Director Carol Reed’s first colour film is a lively theatrical presentation all about working-class hopes and dreams. Released in 1955, A Kid For Two Farthings was filmed partially in and around London’s Petticoat Lane market together with studio footage – and yes, you can see the join.
In the opening sequence, a pigeon flies from Trafalgar Square along The Strand to the market where it alights on a pub sign for The Unicorn, and a young boy, Joe (Jonathan Ashmore) becomes fascinated by the idea that a unicorn can bring good luck.
He’s encouraged in this belief by their neighbour, tailor Mr Kandinsky (a stereotyped Jewish role from David Kossoff) and when he sees what is actually a single-horned young goat, he spends all his pocket money to buy it.
We have to accept marble-mouthed Celia Johnson as Joe’s working-class mother, Joanna, while Sonia (a perky Diana Dors) tries to persuade her muscleman boyfriend, Sam Heppner (Joe Robinson), to earn some money for an engagement ring which Ice Berg (Sid James) is keen to supply.
Watch out for blink-and-you’ll-miss-it appearances from Spike Milligan, Barbara Windsor and Sam Kydd.
Brenda de Banzie
Alf the Bird Man
Indian with Grey Beard
Blonde with a Crush on Sam