7.1/10
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34 user 17 critic

Big Time Operators (1957)

The Smallest Show on Earth (original title)
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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(screenplay), (screenplay)
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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
...
Mrs. Fazackalee
...
Percy Quill
...
Old Tom
Francis De Wolff ...
Albert Hardcastle
...
Robin Carter
...
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

Taglines:

A Bonanza of British Belly Laughs See more »

Genres:

Comedy

Certificate:

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

31 October 1960 (Sweden)  »

Also Known As:

Big Time Operators  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.75 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Comin' Thro the Rye (1923) was not filmed just for this movie but was an actual Silent Classic directed by Cecil M. Hepworth. See more »

Goofs

When Mrs Fazackalee tells Matt Carter that she "can't tolerate Mr Quill", her position changes between shots, from close to the desk to being near the middle of the room. See more »

Quotes

Jean: [Reacting to seeing the inside of the theater and its employees for the first time] Flea pit? More like "The Snake Pit!"
See more »

Connections

Spoofs The Greatest Show on Earth (1952) See more »

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User Reviews

 
How it used to be in the movie business in the old days
2 December 2001 | by (Lincoln, England) – See all my reviews

This film is one of my favourites because fifty years ago I was a young projectionists in a small cinema in the East Midlands, England. My future wife, was also a projectionist there (this was just after World War II, and the men were still away in the forces) and was where we met. I later became a movie house manager for several years before leaving the business with the advent of TV. Although it was hilarious the film hit the nail on the head with many home truths. The projectionist and the cashier were always rivals and vied for positions of authority. I knew many projectionists who were fond of the bottle. The way the show was kept running in all adversities was also typical of real life in a small "flea pit". A great film of days that used to be ! Incidentally my wife and I celebrated our golden wedding two years ago, and we did our courting at the movies on our days off.


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