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IT'S A SMALL WORLD (1950) - WHO WAS THAT ACTOR?


AndyM108
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airs late Sat., 11-15 for Underground

 

 

2:00 am ET
69 min
comedy ?

A little person becomes the dupe of a criminal gang.

DirWilliam Castle CastPaul Dale , Lorraine Miller , Will Geer .

 LEONARD MALTIN REVIEW:

D: William Castle. Paul Dale, Lorraine Miller, Will Geer, Steve Brodie, Todd Karns.

"Truly strange B movie stars Dale (a deejay in real life) as a midget who suffers a succession of life's hard knocks until finally becoming "adjusted'' and even finding romance in a circus. Director Castle (who appears in a cameo as a cop) makes it interesting but unnecessarily nasty for the little guy."

 

I just caught this on the TCM streaming website after my DVD recorder didn't record this show after being programmed.

 

I found it rather interesting in contrast to Tod Browning's Freaks from 1932, which also had a humanistic slant but was much more sensationalistic in nature.  When it comes to midgets, you can see a progression from Freaks to It's a Small World, to the use of midgets as an entirely different sort of comic prop in Seinfeld, where there's no sentimentality involved, only the typically absurdist humor associated with that greatest of all TV sitcoms.

 

One strange element of It's A Small World was that Steve Brodie, whom I often mix up with Steve Cochran, was cast as the villainous boyfriend in the pickpocketing gang, while the uncredited actor who played the benevolent circus manager at the end of the movie was nearly a dead ringer for Steve Cochran, though for some reason he was neither credited nor even identified. 

 

If anyone else watched the movie, who did they think played that benevolent circus manager?  I'd swear it was Steve Cochran, but I couldn't find any references one way or the other to the actor in that part.  In fact the part isn't even mentioned in the TCM full synopsis, even though the character was the one most responsible for the film's happy ending.  I can't recall a similar omission in almost any other movie.

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I pulled up the movie on TCM on Demand just to see the ending. The fellow is definitely not Steve Cochran. In fact, I'm sure he wasn't an actor, given his performance, which was pretty wooden. Since Cole Brothers Circus exists, my guess is he was some executive from the company, maybe a talent scout, manager, etc. I did locate one of Cole's program route books from 1945, and it had some photos and names in it, but nobody named Winters (I'm assuming he used his real name).

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I pulled up the movie on TCM on Demand just to see the ending. The fellow is definitely not Steve Cochran. In fact, I'm sure he wasn't an actor, given his performance, which was pretty wooden. Since Cole Brothers Circus exists, my guess is he was some executive from the company, maybe a talent scout, manager, etc. I did locate one of Cole's program route books from 1945, and it had some photos and names in it, but nobody named Winters (I'm assuming he used his real name).

 

So Andy, while I haven't seen this movie, after what Rich said here, I gotta question for ya:

 

Did the dude playing the benevolent circus manager look ANYTHING at all like George Raft???

 

(...just a hunch here, you understand) ;)

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scsu1975, on 17 Nov 2014 - 9:17 PM, said:snapback.png


I pulled up the movie on TCM on Demand just to see the ending. The fellow is definitely not Steve Cochran. In fact, I'm sure he wasn't an actor, given his performance, which was pretty wooden. Since Cole Brothers Circus exists, my guess is he was some executive from the company, maybe a talent scout, manager, etc. I did locate one of Cole's program route books from 1945, and it had some photos and names in it, but nobody named Winters (I'm assuming he used his real name).

 

I'm sure you're right about this.  Here's how my "reasoning" went:

 

1. When I first saw Steve Brodie in the opening credits, my mind envisioned the face of Steve Cochran.  Obviously I had no recollection of Steve Brodie, a rather nondescript looking actor.

 

2. When nobody in the first two parts of the movie looked anything like Steve Cochran, I was wondering when he was going to show up.  The Charlie character didn't resemble any actor I was much familiar with, though in fact it was Steve Brodie.

 

3. So then we he benevolent circus manager showed up in the third part of the movie, a vaguely handsome sort whose face we never got much of a glimpse at other than in profile, I just assumed by process of elimination that this had to be Steve Brodie, whose face I'd confused with that of Steve Cochran.  It shows you what a mistaken memory combined with the power of suggestion can lead to.

 

So Andy, while I haven't seen this movie, after what Rich said here, I gotta question for ya:

 

Did the dude playing the benevolent circus manager look ANYTHING at all like George Raft???

 

(...just a hunch here, you understand) ;)

 

Nah.  No telltale Nixonian nose, no habit of flipping quarters, and he always went beyond simply saying "Thanks" in response to favors both big and small.  It couldn't have been Raft.

 

4456-467546.jpg

I'm the nondescript Steve Brodie

 

steve_cochran.jpg

I'm the man that mothers fear

 

nixon_b.jpg

I'm the man that the world feared

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