June 14, 1996 |
The comedies made after World War II at England's Ealing Studios are justly celebrated as the golden age of British screen comedy, and its king was Alec Guinness. The Lavender Hill Mob (1951), along with Kind Hearts and Coronets, The Man in the White Suit and The Ladykillers, forms a classic foursome. Guinness filmed them after making his mark in Dickens in the screen versions of Great Expectations and Oliver Twist. He is at his most disarming and deceptive peak as Henry Holland, the bank clerk in The Lavender Hill Mob. The movie teamed him with the gifted Stanley Holloway and two rising Cockney comedians, Sidney James and Alfie Bass.
August 29, 1990 |
A judge yesterday came down hard on the men convicted in Britain's biggest white-collar fraud, sentencing the former head of brewer Guinness PLC to five years in prison and a co-defendant to a record fine. Ernest Saunders, former Guinness chairman and chief executive officer, was sentenced to five years for theft and conspiracy and 3 1/2 years for false accounting in the scandal stemming from the company's multibillion-dollar takeover of a Scottish distiller four years ago. The sentences will run concurrently.
April 26, 1987 |
Among movie autobiographies, there is none more charming and few more gracefully written than Alec Guinness' Blessings in Disguise. The title signifies the ability of perhaps the most understated - and, even now, underrated - star in movies to vanish magically into a character. We have come to expect this chameleon gift in stars such as Dustin Hoffman and Robert De Niro, but versatility and disdain for cultivating an image to be recycled and refined in successive films was far less common among the screen luminaries of Sir Alec's generation.
March 5, 1993 |
In his peerless career, Alec Guinness has appeared in many costumes and disguises, including those of the eight people he played in Kind Hearts and Coronets. The costume in question in The Man in the White Suit is cut from a different cloth. In this spirited 1951 comedy, Guinness is an inventor who comes up with something revolutionary and useful - a fabric that never wears out and never gets dirty. It might be the dream of every mother, but it's a nightmare to the textile manufacturers (Michael Gough and Ernest Thesiger)
December 29, 2011 |
MOST ATHLETES train for years in hopes of accomplishing a feat worthy of the Guinness Book of World Records. The 900 teenagers poised to gain the title for most dreidels spinning at once in a single place had about 20 minutes of warm-up time before trying for the record book yesterday in a ballroom at the Philadelphia Marriott Downtown. The four-sided spinning top is part of the tradition of the Jewish holiday of Hanukkah, and there are different ways to approach the art of dreidel-spinning.
July 8, 1988 |
Kind Hearts and Coronets (1949), one of the most misleading titles in movie history, is a nasty, heartless - and hilarious - black comedy about British Edwardians who crave misleading titles like lord, baronet and duke. Ninth in succession to the D'Ascoyne duchy, an amoral Englishman (Dennis Price) cheerfully kills the other eight - all of whom are played by Alec Guinness in an inspired bit of casting. Whether popping up as a clergyman, a suffragette or the duke himself, Guinness is so insufferable that eliminating him seems almost an act of civic duty.
October 24, 2010 |
BERLIN - The music was finished. Many bows had been taken. The Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra had left the stage Thursday night, except for a few straggling double bassists. But listeners were still there and still clapping. Conductor Yannick Nézet-Séguin obligingly scooted back onto the Berlin Philharmonie stage with characteristic energy, and was greeted with yet another approving roar. The orchestra had played not just well, but interestingly, with a spontaneity that sometimes teetered on the edge of chaos in ways that suited the music and were encouraged by the guest conductor.
August 15, 1997 |
Canadian Marie-Louise Meilleur, who will turn 117 Aug. 29, is the new world's oldest person, succeeding Jeanne Calment, who died earlier this month at 122, the Guinness Book of Records announced yesterday. A resident of a nursing home in northern Ontario, Meilleur has more than 300 known descendants spread over six generations. She had six kids by her first husband, who died in 1911, and six more by a second mate. She's outlived eight of the 12. According to step-granddaughter Nicole BossDe, Meilleur is a vegetarian, "very religious," and still sings "very loudly.
February 12, 1988 |
In the Guinness Book of Olympic Records (Bantam, $3.95), the editors remind us that between the ancient Games (first recorded in 776 B.C.) and the modern Games (which began in 1896 at Athens) "the Olympic torch went out for 1,503 summers. " That torch will be lighted once again tomorrow and will burn through Feb. 23 in Calgary, Alberta. The sports will include ice hockey (who can forget 1980!), figure skating (who can forget any year?), speed skating, bobsled, luge, ski jumping plus some demonstration sports such as curling and short- track speed skating.
November 18, 2011 |
George Smiley, the soft-spoken, reticent, aging MI6 officer featured in five of John le Carré's best novels, is one of the most memorable, and moving, fictional spies in the genre. That is partly because of Alec Guinness, who played Smiley in two British Broadcasting Corp. mini-series, 1979's Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy and 1982's Smiley's People . Acorn Media has released both series to coincide with the Dec. 6 release of Tomas Alfredson's big-screen remake of Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy , featuring Gary Oldman as Smiley.