The Films of Petula Clark
The Card
(The Promoter)

British video

Released March 1952 [UK]
Comedy - 91 minutes

Alec Guinness stars as Denry, a young man determined to be the master of his own destiny. After giving his exam results a slight 'lift', he climbs his way up the employment and social ladder, charming everyone as he goes. His affectionate personality soon earns him the name 'The Card' and the position of Bursley's youngest ever Mayor. His demeanour means that his love life is as full as his social calendar, but how will he resolve his personal predicaments?

Alec Guinness
Glynis Johns
Valerie Hobson
Petula Clark
Edward Chapman
Veronica Turleigh
George Devine
Joan Hickson
Frank Pettingell
Gibb McLaughlin
..... Edward Henry 'Denry' Machin
..... Ruth Earp
..... Countess of Chell
..... Nellie Cotterill
..... Mr. Duncalf
..... Mrs. Machin
..... Mr. Calvert
..... Mrs. Codleyn
..... Police Superintendent
..... Emery

American video British video FILM NOTES:
  • Directed by Ronald Neame
    Read Ronald Neame's autobiography for commentary on the making of this film. Click here for more information.
  • Filmed on location in Llandundno, Wales and at Pinewood Studios, England
  • "He's the cheekiest man in town!"
  • "Lock up your dollars and your daughters! Here's that man again!"

  • Nominated for Academy Award - Best Sound, Recording
  • IMDb link

  • Yet another of Alec Guinness' clever British comedies, The Promoter (also known as The Card) is a charming story of a young man who isn't necessarily very bright but is certainly very resourceful. He climbs the economic and social ladders via unconventional, sometimes shady means -- but he's not greedy or power hungry as this may sound. He just wants to beat the odds thrust upon him by the low station in life he was born into and fulfill his dreams. And he does it smiling through his triumphs and downfalls both. But the one area where he's not so clever is regarding a certain predatory young lady, who threatens to undermine all he's accomplished.
         As always, Alec Guinness is the very essence of class and sophistication yet can still be funny. This is far from his best vehicle -- there aren't so many laughs in this one as there is amusement -- but it's an entertaining film nonetheless and a fine example of the British art of subtlety.
    At a Glance Film Reviews

American video
  • Charming comedy about a likable but penniless young man who sees how to get ahead in the world--and seizes his opportunity. Script by Eric Ambler from Arnold Bennett's story The Card, also its title in England.
    Leonard Maltin

  • Pleasing period comedy with the star in a made-to-measure role and excellent production values.
    Leslie Halliwell

  • Adapted from Arnold Bennett's 1911 novel, this is a stylish, if rather empty, rags to riches story set in the author's beloved Five Towns. Eric Ambler's script is full of smart situations and witty lines, but Alec Guinness is hardly stretched as “Denry” Machin, the laundress's son who achieves wealth and social respectability through his Machiavellian machinations. There is admirable support from Glynis Johns and Valerie Hobson as the women in his life, but the film suffers from the attempt to try and cast it in the Ealing comedy mould. It's solid stuff, but too many involved seem to be marking time.
    DP Radio Times Review

"He's the cheekiest man in town."
  [Alec Guinness' first screen kiss.]

lobby card
Lobby card
American lobby card
American lobby card

Mexican lobby card

Belgian poster
Belgian poster for "The Card" which translates as "Three Ladies and an Ace"

"The Card" premiere.

Anticipated Release Date: 25 September, 2006

Straight from the Horse's Mouth Straight from the Horse's Mouth by Ronald Neame
with Barbara Roisman Cooper
[More information]