7.1/10
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38 user 18 critic

Big Time Operators (1957)

The Smallest Show on Earth (original title)
Not Rated | | Comedy | 31 October 1960 (Sweden)
A young couple inherits a debt-ridden old movie theater, appropriately nicknamed "The Flea Pit," and the three eccentric senior citizens who work there.

Director:

Writers:

(original story), (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
... Mr. Percy Quill
... Old Tom
Francis De Wolff ... Albert Hardcastle (as Francis de Wolff)
... Robin Carter
... Marlene Hogg
... Mr. Hogg
George Cross ... Grand Commissionaire
George Cormack ... Sam Bell
Stringer Davis ... Fred 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:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

31 October 1960 (Sweden)  »

Also Known As:

Big Time Operators  »

Company Credits

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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

The exterior of the Bijou Cinema was a facade built for the film between two railway bridges on Christchurch Avenue in Kilburn, next to Kilburn Underground station. See more »

Goofs

When Carter takes the Spensers to the cinema, their positions and the position of the cart outside the cinema change from the overhead shot to the one looking from behind them towards the cinema. The shadows change between shots as well. 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

References One Good Turn (1955) See more »

Soundtracks

God Save the Queen
(uncredited)
trad.
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User Reviews

 
evocation of a long gone era
6 February 2006 | by 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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