The Guinea Pig (film)

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For the Japanese horror film series, see Guinea Pig (film series).
The Guinea Pig
"The Guinea Pig" (1948).jpg
Directed by Roy Boulting
Produced by John Boulting
Written by Roy Boulting
Warren Chetham-Strode (play)
Bernard Miles
Starring Richard Attenborough Tony Stubbs
Music by John Wooldridge
Cinematography Gilbert Taylor
Edited by Richard Best
Distributed by Pathé Pictures International (UK)
Release date
  • 27 October 1948 (1948-10-27)
Running time
97 minutes
Country United Kingdom
Language English
Box office £224,694 (UK)[1]

The Guinea Pig is a 1948 British film by Pilgrim Pictures, also known as The Outsider in the United States. The film is adapted from the 1946 play of the same name by Warren Chetham-Strode.[2]

Plot Summary[edit]

The "guinea pig" is 14-year-old Jack Read (played by 25-year-old Richard Attenborough), a tobacconist's son who, following the Fleming Report,[3] is given a scholarship to Saintbury, an exclusive public school. The school used in the film was Sherborne School in Dorset.

Only after the changes wreaked by the Second World War, could such a scenario be imagined. Of course, Read's uncouth behaviour causes him difficulties in fitting into the school. The film was controversial as it contains the first screen use of the word "arse".[4]


Critical reception[edit]

  • The New York Times wrote, "the details are highly parochial, the attitudes of the characters are strangely stiff, the accents and idioms are hard to fathom—and the exposition is involved and tedious."[5]
  • Time Out called it, "solid entertainment, even if barely convincing".[6]

Trade papers called the film a "notable box office attraction" in British cinemas in 1949.[7]


  1. ^ Vincent Porter, 'The Robert Clark Account', Historical Journal of Film, Radio and Television, Vol 20 No 4, 2000 p487
  2. ^ "The Guinea Pig | BFI | BFI". Retrieved 2014-03-12. 
  3. ^ Public school (United Kingdom)
  4. ^ "The Guinea Pig (1948) - Trailers, Reviews, Synopsis, Showtimes and Cast". AllMovie. Retrieved 2014-03-12. 
  5. ^ Crowther, Bosley (1949-05-02). "Movie Review - The Guinea Pig - THE SCREEN IN REVIEW; 'The Guinea Pig,' English Film About Public School System, Opens at Little Carnegie". Retrieved 2014-03-12. 
  6. ^ "The Guinea Pig | review, synopsis, book tickets, showtimes, movie release date | Time Out London". Retrieved 2014-03-12. 
  7. ^ Robert Murphy, Realism and Tinsel: Cinema and Society in Britain 1939-48 2003 p211

External links[edit]