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A Kid For Two Farthings [1955] [DVD]

Celia Johnson , Jonathan Ashmore , Carol Reed    Universal, suitable for all   DVD
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)

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Product details

  • Actors: Celia Johnson, Jonathan Ashmore, Diana Dors, David Kossoff, Brenda De Banzie
  • Directors: Carol Reed
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: U
  • Studio: Orbit Media
  • DVD Release Date: 5 Feb 2007
  • Run Time: 96 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000KP7N6Y
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 59,097 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)


Product Description

Carol Reed's whimsical 1950s comedy-drama. In a working-class London community of small shops, open-air vendors and flea-marketers, Joe (Jonathan Ashmore), a small boy, lives with his mother, Joanne (Celia Johnson), who works in and rooms above the Kandinsky tailor shop. Joe is innocently and earnestly determined to help realise the wishes of his poor, hard-working neighbours. Hearing from Mr Kandinsky (David Kossoff) the tale that a captured unicorn will grant any wish, Joe uses his accumulated pocket change to buy a kid with an emerging horn, believing it to be a unicorn. But can his dreams ever come true?

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
28 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Tear Jerker 17 Jan 2005
Set in the 1950s this film if one of my favourites. It shows a way of life that has long since disappeared. Especially, the little boy who runs about the market being well known by all the stall holders. David Kossoff plays a lovely roll filling the boy's head with majical answers especially about unicorns, it certainly holds the imagination. Your heart goes out to the little lad as his various pets die and it soon becomes evident that he hasn't a clue about how to care for animals but he is never cruel, always thinking that he is doing the best for them. The little kid, which he truly believes is a unicorn is delightful and the fact that all his wishes come true is amazing. If only he could keep the unicorn alive. Again, David Kossoff comes to the rescue when he tells the boy that his unicorn has finally gone to Africa to be with all the others, before he buries it in the garden along with all the other animals. As I said, it is a tear jerker of the best. Diana Dors also plays quite a good part as the fiance of a body builder who just wants to get married as quickly as possible. I would recommend this film to anyone, it is all round family entertainment.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars We all need a little charm 13 April 2010
By B
We all need a little charm in our lives and this will give you a chunk of nostalgic magic on a Sunday afternoon. Watch it with your Mum, Granny, niece, nephew or best friend, all washed down with cups of tea. It has old London and a touch of realism amongst the acting. Maybe it's just me but the world of innocence through the eyes of this child is charm itself. Wonderful Celia Johnson and Diana Dors is at her best with her boxer boyfriend and a vision of an England long gone. The market place with the cockney characters a lost era of 'kitchen sink' drama. Buy, enjoy, sigh contentedly at this gem from yesteryear.
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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A delightful little gem from 50's London 31 July 2007
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
This is a charming story about a small boy's indomitable trust and optimism in a confused world, set in East London's "Fashion Street" (Petticoat Lane Market) in the early 1950s. The bustle and hustle of street-trading life is contrasted with philosophical humour and wisdom. The philosopher is Avron Kandinsky, a "simple" Trouser Maker played by David Kossoff, who is given some deep wisdom to impart to Joe, a small boy who is waiting (with his mother, Celia Johnson) for his father to come back from Africa.
The screen-play, though very touching, is offset with much humour. Sid James, Alfie Bass and Irene Handle add zest in that respect.
The boy is a failed pet-owner; Kandinsky's back yard is littered with pet-graves. Joe acquires a runt kid with only one horn, thinking it must be a unicorn; which, as we all know, can grant wishes. So Joe bestows wishes with abandon upon all his friends. His child's optimism proves true (ah! the power of make-believe!) and leads to the happy ending the story deserves.
Climactic action is provided by a wrestling match - a grudge fight between Joe's friend (Joe Robinson aka "Mr Universe") and a bully of a professional wrestler. Diana Dors, in her delectable prime, simmers and shimmers as Joe Robinson's love interest - and the catalyst for the grudge!
Naturally, the "unicorn" suffers the same fate as all of Joe's previous pets, but not before doing its stuff for Joe.
This beautiful little film, typical of Carol Reed, is more than a cameo of Petticoat Lane as it was. It has hidden depths that surface with subsequent viewing. The recurrence of the dome of St. Paul's throughout the film is nicely rounded off in the final scene, as Mr Kandisky, sinking slowly into the West, offers his last wise pearl - "Unicorns can't grow up in Fashion Street, but boys have to".....
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A childhood memory 22 Jun 2010
I saw this film as a child first time round, and read the original book. I found Wolf Mankowitz's writing rather disappointing, my first experience of literary criticism at the tender age of 11, though even at that age I greatly enjoyed watching him in the TV chat shows of the era - the 1950s. The film was utterly delightful and I have wanted a copy for myself for a long time. I look forward to watching the film again, soaking up the atmosphere of post-war London where I grew up, and also to re-reading the book to see if a 65-year-old is less critical.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Rare Gem 6 May 2011
By Cat W
I remember seeing this film in my 20's and was moved to tears, not only because of the running story of the trusting, naive little boy and his unicorn (a little one horned kid) but for the view of a world that is long gone. It is beautifully acted and directed and I have watched it again recently (almost 30 years later) and needed more tissues! Diana Dors is simply gorgeous, and David Kossof playing the ever patient and philosphical tailor is truly wonderful. This is ultimately a sentimental film which tugs on the heart strings, so if you are of an emotional nature - be warned with a hanky at the ready.
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