A Kid for Two Farthings (film)
|A Kid For Two Farthings|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Carol Reed|
|Produced by||Carol Reed|
|Written by||Wolf Mankowitz|
|Music by||Benjamin Frankel|
|Edited by||Bert Bates|
|Distributed by||London Films|
|Release date(s)||15 August 1955|
|Running time||96 minutes|
In the busy wholesale-retail world of London's East End everyone, it seems, has unattainable dreams. Then a small boy - Joe - buys a unicorn, in fact a sickly little goat, with just one twisted horn in the middle of its forehead. This, he has been led to believe by a local tailor, Kandinsky, will bring everyone good fortune.
The film has a haunting last image, of Kandinsky carrying the tiny body of the "unicorn" to the graveyard, whilst passing in the opposite direction is a Torah-reading Rabbi pushing a horn gramophone, a character that appears in the background several times during the film.
- Celia Johnson as Joanna
- Diana Dors as Sonia
- David Kossoff as Mr. Kandinsky
- Joe Robinson as Sam
- Jonathan Ashmore as Joe
- Brenda De Banzie as 'Lady' Ruby
- Primo Carnera as Python Macklin
- Lou Jacobi as Blackie Isaacs
- Irene Handl as Mrs. Abramowitz
- Danny Green as Bason
- Sydney Tafler as Madame Rita
- Sid James as Ice Berg
- Daphne Anderson as Dora
- Harry Baird as Jamaica
- Joseph Tomelty as Vagrant
- Harold Berens as Oliver
Critically, this was one of Carol Reed's least successful films, however the rich ensemble cast, and the interweaving of harsh reality and fantasy remain a potent mix. The character of Kandinsky in particular is seen to embody the plight of surviving European Jews ten years after the Second World War. His mythologizing about a race of unicorns with magic powers that were destroyed everywhere but may still exist in some far-off country, can be seen as analogous to the holocaust.
The film was the 9th most popular movie at the British box office in 1955.
- "Festival de Cannes: A Kid for Two Farthings". festival-cannes.com. Retrieved 2009-02-01.
- 'Dirk Bogarde favourite film actor', The Irish Times (1921-Current File) [Dublin, Ireland] 29 Dec 1955: 9.
- A Kid for Two Farthings at the Internet Movie Database
- A Kid for Two Farthings (film) at the TCM Movie Database
- A Kid for Two Farthings at AllMovie
- Crowther, Bosley. "Screen: Whimsical Tale; 'Kid for Two Farthings' Arrives at Plaza," The New York Times, Wednesday, 18 April 1956.