The Oracle (film)
The Oracle (known as The Horse's Mouth in the United States ) is a 1953 British comedy film directed by C.M. Pennington-Richards and starring Robert Beatty, Michael Medwin and Virginia McKenna. The screenplay concerns a journalist who goes on holiday to Ireland where he encounters a fortune-teller.
Original trade ad by Ronald Searle
|Directed by||C.M. Pennington-Richards|
|Produced by||Colin Lesslie|
|Written by||Patrick Campbell|
Anthony Steven (additional dialogue)
|Based on||radio play To Tell You the Truth by Robert Barr|
|Music by||Temple Abady|
|Edited by||John Trumper|
|Distributed by||Associated British-Pathé (UK)|
It was based on a radio play To Tell You the Truth by Robert Barr. It was shot at Southall Studios on a budget of £43,000.
Timothy Blake (Michael Medwin), a British reporter holidaying or a remote island offshore of Ireland, hears a man's voice coming from the bottom of a well. The voice turns out to be a modern-day Oracle, or fortune teller, whose predictions prove uncannily accurate. Bob is determined to get a story out of this, but his editor is less enthusiastic and promptly fires him. The newfound publicity though, means the once-sleepy Irish village is now invaded with curiosity seekers, and those seeking the horse racing results.
- Robert Beatty as Bob Jefferson
- Michael Medwin as Timothy Blake
- Virginia McKenna as Shelagh
- Mervyn Johns as Tom Mitchum
- Arthur Macrae as Alan Digby
- Gillian Lind as Jane Bond
- Ursula Howells as Peggy
- Louise Hampton as Miss Turner
- John Charlesworth as Denis
- Joseph Tomelty as Terry Roche
- Lockwood West as Adams
- Maire O'Neill as Mrs Lenham
- John McBride as Mick
- Derek Tansley as Idiot Boy
- Patrick McAlinney as O'Keefe
- Lionel Marson as Announcer
- Jean St. Clair as Young Girl
- Jack May as Old Man
- Gilbert Harding as Voice of the Oracle
Allmovie called it "A lesser comedy of the Ealing school (though not from the Ealing studios)"; the Radio Times called it a "piffling comedy in which whimsy is heaped on to make up for the absence of genuine humour"; but Fantastic Movie Musings and Ramblings thought more highly of the piece, whilst acknowledging "This is no classic, but it’s pleasant and has a little meat on its bones," and concluding the film was "Worth a look."
- Chibnall, Steve (2003). Get Carter. UK: I. B. Taurus. p. 23. ISBN 9781860649103.
- "The Oracle (1953)".
- Chibnall & McFarlane p.116
- "The Oracle (1952) - C.M. Pennington-Richards,C. Pennington Richards - Synopsis, Characteristics, Moods, Themes and Related - AllMovie".
- "The Oracle - Film from RadioTimes".
- Sindelar, Dave (21 November 2016). "The Oracle (1953)".
- Chibnall, Steve & McFarlane, Brian. The British 'B' Film. Palgrave MacMillan, 2009.
- Harper, Sue & Porter, Vincent. British Cinema of the 1950s: The Decline of Deference. Oxford University Press, 2007.