21 August 1999 | TuckMN
Some good laugh-out-loud scenes make this a great small film.
A delightful story of a young couple that inherit The Bijou -- a broken down movie theater -- and against their wishes make a go of it.
Virginia McKenna and Bill Travers play Jean and Matt -- the young couple.
I was familiar with Ms McKenna's work but Bill Travers was new to me.
He has a wonderful Laurence Olivier air about him and is very appealing as an actor. His only other film that I am at all familiar with was "Born Free."
I was half way through the film before I realized that Percy Quill the projectionist with a drinking problem was Peter Sellers. Even though he was about 32 when the film was released he plays a little old man -- and superbly.
The wonderful character actress Margaret Rutherford, who made a career out of playing Miss Marple, is absolutely enchanting as the somewhat dotty Mrs. Fazackalee.
Why are old, somewhat crazy men in British films always named Tom? For whatever reason, Bernard Mills as Old Tom is quite a piece of work. A tendency to take things a little to literally is what drives his character -- that and the fact he is pretty much nuts.
It seems like many British films from this period look very much like filmed plays -- which this movie very definitely did.
Unfortunately the print that I saw for this film was in nearly as bad a shape as the movies being shown at "The Bijou." A good reason for more and better film restoration -- even for the films that we do not always think of as classics.