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 somewhat vulgar but dedicated painter in search of his artistic vision, 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. Jimson is a man, who's given up all else, including health, wealth and conventional relationships to live in a leaky houseboat. As the story develops it, like all great literature, manages to puncture almost all of life's rationalizing balloons.
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