The Horse's Mouth

Alec Guinness first tried to read Joyce Cary's The Horse's Mouth during World War II, but couldn't bear its stream-of-consciousness narrative. Sometime later his wife impressed upon him to give it another shot and he went on to adapt it into a screenplay. Ronald Neame was brought into direct the resulting film, released in 1958, with Guinness staring as the eccentric artist Gulley Jimson. It's often called his funniest film, which is a pretty tough crowd to beat out. Personally, I'd lean toward Murder by Death or Kind Hearts and Coronets for that honor, but The Horse's Mouth is right up there, and quite a bit more poignant even as a comedy.