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Big Time Operators (1957)
"The Smallest Show on Earth" (original title)

7.0
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Ratings: 7.0/10 from 1,078 users  
Reviews: 32 user | 18 critic

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

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Title: Big Time Operators (1957)

Big Time Operators (1957) on IMDb 7/10

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Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. See more awards »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Jean Spenser
...
Matt Spenser
Margaret Rutherford ...
Mrs. Fazackalee
...
Percy Quill
...
Old Tom
Francis De Wolff ...
Albert Hardcastle
...
Robin Carter
June Cunningham ...
Marlene Hogg
Sidney James ...
Mr. Hogg
George Cross ...
Commissionaire
George Cormack ...
Bell
Stringer Davis ...
Emmett
Michael Corcoran ...
Taxi Driver
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Storyline

Jean and Bill are a struggling married couple with Bill trying to scrape a living as a writer. Out of the blue they receive a telegram informing them that Bill's long-lost uncle has died and left them his business - a cinema in the town of Sloughborough. They pack their bags and travel to Sloughborough expecting to sell the cinema to gain a huge inheritance, however, they discover the cinema is falling apart and is run by a comically incompetant staff who seem to have worked there forever. They set out with a plan to sell it but things don't quite go to plan. Written by Col Needham <col@imdb.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy

Certificate:

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

16 March 1962 (Finland)  »

Also Known As:

Big Time Operators  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The viewer twice sees a close up of a bottle of whiskey, for which Quill has a weakness. Unusually it is not a prop label but a bottle of a genuine mainstream brand, Dewars. There was surely no question of product placement as Quill is clearly shown to have a drink problem. See more »

Goofs

At one point, Carter is talking to Matt Spenser with his hands by his side and the next shot shows Carter holding Matt by the arms. See more »

Quotes

Hardcastle: A nice young couple like yourself, you've no business in this business. If you'd seen your great uncle what it did for him in the end! That old battle-ax Mrs. Fazackalee! I remember when she was a wee slip of a thing, pretty as a picture - a "B" picture, mind yuh!
[laughs]
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Gremlins (1984) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Sweet-natured, droll, in its own quiet way a sublime comedy.
7 June 2004 | by (Seattle, Washington) – See all my reviews

It seems to me that in recent years most filmmakers believe that to hold a viewer's interest a film must be fast-paced, full of conflict, and in short "edgy". The British comedies from the this time are leisurely paced, and work extraordinarily well because they are full of wit, first-class acting, and not a small dose of irony. For me, "The Smallest Show on Earth" is a "sleeper". In the US I suspect it is lesser known than "The Mouse that Roared" and some of the wonderful Alec Guinness comedies; but I find its' gentility and droll humor to be wonderful! (I would also add that I think that it's a shame Peter Sellers - who has a marvelous supporting role as a doddering projectionist - is best known to moviegoers in the US from his Pink Panther movies, which I think were mostly a waste of his prodigious talents.)


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