Joey the Mule as Joey the Mule
Peter Copley as P. Shillitoe (uncredited)
Mark Daly as Lord Mayor (uncredited)
Deidre Doyle as Widow Hullins (uncredited)
Henry Edwards as Mr. Cotterill (uncredited)
Lyn Evans as Cregeen (uncredited)

Art Direction: T. Hopewell Ash
Director Of Photography: Oswald Morris
Costume Design: Sophie Devine
Director: Ronald Neame
Editor: Clive Donner
Original Music Composer: William Alwyn
Novel: Arnold Bennett
Screenplay: Eric Ambler

UK | 85 minutes | 1952



The Viewer's Guide to Film intends to be a comprehensive guide to the very best of cinema from the earliest silent era, through to the golden age of Hollywood and on to today's biggest blockbusters.

Each entry on the site includes a capsule review/plot overview, along with cast and crew credits, images and trailers where available.