A Run for Your Money

A minor though still appealing effort from the Ealing Studios, this 1949 comedy relates the misadventures of two Welsh coal miners on their first trip to London, where they go to collect a sweepstakes prize. After the two get separated in a crowd, one falls into the clutches of a beautiful con artist, while the other bumps into an old friend (an eccentric harpist played by Hugh Griffith) who takes him on a crosstown drinking binge. Director Charles Frend keeps the mood jolly, though the film has a strong melancholy undercurrent; as the story develops it becomes clear that all the urban characters harbor broken dreams, and this grants a certain poignancy to the miners’ simple optimism. Alec Guinness turns in a supporting role as a prissy “gardening correspondent” who gets sucked into the farcical complications.