Ronald Neame

The Horse’s Mouth

The Horse’s Mouth

In Ronald Neame’s film of Joyce Cary’s classic novel, Alec Guinness transforms himself into one of cinema’s most indelible comic figures: the lovably scruffy painter Gulley Jimson. As the ill-behaved Jimson searches for a perfect canvas, he determines to let nothing come between himself and the realization of his exalted vision. A perceptive examination of the struggle of artistic creation, The Horse’s Mouth is also Neame’s comic masterpiece.

Film Info

  • Ronald Neame
  • United Kingdom
  • 1958
  • 95 minutes
  • Color
  • 1.66:1
  • English
  • Spine #154

Special Features

  • New widescreen digital transfer supervised by Ronald Neame and enhanced for 16x9 televisions
  • Video interview with director Ronald Neame
  • D.A. Pennebaker’s short documentary film Daybreak Express, which opened the original New York theatrical run of The Horse’s Mouth, plus a video introduction by Pennebaker
  • Original theatrical trailer
  • English subtitles for the deaf and hearing impaired
  • Optimal image quality: RSDL dual-layer edition

Cover design by Michael Boland, based on a theatrical poster

Purchase Options

Special Features

  • New widescreen digital transfer supervised by Ronald Neame and enhanced for 16x9 televisions
  • Video interview with director Ronald Neame
  • D.A. Pennebaker’s short documentary film Daybreak Express, which opened the original New York theatrical run of The Horse’s Mouth, plus a video introduction by Pennebaker
  • Original theatrical trailer
  • English subtitles for the deaf and hearing impaired
  • Optimal image quality: RSDL dual-layer edition

Cover design by Michael Boland, based on a theatrical poster

The Horse’s Mouth
Cast
Alec Guinness
Gulley Jimson
Kay Walsh
Coker
Renee Houston
Sara Monday
Mike Morgan
Nosey
Michael Gough
Abel
Credits
Director
Ronald Neame
From the novel by
Joyce Cary
Screenplay
Alec Guinness
Music
Kenneth V. Jones
Cinematography
Arthur Ibbetson
Editing
Anne V. Coates
Art direction
Bill Andrews
Costumes
Julia Squire
Paintings
John Bratby
Producer
John Bryan
Producer
Ronald Neame

From The Current

Odes to Creativity
Odes to Creativity

This week’s Short + Feature program on the Criterion Channel pairs D.A. Pennebaker’s three-minute experimental Daybreak Express and Ronald Neame’s feature comedy The Horse’s Mouth.

Alan Arkin’s Top 10

Alan Arkin is an actor, director, writer, and musician. He has been watching movies from around the globe since he was seven years old. Here are ten of his favorites.


Jul 6, 2016
Toasting Ronald Neame

British filmmaker Ronald Neame, the director of such Criterion titles as The Horse’s Mouth, Tunes of Glory, and Hopscotch (not to mention The Poseidon Adventure), and the producer behind David Lean’s definitive Dickens adaptations Great Expectati…


Apr 21, 2011
Ronnie Neame
Bill Plympton’s Top 10

Cartoonist, filmmaker, and animator Bill Plympton, whose illustrations have appeared in the pages of the New York Times, the Village Voice, and Vanity Fair, and whose short films became famous on MTV in the eighties, directed the documentary Walt Cur


Nov 21, 2008
D. A. Pennebaker’s Top 10

Filmmaker D. A. Pennebaker (Dont Look Back, Monterey Pop, The War Room) and Chris Hegedus (The War Room, Startup.com), creative partners and husband and wife, offer these favorites.


Nov 21, 2008
Alec Guinness and The Horse’s Mouth

In addition to being his funniest film, The Horse’s Mouth is the most personal, and touching, of all Alec Guinness’ movies. Apart from starring as the brilliant but bedraggled artist Gulley Jimson, Guinness also adapted the Oscar-nominated screen…

By Bruce Eder


Jun 4, 2002
The Horse's Mouth
The Horse's Mouth

By any standard, The Horse’s Mouth shines as an outstandingly personal work from a decade that often seems the most arid in British cinema. Amid tepid comedies and timid thrillers, it sparkles with conviction and eccentricity—at least that’s ho…

By Ian Christie


Jun 4, 2002
The Horse's Mouth

“I’ll show you how to understand a painting,” says the reprobate artist Gulley Jimson to his on-off lady friend Coker. “Don’t look at it. Feel it with your eyes. Feel the shapes in the flat, like patterns. Then feel it in the round. Feel al…

By Ronald Neame


Jun 4, 2002
The Horse's Mouth

Sir Alec Guinness is probably best known to current audiences as the venerable Jedi Knight Obi-Wan Kenobi in George Lucas’s blockbuster Star Wars trilogy and as John Le Carre’s implacable spy-master, George Smiley, in the popular TV adaptations o…

By Jonathan Benair


Mar 5, 1989