7.0/10
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14 user 8 critic

The Optimists of Nine Elms (1973)

A retired entertainer makes his living as a street musician on the streets of London. Two young children befriend the old musician, brightening his otherwise colorless life.

Director:

Anthony Simmons

Writers:

Anthony Simmons (novel), Tudor Gates (screenplay)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Peter Sellers ... Sam
Donna Mullane Donna Mullane ... Liz
John Chaffey John Chaffey ... Mark
David Daker ... Bob Ellis
Marjorie Yates Marjorie Yates ... Chrissie Ellis
Katyana Kass Katyana Kass ... Baby Ellis
Patricia Brake ... Dog's Home Secretary
Don Crown Don Crown ... Busker
Bruce Purchase Bruce Purchase ... Policeman
Michael Graham Cox Michael Graham Cox ... Park Keeper
Bernie Searle Bernie Searle ... Dustman
Tommy Wright Tommy Wright ... Dustman
Pat Beckett Pat Beckett ... Laundry Lady
Daphne Lawson Daphne Lawson ... Laundry Lady
Candyce Jane Brandl Candyce Jane Brandl ... Laundry Lady
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Storyline

A retired entertainer makes his living as a street musician on the streets of London. Two young children befriend the old musician, brightening his otherwise colorless life.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Meet Sam, the wonder man. He's got madness in his closet, everybody in trouble, the police in circles - and the world in his pocket. See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

UK | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

18 October 1973 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Optimists See more »

Filming Locations:

Battersea, London, England, UK See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

John Chaffey gave up acting, studied medicine and became a renowned osteopath. See more »

Goofs

Sam visits the inside of Chelsea Football Club, but the outside of Fulham Football Club (note the graffiti and the park, which is next to FFC). See more »

Quotes

Sam: Inside your head you can build...
Mark: A skyscraper
Sam: Aye... a palace. A what?
Mark: An apple.
Sam: An orange.
Mark: A steamboat.
Sam: The lot. If you think with your eyeballs and forget all that rot from teachers and fathers and mothers and cops. That is *private*. It's *yours*.
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User Reviews

A lovely film
7 May 2014 | by Wizard-8See all my reviews

"The Optimists" was a box office disaster when it was released to theaters in 1973, and has all but been forgotten since despite the presence of Peter Sellers. It's a real shame, because it is an absolutely charming movie. Sellers gives an excellent lead performance, making you believe this a man who is well travelled and a little tired and frustrated, but still goes on despite the circumstances. But the child performers who play the kids that befriend Sellers' character also deserve kudos - they are absolutely convincing and their performances don't feel the least bit forced. Director Anthony Simmons (who also co-wrote the screenplay based on his book) avoids a polished look and feel, and really captures the poor side of London and its various residents in a way that makes it feel absolutely real. The story is somewhat meandering, but has so much charm that you will follow it all the way to the end. And the Lionel Bart songs, including the wonderful "Sometimes" are the icing on the cake. If I have a complaint, it's that the British accents are sometimes very hard to make out, though fortunately that's only an occasional problem.


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