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A Kid for Two Farthings (1955)

Approved | | Comedy, Drama, Family | 15 August 1955 (UK)
In a lower-class London community of small shops, open-air vendors and flea-marketers, Joe, a small boy, lives with his mother, Joanne, who works in and rooms above the Kandinsky tailor ... See full summary »

Director:

Carol Reed

Writers:

Wolf Mankowitz (based on the book by), Wolf Mankowitz (screenplay)
Reviews
1 nomination. See more awards »

Photos

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Celia Johnson ... Joanna
Diana Dors ... Sonia
David Kossoff ... Avrom Kandinsky
Joe Robinson ... Sam Heppner
Jonathan Ashmore Jonathan Ashmore ... Joe
Brenda de Banzie ... 'Lady' Ruby (as Brenda De Banzie)
Primo Carnera Primo Carnera ... Python Macklin
Lou Jacobi ... Blackie Isaacs
Irene Handl ... Mrs. Abramowitz
Danny Green ... Bully Bason
Sydney Tafler Sydney Tafler ... Madam Rita
Sidney James ... Ice Berg
Vera Day ... Mimi
Daphne Anderson ... Dora
Joseph Tomelty ... Vagrant
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Storyline

In a lower-class London community of small shops, open-air vendors and flea-marketers, Joe, a small boy, lives with his mother, Joanne, who works in and rooms above the Kandinsky tailor shop. Joe is innocently and earnestly determined to help realize the wishes of his poor, hard-working neighbours. Hearing from Mr. Kandinsky the tale that a captured unicorn will grant any wish, Joe uses his accumulated pocket change to buy a kid with an emerging horn, believing it to be a unicorn. His subsequent efforts to make dreams come true exemplify the power of hope and will amidst hardship. Written by Eric Wees <eric_wees@pch.gc.ca>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

CAROL REED, the master of The Unexpected, brings you a motion picture of mood and emotion that surpasses all your expectations!


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

15 August 1955 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

A Rua da Esperança See more »

Filming Locations:

Aldgate, London, England, UK See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Color:

Color (Colour by) (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.65 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The title, "A Kid For Two Farthings" is a play on the traditional, if optional, song which almost always concludes the Passover Seder. It's called "Chad Gad Yaw: ( English approximate pronunciation of the Aramaic). It is often translated as "A Kid For Two Zuzim" (a monetary denomination for which "farthing" is an inspired translation. The events in the song are cumulative (as in "The Twelve Days of Christmas.")as well as something of a tongue-twister in the original. For more, see "Chad_Gadya" online for more information. See more »

Goofs

Python Macklin is clearly meant to be a British wrestler, yet he speaks in a foreign accent. See more »

Quotes

Madam Rita: You heard of Christian Dior? Well, I'm Yiddishe Dior.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Talkies: Memories of Diana Dors (2017) See more »

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User Reviews

 
A boy's imagination gets a fortuitous push by a whim of reality, turning tears into smiles all over...
25 April 2015 | by clanciaiSee all my reviews

I saw this in Britain (Blackpool of all places) in black-and-white on a disturbed television in 1963, but I could never forget the film. 50 years later I can see it again on the computer, but !N COLOUR! which was sensational, and the magic of the very simple and ordinary story appeared in full splendor. This is a fascinating and successful effort to catch the magic of life at the bottom, it's a poor family that can't afford anything, not even a cracked wedding ring, and still a small boy's sense of magic, helped on by an old Jewish tailor of singular psychological insight, brings this family to a kind of realization of all their dreams - except one. It's simply a presentation of how magic can work on even the most basic levels. To this comes the overwhelming charm of the street life of East End with a picturesque gallery of originals without end, so you could easily see this film many times and each time find new treasures; and the great acting of all the protagonists, Diana Dors, 'Britain's only blonde bomb-shell' stealing every scene she appears in, and Celia Johnson good as always, while the two characters you will remember with the greatest pleasure undoubtedly will be David Kossoff as Mr Kandinsky the old tailor, and the boy Joe, played by Jonathan Ashmore - I've never seen him again. Primo Camera as the monstrous Python and Danny Green as Bully Bason add another kind of charm and spice to the stew and enrich the colorful gallery with burlesque and sometimes awesome brutality. Finally poetry is added to it by the endearing music of Benjamin Frankel, veiling it all in lovability. This was Carol Reed's first color film and will remain a priceless gem of poetry-in-the-gutter for all times.


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