The Smallest Show on Earth

Big Time Operators

1957

Basil Dearden
Director
British Lion
Distributor

Happy couple Travers and McKenna inherit a cinema from a long-forgotten relative. Unfortunately for them it's not quite the movie palace they expect.

Delightful comedy, thanks especially to the motley crew of the cinema itself. Rutherford, as always, steals every scene she's in, while Sellers and especially Miles make the most convincing pair of old codgers before Albert Finney in Scrooge. Travers' travails in the projection booth help to answer why there are so few pristine prints of old films still around! Were British cinemas really this unruly back then?

-Dave W.

Additional screencaps courtesy Gerald Lovell, and thanks to Philly for identifying a bunch of former unknowns!.

Originally done 10 September 2012.

The Smallest Show on Earth
9th April 1957
Cinema



82 mins
1.37:1

Big Time Operators
22nd November 1957
Cinema



80 mins
1.37:1



HyperLink
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Peter Brace
Cowboy in Sped-up Fight
Dave's Unknown Male 8
Bijou Kinema Audience
Freddie Frinton
Photo in Office
Unknown 17636
Unknown 17636
Unknown 17636
Unknown 17636
Unknown 17636
Unknown 17636
Unknown 17636
Virginia McKenna
Jean Spenser
Bill Travers
Matt Spenser
Peter Sellers
Percy Quill
Margaret Rutherford
Mrs. Fazackalee
Bernard Miles
Old Tom
Francis De Wolff
Albert Hardcastle
Sid James
Mr. Hogg
(as Sidney James)
George Cross
Grand Comissionaire
June Cunningham
Marlene Hogg
Leslie Phillips
Robin Carter
George Cormack
Sam Bell
Stringer Davis
Fred Emmett
Michael Corcoran
Taxi Driver
Unknown 17636
Postman
Unknown 17636
Train Passenger
Unknown
Waiter on Train
Meadows White
Sloughborough Ticket Collector
Unknown 17636
Grand Cinema Queue
Unknown 17636
Grand Cinema Queue
Unknown 17636
Grand Cinema Queue
Unknown 17636
Grand Cinema Queue
Unknown 17636
Grand Cinema Queue
Unknown 17636
Grand Cinema Queue
Unknown 17636
Grand Cinema Queue
Unknown 17636
Grand Cinema Queue
Unknown 17636
Grand Cinema Queue
Unknown 17636
Grand Cinema Queue
Jack Sharp
Grand Cinema Queue
Unknown 17636
Restaurant Patron
Unknown Male 48
Restaurant Patron
Johnny Wyne
Barman
Len Llewellyn
Restaurant Patron
Otto Friese
Restaurant Patron
Norman Wisdom
Sort of Cameo
(Poster for One Good Turn (1955))
Cyril Kent
Café Patron
Unknown Male 201
Café Patron
Unknown 17636
Café Patron
Unknown Female 57
Counterwoman
Jim Morris
Passerby
Unknown Male 63
Passerby
Unknown 17636
Indian in Killer Riders of Wyoming
Unknown 17636
Indian in Killer Riders of Wyoming
Joe Powell
Indian in Killer Riders of Wyoming
John Sullivan
Cowboy in Killer Riders of Wyoming
Terry Burton
The First Customer
Unknown Male 90
Bijou Kinema Audience
Alf Mangan
Bijou Kinema Audience
June Ramsay
Bijou Kinema Audience
Liz Fraser
Bijou Kinema Audience
Unknown 17636
Indian Chief in Killer Riders of Wyoming
(probably footage from old Western)
Jeff Silk
Bijou Kinema Patron
Unknown Female 72
Bijou Kinema Patron
Jimmy Charters
Bijou Kinema Audience
Manny Michael
Bijou Kinema Audience
Unknown Male 116
Bijou Kinema Audience
Unknown Male 14
Bijou Kinema Audience
Unknown Male 32
Bijou Kinema Audience
Unknown Male 78
Bijou Kinema Audience
Barry Steele
Boyfriend in Cinema
Unknown
Girlfriend in Cinema
(Marion Shaw?)
Lane Chandler
Actor in Western
(footage from Battling Buckaroo (1932))
Yakima Canutt
Actor in Western
(footage from Battling Buckaroo (1932))
Lafe McKee
Actor in Western
(footage from Battling Buckaroo (1932))
Doris Hill
Actor in Western
(footage from Battling Buckaroo (1932))
Unknown Female 44
Bijou Kinema Patron
Ray Schock
Second Grand Cinema Queue
Peter Copley
Hank in The Mystery of Hell Valley
Mario Fabrizi
Actor in The Mystery of Hell Valley
Shayle Gardner
Paul Vasher in Comin' Thro the Rye (1923)
David Gregory
Teddy-boy Fighting in Cinema
Frank Launder
Grand Cinema Audience
Jack May
Man in Cinema
Bill Nagy
Culpepper in The Devil Riders of Parched Point
Trevor Reid
Doctor
John Slavid
Johnnie, Lead Teddy-boy
Raymond Smith
Teddy-boy Fighting in Cinema
George Spence
Bijou Kinema Audience
Audrey Sykes
Old Lady in Cinema (Mavis)
Alma Taylor
Helen Adair in Comin' Thro the Rye (1923)
Unknown
Old Tom's Cat
Unknown
Actress in The Devil Riders of Parched Point
Doris Yorke
Old Lady in Cinema
Unknown Male 104
Second Grand Cinema Queue
Lindsay Hooper
Second Grand Cinema Queue
Robert Vossler
Grand Cinema Audience
Fred Berman
Grand Cinema Audience
Marian Collins
Grand Refreshment Girl
John Preston
Lynne Brooks
Little Girl
Sandra Robb
Little Girl
Christine Roberts
Little Girl
Jean Langston
Young Girl
Kathie MacMurray
Young Girl
John Bush
Little Boy
Peter Evans
Little Boy
Peter Hicks
Little Boy
Billy Lawrence
Little Boy
Leslie Slysz
Little Boy
Frazer Hines
Young Boy
Anthony John
Young Boy
John Martin
Young Boy
David Paul
Young Boy
John Pike
Young Boy
Anthony Richmond
Young Boy
Michael Scoble
Young Boy
Ted Carroll
Bijou Kinema Audience
Keith Faulkner
Undetermined Role
Robert Henderson
Villain in The Devil Riders of Parched Point
Richard Jacques
Man Delivering Newsreel
Eric Martin
Teddy-boy
Norman Osborne
Undetermined Role
Marion Shaw
Undetermined Role
The Blake Twins
Undetermined Roles

Dave Wright: Screencaps & Notes
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Dave Wright: 88 Caps