13 user 8 critic

A Kid for Two Farthings (1955)

Approved | | Comedy, Drama, Family | 15 August 1955 (UK)
In a lower-class London community of small shops, open-air vendors and flea-marketers, Joe, a small boy, lives with his mother, Joanne, who works in and rooms above the Kandinsky tailor ... See full summary »



(based on the book by), (screenplay)

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1 nomination. See more awards »


Cast overview, first billed only:
Avrom Kandinsky
Sam Heppner
Jonathan Ashmore ...
Brenda de Banzie ...
'Lady' Ruby
Primo Carnera ...
Blackie Isaacs
Mrs. Abramowitz
Bully Bason
Sydney Tafler ...
Madam Rita
Sidney James ...
Ice Berg
Joseph Tomelty ...


In a lower-class London community of small shops, open-air vendors and flea-marketers, Joe, a small boy, lives with his mother, Joanne, who works in and rooms above the Kandinsky tailor shop. Joe is innocently and earnestly determined to help realize the wishes of his poor, hard-working neighbours. Hearing from Mr. Kandinsky the tale that a captured unicorn will grant any wish, Joe uses his accumulated pocket change to buy a kid with an emerging horn, believing it to be a unicorn. His subsequent efforts to make dreams come true exemplify the power of hope and will amidst hardship. Written by Eric Wees <eric_wees@pch.gc.ca>

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Plot Keywords:

unicorn | tailor | horn | wish | yiddish | See All (125) »


CAROL REED, the master of The Unexpected, brings you a motion picture of mood and emotion that surpasses all your expectations!


Approved | See all certifications »




Release Date:

15 August 1955 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

A Rua da Esperança  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)



Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


Carol Reed's first colour film. See more »


Python Macklin is clearly meant to be a British wrestler, yet he speaks in a foreign accent. See more »


Madam Rita: You heard of Christian Dior? Well, I'm Yiddishe Dior.
See more »

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User Reviews

Carol Reed paints Petticoat Lane with fantasy splendour.
18 September 2008 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Young Joe is constantly enthralled by tales of a Unicorn, told to him by Kadinsky the tailor, he is mesmerised by the notion that a Unicorn can make wishes come true. Whilst roaming the market he happens upon a seller who has a one horned Goat for sale, believing it to be a Unicorn, Joe barters for the Goat and begins to see little miracles happening to the folk around the area.

This is a positively delightful film, based on the novel by Wolf Mankowitz, this is the first colour film from acclaimed director Carol Reed. A Kid For Two Farthings plays out the innocence of youth amongst a backdrop of working class trades folk in London's Petticoat Lane, young Joe, believing the Unicorn has mystical powers, starts asking for little miracles to happen to those around him, low and behold fortunes start to take an upturn. That the miracles are easily explained is of no importance in the picture, it's the belief system that this one horned Goat, via Joe's prompting, instills in everyone, a hark back to the time in us all when we believed in magic and miracles.

The cast list boasts Celia Johnson {sadly underused}, Diana Dors, David Kossoff, Brenda de Banzie, Primo Carnera {perfectly cast as a hulking bully of a wrestler} and Sid James. Reed should take a lot of credit for getting such a joyous performance from Jonathan Ashmore as Joe, it's a lovely turn that has sweet innocence seeping from every frame. The film culminates in a well staged wrestling match that ups the tempo considerably, and then the film closes with a truly wonderful final shot that left this particular viewer feeling all the more richer for having just watched this picture. 8/10

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