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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:

Basil Dearden

Writers:

William Rose (original story), John Eldridge (screenplay)
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Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Virginia McKenna ... Jean Spenser
Bill Travers ... Matt Spenser
Margaret Rutherford ... Mrs. Fazackalee
Peter Sellers ... Mr. Percy Quill
Bernard Miles ... Old Tom
Francis De Wolff Francis De Wolff ... Albert Hardcastle (as Francis de Wolff)
Leslie Phillips ... Robin Carter
June Cunningham ... Marlene Hogg
Sidney James ... Mr. Hogg
George Cross George Cross ... Grand Commissionaire
George Cormack George Cormack ... Sam Bell
Stringer Davis Stringer Davis ... Fred Emmett
Michael Corcoran Michael Corcoran ... Taxi Driver
Edit

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:

The Funniest Pair on Earth in the Funniest Show on Earth! See more »

Genres:

Comedy

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

31 October 1960 (Sweden) See more »

Also Known As:

Big Time Operators See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.75 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The final scene of Killer Riders of Wyoming features Lane Chandler, Yakima Canutt, Lafe McKee, and an unidentified leading lady in what is obviously an independent production of the early 1930s. 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 Knock on Wood (1954) See more »

Soundtracks

God Save the Queen
(uncredited)
trad.
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 shih_tzuSee 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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