Home Movies by Decade Movies - 1970s Optimists (Of Nine Elms), The (1973)

Optimists (Of Nine Elms), The (1973)

A wonderfully warm film presenting the flipside view to the Swinging Sixties dream as it fades into the Sour Seventies.

A superb performance from Peter Sellers out of his comfort zone as Sam, a Northern music hall entertainer facing the trials and tribulations of getting old.

Barely scraping enough together as a street performer to feed himself and his scruffy mongrel, Sam is befriended by two neglected kids, equally scruffy, who live in a nearby slum.


The movie features a great score from Lionel Bart, including the beautiful Sometimes, sung by Sellers accompanying himself on a ukulele.

Buster Keaton was originally considered for the lead, but the backers of the film refused to support the project with him as the star. John Mills was then cast but suffered a broken leg and the project was postponed until many years later.

Peter Sellers
Chrissie Ellis
Marjorie Yates
Donna Mullane
John Chaffey
Bob Ellis
David Daker
Mrs Bonini
Pat Ashton
Keith Chegwin

Anthony Simmons