The Small World of Sammy Lee (1963) - News Poster


DVD Review – The Small World of Sammy Lee (1963)

The Small World Of Sammy Lee, 1963.

Directed by Ken Hughes.

Starring Anthony Newley, Julia Foster and Robert Stephens.


The compère of a seedy strip club struggles to keep one step ahead of the bookies to whom he owes money.

Before video came along, the only way to see a film was at the cinema or on TV. As such as soon as the dawn of home release (with VHS evolving into DVD’s, and now Blu-ray) came, there was an entire history of film to catch up on in terms of releasing. The more iconic films would take precedent, or the box office success. Or some older films could be caught in a mire of rights issues due to folded companies or sold rights. British cinema boomed in the 60’s, yet finding available releases of some lost nuggets of gold can be tough and good releases even more difficult.
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Anthony Newley in clip from 1960s British thriller The Small World of Sammy Lee – video

Set in the grimy streets of early-60s Soho, The Small World of Sammy Lee is a lost gem of British cinema. Starring Anthony Newley as a strip-club compere who owes a large amount of money to a local villain, it was written and directed by Ken Hughes (best known for Chitty Chitty Bang Bang) and was photographed by the renowned Wolfgang Suschitzky. It also features a host of recognisable faces in smaller roles, including Steptoe’s Wilfrid Brambell, The Rag Trade’s Miriam Karlin, and Till Death Us Do Part’s Warren Mitchell.

The Small World of Sammy Lee is released on Blu-ray on 14 November

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