The Promoter was based on the Arnold Bennett novel The Card, which served as its British release title. Impoverished young clerk Alec Guinness works his way up the financial ladder until he has become a successful and highly respected loan officer. Actually, Guinness is not as above-board as the world perceives him. Beginning with cheating on a high school exam, he has wheeled and dealed his way to the top, and ethics be damned. Balancing Guinness' cold-blooded business savvy is his comparative ineptitude with women, particularly the bewitching Glynis Johns. Only Alec Guinness could succeed at making his "Sammy Glick" character appealing from first scene to last. The Promoter was scripted by Eric Ambler, who managed to unearth moments of sly cynicism that original author Bennett had barely touched upon.
by Hal Erickson synopsis