A Kid for Two Farthings (1956)

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Movie Info

In this sentimental comedy, Carol Reed tries for a bit of neo-realist whimsy that takes place in the London slums of Petticoat Lane. The film centers upon Joe (Jonathan Ashmore), a six-year-old London East-ender who believes strongly in the magical power of unicorns. Joe and his lonely mother Joanna (Celia Johnson) live with wily, philosophical tailor Kandinsky (David Kossoff), who convinces Joe that if he could only come upon the legendary unicorn, he could grant all the wishes of his poor neighbors. Taking Kandinsky at his word, Joe searches the slums for a unicorn. Then one morning, he finds one. Only thing is, it is not a unicorn but a baby goat with a growth sticking out of his forehead. Nevertheless, Joe is convinced that the goat is a unicorn. He gives an elderly homeless man all of his savings for the kid and triumphantly takes it home. Hoping to use the kid to grant all his friends' wishes, he hopes to grant the wishes of Kandinsky, who wants a steam-pressing table, and Sonia (Diana Dors), an attractive blonde who wants to marry Sam (Joe Robinson), a handsome wrestler. And finally, he wishes for his father to return home to his lonely mother. ~ Paul Brenner, Rovi

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Critic Reviews for A Kid for Two Farthings

All Critics (6)

Carol Reed's direction... although showing touches of bravura in staging, fails to establish a rhythm which could provide a momentum for this whimsical and, in the context of its realistic surroundings, ambitious story.

Feb 5, 2018 | Full Review…

Delightful fantasy story.

May 23, 2010 | Rating: B- | Full Review…

Baa-a-a-a-d...

Jan 2, 2005 | Full Review…

Wants to be a child's fantasy writ large. Stumbles and breaks its nose on the stairwell instead.

Jul 29, 2004 | Rating: 2/5

Audience Reviews for A Kid for Two Farthings

Lovely film about a boy with an overactive imagination who improves the lives of the people around him: spoiler it's not the unicorn who grants the wishes, it's the boy's influence. Beautiful stuff, just erratic. Not Carol Reed's finest, but a fascinating precursor to his masterpiece: Oliver!

Sarah Burton
Sarah Burton

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