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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 1,019 users  
Reviews: 31 user | 17 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)

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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:

See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

16 March 1962 (Finland)  »

Also Known As:

Big Time Operators  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The films shown at the Bijou (all fictional and presumably filmed just for this movie) are:
  • Killer Riders of Wyoming


  • The Mystery of Hell Valley


  • Devil Riders of Parched Point


See more »

Goofs

When the young couple arrive in "Sloughborough", in the north of England, they climb out of the taxi in front of Hammersmith underground station in London. 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

References The Goose Steps Out (1942) See more »

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User Reviews

 
evocation of a long gone era
6 February 2006 | by (london) – See all my reviews

By some chance i watched this film yesterday morning,and in the afternoon i drove past the spot in Kilburn where the exterior had been constructed on my way to an organ concert at the Gaumont State Kilburn.I also passed the site of the Classic Kilburn,now a petrol station,which was the sort of cinema epitomised by "The Bijou".In the 1950s,when the film was made,there were a lot of cinemas,or flea pits as we called them like "The Bijou".Mainly surviving on revivals of old films.The Classic chain in particular.I loved these old cinemas,and although they were not as rundown as "the Bijou" they still had seen better days.Unfortunately many of these cinemas were located in high streets and thus were prime targets for the newly emerging phenomenon of supermarkets.So not only is this film a comedic masterpiece but to me it is a warm reminder of the passing of these marvelous places.


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