The principal character in Arnold Bennett’s novel The Card, depicting the progression of a washer-woman’s son from poverty to wealth, from humble beginnings to the top of the civic tree, provides a made-to-measure part for Alec Guinness in a capital performance.
Set in the Potteries, without any attempt to glamorize the grimy, smoky, slum-ridden district, Eric Ambler’s script keeps the focus entirely on Guinness.
The rise of the young lad is depicted in all its stages, from his dishonest beginning, when he alters examination results to ensure a place in high school. And from there he gradually makes his name in the world, advancing from a humble lawyer’s clerk to rent collector and to big business as head and founder of a loan club.
1952: Nomination: Best Sound