The Philosopher's Stone
An update of the King Midas legend, Ray's 1957 comedy concerns a middle-aged bank clerk (Tulsi Chakravarty) who happens on a stone with alchemical properties, allowing him to turn steel into gold. Needless to say, he soon becomes one of the more popular men in town. Inserting this bit of magic into the everyday, Ray satirizes the dreams that pass for values in modern society. One of the most rarely shown of Ray's films, The Philosopher's Stone is a subtle, cleverly nuanced satire of middle-class attitudes, and a classic tale (at once reminiscent of Gogol and Sturges) of universal irony. “One of the most sophisticated and effective satires produced by world cinema,” raved Sight & Sound.