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His Nibs  /  The Smallest Show on Earth

The Smallest Show on Earth
June 25, 2016 - 3:00 pm

Live musical accompaniment for the silent portion of this program will be provided by Cliff Retallick. 

Restored by UCLA Film & Television Archive

His Nibs  (1921)

Gregory La Cava directs this riotous, slapstick spoof of the goings-on at a rural movie theater, The Slippery Elm Picture Palace, where patrons are reminded to refrain from “flirting and carrying about” and the projectionist really is the final editor of the advertised fare.  Vaudeville star "Chic" Sale plays multiple roles on both sides of the screen as proprietor, projectionist and star of the film within this film. 

35mm, b/w, silent, 56 min.  Production: Exceptional Pictures.  Distribution: "His Nibs" Syndicate.  Director: Gregory La Cava.  Screenwriter: Arthur Hoerl.  Cinematographer: A. J. Stout, William H. Tuers.  Editor: Arthur Hoerl.  Cast: Charles Sale, Colleen Moore, Joseph J. Dowling, J.P. Dowling, J.P. Lockney.

The Smallest Show on Earth  (UK, 1957)

When a struggling young couple receive news that they’ve inherited a movie theater from his long-lost uncle, they dream of movie palace riches.  What they get is a dilapidated money pit staffed by a most curious set of eccentrics.  Sentiment gets the best of them, however, and they set out to revive the old theater in this classic and quirky British comedy. 

35mm, b/w, 80 min.  Production: Hallmark Productions.  Distribution: British Lion Film Corporation.  Producer: Michael Relph.  Director: Basil Dearden.  Screenwriter: William Rose, John Eldridge.  Cinematographer: Douglas Slocombe.  Editor: Oswald Hafenrichter.  Art Direction: Allan Harris.  Cast: Virginia McKenna, Bill Travers, Margaret Rutherford, Peter Sellers, Bernard Miles.

Preceded by:

Movie Night  (1929)

Charley Chase takes his family to the movies to find the management, other patrons and his own indigestion comically interceding in their weekly night out. 

35mm, b/w, silent, 20 min.  Production: Hal Roach Studios.  Distribution: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.  Producer: Hal Roach.  Director: Lewis R. Foster.  Screenwriter: Leo McCarey.  Editor: Richard C. Currier.  Cast: Charley Chase, Eugenia Gilbert, Edith Fellows, Spec O’Donnell, Tiny Sandford.

Uncle Josh at the Moving Picture Show  (1902)

Director Edwin S. Porter’s remake of a British short from the previous year, The Country Man and the Cinematograph, spoofs the early cinema’s apocryphal naive viewer who mistakes the movies for reality. 

35mm, b/w, silent, 2 min.  Production: Edison Manufacturing Company.  Distribution: Edison Manufacturing Company.  Director: Edwin S. Porter.  Cinematographer: Edwin S. Porter.