Petty crook and chancer Sammy Lee (Anthony Newley: Oliver Twist, Doctor Dolittle) has five hours to try to raise the cash to pay off a gangster bookie and so avoid a heavy beating. A gripping race against the clock through the seedy streets of Soho ensues with Anthony Newley giving a restless and vital performance as Sammy: compère for a backstreet strip joint and inveterate gambler and horse player. He is followed in his grimly hilarious schemes to raise the money by the loyal, loving Patsy (Julia Foster: Dad’s Army, Alfie). Recently arrived from the North, she naively takes Sammy’s flash offer of a job seriously.
An evocative portrait of the darker side of 1960s Soho nightlife, The Small World of Sammy Lee is shot in vivid black and white by acclaimed cinematographer Wolf Suschitzky (Get Carter, Ulysses) and directed by Ken Hughes (Alfie Darling, The Trials of Oscar Wilde) from his BBC play. Also starring Wilfred Brambell, Derek Nimmo and Warren Mitchell.
A lost gem of 1960s British cinema, The Small World of Sammy Lee is a deliciously witty London- noir boasting a top cast, classic London locations, and a timeless soundtrack.
Cinematography by Wolf Suschitzky
The Digital Film restoration was funded by STUDIOCANAL in collaboration with the BFI’s Unlocking Film Heritage programme (awarding funds from the National Lottery).