IMDb > Big Time Operators (1957)
The Smallest Show on Earth
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Big Time Operators (1957) More at IMDbPro »The Smallest Show on Earth (original title)

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Overview

User Rating:
7.0/10   1,022 votes »
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Up 35% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Director:
Writers:
William Rose (screenplay)
John Eldridge (screenplay)
Contact:
View company contact information for Big Time Operators on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
16 March 1962 (Finland) See more »
Genre:
Plot:
A young couple inherits a debt-ridden old movie theater, appropriately nicknamed "The Flea Pit," and the three eccentric senior citizens who work there. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Awards:
Nominated for BAFTA Film Award. See more »
User Reviews:
Sweet-natured, droll, in its own quiet way a sublime comedy. See more (31 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Virginia McKenna ... Jean Spenser

Bill Travers ... Matt Spenser
Margaret Rutherford ... Mrs. Fazackalee

Peter Sellers ... Percy Quill

Bernard Miles ... Old Tom
Francis De Wolff ... Albert Hardcastle

Leslie Phillips ... Robin Carter
June Cunningham ... Marlene Hogg
Sidney James ... Mr. Hogg
George Cross ... Commissionaire
George Cormack ... Bell
Stringer Davis ... Emmett
Michael Corcoran ... Taxi Driver
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
John Bush ... Cast Member (uncredited)
Marian Collins ... Ice-Cream Girl (uncredited)
Liz Fraser ... Girl in Cinema (uncredited)

Frazer Hines ... Cast Member (uncredited)
Billy Lawrence ... Cast Member (uncredited)
John Pike ... Cast Member (uncredited)
Lynne Roberts ... Cast Member (uncredited)
Michael Scoble ... Cast Member (uncredited)
Leslie Slysz ... Cast Member (uncredited)
The Blake Twins ... Cast Members (uncredited)
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Directed by
Basil Dearden 
 
Writing credits
William Rose (screenplay & original story)

John Eldridge (screenplay)

Produced by
Leslie Gilliat .... associate producer
Michael Relph .... producer
Sidney Gilliat .... executive producer (uncredited)
Frank Launder .... executive producer (uncredited)
 
Original Music by
William Alwyn 
 
Cinematography by
Douglas Slocombe 
 
Film Editing by
Oswald Hafenrichter 
 
Art Direction by
Allan Harris 
 
Costume Design by
Anthony Mendleson 
 
Makeup Department
Hilda Fox .... hair stylist
Harry Frampton .... makeup artist
 
Production Management
John Pellatt .... production manager
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Eddie Pike .... assistant director
John Meadows .... second assistant director (uncredited)
Claude Watson .... third assistant director (uncredited)
 
Art Department
John Earl .... draughtsman (uncredited)
Roy Walker .... draughtsman (uncredited)
 
Sound Department
Buster Ambler .... sound recordist
Arthur Cox .... dubbing editor
John Cox .... sound supervisor
Bob Jones .... sound recordist
John Aldred .... dubbing crew (uncredited)
Jimmy Dooley .... sound camera operator (uncredited)
Ken Ritchie .... boom operator (uncredited)
 
Special Effects by
Bob Cuff .... special effects (as R. Cuff)
Wally Veevers .... special effects
 
Visual Effects by
Bob Cuff .... matte painter (uncredited)
George Samuels .... special processes (uncredited)
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Jeff Seaholme .... camera operator
Paddy Aherne .... focus puller (uncredited)
Ron Drinkwater .... focus puller (uncredited)
Norman Hargood .... still photographer (uncredited)
 
Editorial Department
Guy Ambler .... second assistant editor (uncredited)
Alan Corder .... second assistant editor (uncredited)
Eileen Daines .... second assistant editor (uncredited)
Alban Streeter .... assistant editor (uncredited)
 
Music Department
Muir Mathieson .... conductor
 
Other crew
Jane Buck .... continuity
Sidney Gilliat .... presenter
Frank Launder .... presenter
 
Crew verified as complete


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Additional Details

Also Known As:
"The Smallest Show on Earth" - UK (original title)
See more »
Runtime:
80 min
Country:
Language:
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Westrex Recording System)
Certification:

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:
Errors in geography: 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:
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 »
Movie Connections:
Features Comin' Thro the Rye (1923)See more »

FAQ

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
16 out of 16 people found the following review useful.
Sweet-natured, droll, in its own quiet way a sublime comedy., 7 June 2004
Author: jpm-15 from Seattle, Washington

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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Message Boards

Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for Big Time Operators (1957)
Recent Posts (updated daily)User
peter sellers old?? kateyk12
Goofs ? Greenman58
No Margaret Rutherford Near the End? smthdonovan
Bill Travers jeremy3
Did the couple come from north Wales? jeremy3
Check out the DVD mam13143
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