The Smallest Show on Earth | 1957 | Virginia McKenna, Bill Travers,

The Smallest Show on Earth | 1957 | Virginia McKenna, Bill Travers,

Ealing Studios capitalized on the post-war euphoria for years, celebrating little England’s fighting spirit in a string of comedies that have the underdog triumphing over big brother’s bullying tactics. This one’s as charming as any of them, and has the added slant of British cinema’s struggle against Hollywood.

It stars Bill Travers and Virginia McKenna as a young couple who take on the might of the corporations after they’ve inherited a tiny, ramshackle movie-theatre.

Lively, warm-hearted and very funny, its comic clout is boosted by the wonderful Margaret Rutherford playing an ancient ticket booth operator and Peter Sellers on tip-top form as the drunken projectionist.

Virginia McKenna as Jean Spenser
Bill Travers as Matt Spenser
Margaret Rutherford as Mrs. Fazackalee
Peter Sellers as Percy Quill
Bernard Miles as Old Tom
Francis de Wolff as Albert Hardcastle
Leslie Phillips as Robin Carter
June Cunningham as Marlene Hogg
Sid James as Mr. Hogg
George Cross as Commissionaire
George Cormack as Bell
Stringer Davis as Emmett
Liz Fraser as Girl in Cinema

Director: Basil Dearden
Script: William Rose, John Eldridge

UK | 80 minutes | 1957



The Viewer's Guide to Film intends to be a comprehensive guide to the very best of cinema from the earliest silent era, through to the golden age of Hollywood and on to today's biggest blockbusters.

Each entry on the site includes a capsule review/plot overview, along with cast and crew credits, images and trailers where available.