Guinness was "the outstanding poet of anonymity" - Peter Ustinov
His idea of Heaven, he once said, was to "sit on the terrace on
a summer's evening, enjoy a drink with one or two friends and listen
to the silence.''
1/24/2011 - Review, DVD Talk, of new Tinker DVD -- ...As for Guinness, he's inspired casting―brilliant, in fact, because I can't think of another actor more weirdly suited for this largely anonymous role. In Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, George Smiley is first thought of as a potential suspect, then demoted as an incompetent, and then brought back as an unwelcome sleuth, all the while getting constantly reminded (and insulted) concerning the infidelity of his gorgeous wife, Anne (Siân Phillips in the final, quietly devastating scene), by all and sundry he encounters. He's basically a cipher to the viewer, but through infinitesimally small, incremental reveals from Guinness, we are gradually able to see a picture of a fiercely intelligent, bitterly wounded man almost completely withdrawn from the human race when it doesn't involve his mission. Guinness had to be the strangest A-list star to ever come down the pike, with an almost supernatural ability to suggest some very dark, squirrelly thoughts in that undistinguished face...and those terrifyingly complex eyes. His Smiley is a masterstroke of weary sublimation and suggestion, with a hint of cruel glee, too, at times, as he gets closer to his quarry, and the performance towers over Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy...even if the miniseries itself, while still valuable and entertaining, shrinks just a bit from elevated memory.
8/1/08 - From Sands Films: Little Dorrit by Charles Dickens, starring Alec Guinness and Derek Jacobi is at last coming out on DVD.
The release date is confirmed for Monday 27th October 2008 The RRP will be £21.25 (£24.99 inc VAT )
Pre-orders from Amazon will reach you on or about the 27th October.
The new digital master is now completed and looks a great deal better than the VHS released by Warner in the 90's. The new DVD master was made from the original negative and is much sharper.
The DVDs also contain short cast interviews recorded in 1986/7 which have never been seen before. Alec Guinness, Cyril Cusack, Patricia Hayes and Joan Greenwood talk about the film and the novel. It also has a short clip of the elusive Miss Pickering... and of course of Derek Jacobi.
1/18/05 - Time Magazine Cover Article 1958
- There is a new Yahoo Group called Poet of Anonymity. Click
HERE to join
12/30/03 - The Independent: Film Studies: There's nothing so suspicious as an upright Englishman By David Thomson
12/29/03 - Unravelling the Guinness mystery - The BBC. Thanks, Gill (on BBC2 UK TV 12/29)
10/16/02 - Article on Guinness in The Independent: ..."What thoughts are really moving behind those feline eyes? What is it, this knowledge that he nurses, but never yields? Only this, perhaps: that the secret of great screen acting is secrecy itself."
"An actor is an interpreter of other men's words, often a soul which wishes to reveal itself to the world but dare not, a craftsman, a bag of tricks, a vanity bag, a cool observer of mankind, a child, and at his best a kind of unfrocked priest who, for an hour or two, can call on heaven and hell to mesmerise a group of innocents."
From the prologue of Blessings In Disguise, by Alec Guinness
Cover scanned from the Guinness
Biography, Blessings In Disguise.
Illustration by the Master, Herschfeld.
This web site was conceived and designed by Mary Murphy
I welcome any additional information, pictures, quotes, etc.Thanks.