Wednesday, June 29, 2016

The Smallest Show on Earth (1957)

AKA: Big Time Operators

Director: Basil Dearden

Writers: William Rose, John Eldridge

Composer: William Alwyn

Starring: Virginia McKenna, Bill Travesr, Margaret Rutherford, Peter Sellers, Bernard Miles, Francis De Wolff, Leslie Phillips, June Cunningham, Sidney James, George Cross, George Cormack, Stringer Davis, Michael Corcoran

More info: IMDb

Tagline:  The Funniest Show on Earth!

Plot: A young couple inherits a debt-ridden old movie theater, appropriately nicknamed "The Flea Pit," and the three eccentric senior citizens who work there.

My rating: 7/10

Will I watch it again?  Nah.

British comedies of this era aren't knee-slappers.  Well, mostly.  I can't think of any but I'm sure I've come across some that had me laughing out loud.  Anyway, this one is cute, quaint, harmless and amusing.  The performances are good, the music, story, cinematography and so on.  I really liked the setting of an old movie house.  It looks well worn and it's the kind of place I'd like to spend my remaining years.  Sure, it's old, worn and broken down but it has a charm about it that feels like an old, comfortable sofa, the kind the wife wants you to get rid of and get that upper class perrywinkle blue one that looks too regal to sit in.  Only then do you realize that all she needs to bring her senses around is to watch this movie and let her soak in why that old couch means so much to you.  But then she watches it and still doesn't get it and insists on your helping her drag it to the curb.  That doesn't sit well with you so you tell her you'll call someone over to help but it's your attorney and he shows up at the door not to help but to serve her with divorce papers.  Who's got the last laugh now?  Yeah, that's right, it's a happy ending as you slink back into that comfy couch and take a well-earned nap.  Oh, the Peter Sellers Collection DVD from Anchor Bay has a great looking anamorphic widescreen print with zero extras.

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