The Man in the White Suit (1951) What Obi-Wan Kenobi Got Up To In His Early Years

The Man in the White Suit (1951) Alec Guinness movie poster dvd cover restored artwork

Way before Obi-Wan Kenobi was having a right laugh bothering Jawas and scaring the bejeezus out of Tusken Raiders on Tatooine he’d grown up in an industrial northern town in England, Earth. Going under the name of Sidney Stratton he had been a keen amateur inventor. He was clumsy and socially awkward in his younger years but this didn’t phase his creative mind constantly coming up with scientific ideas. For Sidney’s inventive imagination and intellect had come up with the idea of creating a fabric so unbelievable that it could change the whole world.

The Man in the White Suit (1951) Sidney Stratton Alec Guinness invention inventor

This fabric, if he can just get the formula right, would have the amazing properties of an everlasting material. A yarn that could be stitched into any clothing style and last forever. An electric charged fabric which repels dirt, grime and wear and tear, to literary last a lifetime. The whole world could be clothed without the need to ever replace their old and tatty wardrobe. Now everybody will be celebrating his genius, right?

Tagline – “First…Explosions! Then Success! Then Chaos!”

The Man in the White Suit (1951) bosses managers watching the invention

Well the bosses at the textile industry he works for are excited, they will surely make a killing but what will happen when all the clothing is made. Production will stop, making hundreds of hard working folks unemployed. Rival textile companies aren’t going to stand by as their factories start to foreclose. Will fat-cat businessman sit back and watch their bulging wallets start to shrink and vanish.  But on the good side, valuable resources will be saved, the world would be clothed and more money available within each household. It’s all a dilemma that is above Sidney Stratton’s head, he has one goal and that is realising his dream creation.

The Man in the White Suit (1951) Sidney Stratton Alec Guinness ready to sign contract

Fellow Factory Worker – “What do you think happened to all the other things? The razor blade that never gets blunt. And the car that runs on water? No! They’ll never let your stuff on the market”

First though he has to make it work, with his contraption bubbling away, creating a rhythmic guggle glub guggle hip shaking sound, Sidney is on the brink of his wonderful discovery. Just one missing ingredient, an electric explosive charge which results in many comical exploding mishaps as he goes about destroying his workshop. It’s not long before everyone from bosses, trade unions, fellow workers, rival companies and managers are chasing after him to suppress his invention, Sidney has no option but to run for it.

The Man in the White Suit (1951) Alec Guinness glowing light suit dark on the run

After all the fuss and trials and tribulations he decides to scarper. Throwing on a brown cloak to conceal his identity whilst jumping into a jet propelled rocket he’d been working on. He had heard about a magical energy light source that could cut through materials tougher than steel. He decides it’s time to set off and try out his luck somewhere in a galaxy far far away………..

The Man In The White Suit is a perfect little lighthearted Ealing Studio film which manages to fuse comedy and drama into its social commentary theme.  Alongside Obi-Wan Kenobi, it also starred some guy called Alec Guinness. Directed by Alexander Mackendrick who would later work again with Guinness and Peter Sellers in the 1955 bonafide classic The Ladykillers.

Have fun, be cheeky and keep enjoying the movies. Mikey The Wolfman

The Man in the White Suit (1951) Alec Guinness movie poster one sheet comedy artwork

9 thoughts on “The Man in the White Suit (1951) What Obi-Wan Kenobi Got Up To In His Early Years

  1. Dam shame that this film did not come overseas. I would love to see it but I will find a way to get it not too worry. Nice post. I did not know that this film existed.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Great post 🙂 I love Ealing. I have seen just about all of their well-known comedies and speaking of which, If you never saw Kind Hearts and Coronets check it out. In it, Alec Guinness plays nine different characters and he is laugh out loud funny as all of them 🙂 The director of that one was Robert Hamer and I am hoping that his 1947 drama It Always Rains on Sunday one day gets a DVD release here in the United States. Speaking of The Man in the White Suit, that film’s director Charles Crichton (The Lavender Hill Mob and A Fish Called Wanda) also (like Hamer) directed a segment for the classic British horror anthology film Dead of Night (1945). Speaking of which, that was another Moviedrome film 🙂 But then again, you probably knew all of this already 🙂 The great British independent filmmaker Terence Davies is a huge fan of Ealing and on youtube, their is a video that features him talking about their greatness. Check it out sometimes 🙂 Anyway, keep up the great work as always 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • John you really are a wealth of knowledge. I do know Kind Hearts and his journey playing the all those wonderful characters but I haven’t seen it since I was a youth. A much needed rewatch is in order.
      I have It Always Rains on Sunday lined up for a watch soon. If i’m honest I don’t know anything about Robert Hamer, so I will go off to investigate.
      Dead of Night is another film I need to see. Didn’t HG Wells write one of the stories and I’m sure I read it’s quite a spooky film. Had missed that one on the Moviedrome list so it be great to tick that one off very soon 🙂
      I’m looking forward to going through all the Ealing Studio films I have missed and will certainly be watching that Terence Davies YT tribute. Thank you very much for your most excellent comments.


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