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A Kid for Two Farthings (film)

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A Kid For Two Farthings
DVD Cover Art
Directed byCarol Reed
Produced byCarol Reed
Written byWolf Mankowitz
StarringCelia Johnson
Diana Dors
David Kossoff
Joe Robinson
Music byBenjamin Frankel
CinematographyEdward Scaife
Edited byBert Bates
Distributed byLondon Films
Release date
15 August 1955
Running time
96 minutes
CountryUnited Kingdom

A Kid For Two Farthings is a 1955 film, directed by Carol Reed. The screenplay was adapted by Wolf Mankowitz from his own novel of the same name. The film presumably gets its name from an Aramaic song traditionally sung after the Passover Seder, Chad Gadya ("A Lone Kid"), in which a kid bought for two small coins, "zuzim" in the original, stands in for the Children of Israel.


In the busy wholesale-retail world of London's East End everyone, it seems, has unattainable dreams. Then a small boy - Joe - buys a unicorn, in fact a sickly little goat, with just one twisted horn in the middle of its forehead. This, he has been led to believe by a local tailor, Kandinsky, will bring everyone good fortune.

The film has a haunting last image, of Kandinsky carrying the tiny body of the "unicorn" to the graveyard, whilst passing in the opposite direction is a Torah-reading Rabbi pushing a horn gramophone, a character that appears in the background several times during the film.



A Kid for Two Farthings was nominated for a Golden Palm at the 1955 Cannes Film Festival.[1]

Critically, this was one of Carol Reed's least successful films.[citation needed]

The film was the 9th most popular movie at the British box office in 1955, after The Dam Busters, White Christmas, Doctor at Sea, The Colditz Story, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, Above Us the Waves, One Good Turn, and Raising a Riot.[2]


  1. ^ "Festival de Cannes: A Kid for Two Farthings". festival-cannes.com. Retrieved 1 February 2009.
  2. ^ 'Dirk Bogarde favourite film actor', The Irish Times (1921-Current File) [Dublin, Ireland] 29 Dec 1955: 9.
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A Kid for Two Farthings (film)
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