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Kid for Two Farthings, A (1955)

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 muscle man boyfriend, Sam Heppner (Joe Robinson) to earn some money for an engagement ring which Ice Berg (Sidney James) is keen to supply.

Watch out for blink-and-you’ll-miss-it appearances from Spike Milligan, Barbara Windsor and Sam Kydd.

Joanna
Celia Johnson
Sonia
Diana Dors
Avrom Kandinsky
David Kossoff
Sam Heppner
Joe Robinson
Joe
Jonathan Ashmore
Lady Ruby
Brenda de Banzie
Python Macklin
Primo Carnera
Blackie Isaacs
Lou Jacobi
Mrs Abramowitz
Irene Handl
Bully Bason
Danny Green
Madam Rita
Sydney Tafler
Ice Berg
Sidney James
Mimi
Vera Day
Dora
Daphne Anderson
Vagrant
Joseph Tomelty
Oliver
Harold Berens
Alf the Bird Man
Alfie Bass
Indian with Grey Beard
Spike Milligan
Blonde with a Crush on Sam
Barbara Windsor

Director
Carol Reed