The Guinea Pig (1948) Richard Attenborough, Sheila Sim, Bernard Miles, Cecil Trouncer, Robert Flemyng, Edith Sharpe, Joan Hickson, Timothy Bateson Movie Review

The Guinea Pig (1948)   3/53/53/53/53/5

Richard Attenborough in The Guinea Pig (1948)

Jack Read's School Days

Jack read (Richard Attenborough), a son of a grocer from Pimlico, finds himself being awarded a scholarship to Saintbury, an exclusive public school, thanks to a report which suggested an experiment to mix boys from different classes. Unsurprisingly he finds himself the odd one out with many of the boys mocking his less than refined ways whilst he struggles to follow some of the traditions of the school which humiliate the new boys. But he finds himself an ally in new teacher Mr. Lorraine (Robert Flemyng) who in turns finds himself becoming romantically involved with Lynne Hartley (Sheila Sim), the daughter of housemaster Lloyd Hartley (Cecil Trouncer).

It is kind of interesting watching "The Guinea Pig" as during the 80s I went to an all Boys school which had formerly been a grammar school which still had some of the types of traditions which you encounter in this movie. There was the almost ritual humiliation of being a new boy, whilst the history of the school was drummed in to us by headmasters who often wore their gowns. Anyway what you get in "The Guinea Pig" is a simple story of a working class boy proving himself in amongst those who think they are better than him and in doing so improving himself.

Of course there is an almost amusing side to "The Guinea Pig" with Richard Attenborough who had turned 24 when this movie was released; I believe 23 when he made it. On top of that Attenborough was already married at the time and his wife Sheila Sim appears in this movie as the daughter of Lloyd Hartley who ends up with Mr. Lorraine whilst Attenborough finds himself becoming interested with the girl who works in a book shop. In many ways it is these added elements which help to make this a little more entertaining than it is as without these this is just a predictable walk through of an academic underdog storyline.

What this all boils down to is that "The Guinea Pig" is an okay movie especially for those who enjoy the vintage movies of Richard Attenborough. But there is nothing which is stand out about it.