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      The Smallest Show on Earth

      Released Nov 22, 1957 1h 20m Comedy List
      Reviews 68% Audience Score 500+ Ratings When Matt Spenser (Bill Travers) and his wife, Jean (Virginia McKenna), inherit a small cinema, the Bijou, from a distant relative, they are shocked to find a decrepit building that comes with a group of aging employees. Matt and Jean try to sell the Bijou to Albert Hardcastle (Francis De Wolff), the owner of a large nearby cinema, but he gives them a lowball offer. Instead, they decide to open the theater, using a few clever marketing schemes to gain viewers at the expense of Hardcastle. Read More Read Less

      Critics Reviews

      View All (3) Critics Reviews
      MFB Critics Monthly Film Bulletin The whole weight of this gay idea is carried by Bernard Miles, Margaret Rutherford and Peter Sellers... Outside these three, the film is a rather poor example of conventional British screen comedy, with stock characters and situations. Mar 4, 2019 Full Review Emanuel Levy EmanuelLevy.Com Rated: 2/5 Aug 3, 2005 Full Review Amber Wilkinson Eye for Film Very much an ensemble piece, it relies heavily on sight gags and cinema business. Rated: 3.5/5 Aug 3, 2002 Full Review Read all reviews

      Audience Reviews

      View All (32) audience reviews
      isla s I found this film a gentle comedy - it was quite funny, in a nostalgic way. The story was interesting and the characters quirky. I found it a very good watch. My favourite character was Mrs. Fazackalee, who is often referred to and I found myself giggling at the mention of her name, possibly due to the tone used when it was said?. Its hard to fully review this film other than to say its an old British comedy from the late 1950s and I enjoyed the story, finding it funny at numerous points, with an interesting variety of quirky characters - it has one or two morals about it which I liked and I would happily recommend this film to others. Rated 5 out of 5 stars 03/31/23 Full Review Audience Member Feel good film with lots of fabulous actors. It is based in the fifties so a little dared but light and amusing with a great community story. Saw this first as a child in the sixties but still amuses me Rated 4 out of 5 stars 02/26/23 Full Review martin a A delightful little movie about a couple who inherited a distant Uncles Cinema that happens to be a flea pit, and is run by three rather eccentric characters! The film drips in sentiment, and the cast is all outstanding. I wish however the couple had fallen in love with the Cinema rather than just wanting money and had managed to turn it around, I would also have liked to have seen more of Rutherford in the film, but it is a lovely classic. Rated 4.5 out of 5 stars 03/31/23 Full Review s r It feels like an Ealing comedy. It was sweet and fun. There should be more humor and movies like this. Rated 3.5 out of 5 stars 03/31/23 Full Review Audience Member Sweet & funny tale of making a bad business work again, when even the things in your favor are net negatives. If this were to be remade, I would change the ending to having the silent film bit be successfully commercialized. Rated 3.5 out of 5 stars 01/25/23 Full Review yannis a Good fun, helped by a charming screenplay! Rated 3.5 out of 5 stars 03/31/23 Full Review Read all reviews
      The Smallest Show on Earth

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      Synopsis When Matt Spenser (Bill Travers) and his wife, Jean (Virginia McKenna), inherit a small cinema, the Bijou, from a distant relative, they are shocked to find a decrepit building that comes with a group of aging employees. Matt and Jean try to sell the Bijou to Albert Hardcastle (Francis De Wolff), the owner of a large nearby cinema, but he gives them a lowball offer. Instead, they decide to open the theater, using a few clever marketing schemes to gain viewers at the expense of Hardcastle.
      Director
      Basil Dearden
      Producer
      Sidney Gilliat, Frank Launder, Michael Relph
      Screenwriter
      John Eldredge, William Rose
      Distributor
      Times Film Corporation
      Production Co
      British Lion
      Genre
      Comedy
      Original Language
      English
      Release Date (Theaters)
      Nov 22, 1957, Original
      Release Date (Streaming)
      Aug 9, 2017
      Runtime
      1h 20m