A Kid for Two Farthings (film)
|A Kid For Two Farthings|
DVD Cover Art
|Directed by||Carol Reed|
|Produced by||Carol Reed|
|Written by||Wolf Mankowitz|
|Music by||Benjamin Frankel|
|Edited by||Bert Bates|
|Distributed by||London Films|
|15 August 1955|
A Kid For Two Farthings is a 1955 film, directed by Carol Reed. The screenplay was adapted by Wolf Mankowitz from his own novel of the same name. The film presumably gets its name from an Aramaic song traditionally sung after the Passover Seder, Chad Gadya ("A Lone Kid"), in which a kid bought for two small coins, "zuzim" in the original, stands in for the Children of Israel.
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 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.