The Promoter (1952) - Ronald Neame
The story of Edward Henry, a young man who lives a modest life with his mother in a poor area of town. A charming and ambitious young man, Edward, begins to slowly climb the social ladder in both some honest, and somewhat suspect ways. Ronald Neame's The Card is a whimsical, charming endeavor that relies heavily on it's central character to tell a compelling rags to riches story. Lucky for Neame, he cast Alec Guiness, who does such a great job at playing this charming character who is incredibly cunning at getting what he wants through mostly honest, or at least harmless, means. Edward has an uncanny ability to realize business opportunities, which quickly see him climb higher and higher on the social ladder. The film isn't particularly interested in a deep dissection of the class struggle, rather focusing on how a poor individual is just as capable of greatness as any wealthy one. This can't be more apparent than in the use of Edward's mother. Even though his mother is barely in the film for more than 10 minutes, she represents the pure uncorrupted individual, who isn't jaded or transformed by power, money and greed. We see her give no bother to Edwards increasing fortune, choosing to live the same life she always had, just happy for her son's success. Ronald Neame's direction keeps the film very light, given the subject matter, never letting the film become overly dramatic or heavy-handed. The film shows great comedic timing from both Alec Guinness as well as the editing, to create a very charming experience.
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