The British Film Institute presents the best global cinema on-demand:
From classic and contemporary films to the best of the BFI National Archive.

The Optimists of Nine Elms

Close

This film is certified

Please confirm that you accept our terms of use.

Close

The Optimists of Nine Elms 1973

110 mins United Kingdom Director. Anthony Simmons

This charming chunk of warm-hearted whimsy stars Peter Sellers - excellent as Sam - a washed up music hall performer befriended by two neglected South London schoolchildren. Gently combining comedy, character and sentiment, this somewhat Dickensian drama was entirely shot on location, playing out against a rough and ready Battersea backdrop long-since transformed by urban renewal.

Sellers delivers a wonderfully well-realised, fully-rounded portrayal under the assured direction of Anthony Simmons, and is complemented by two talented, skilfully-cast child co-stars: Donna Mullane and John Chaffey - suitably spiky as his occasionally astringent young acolytes Liz and Mark. Meanwhile, dog-lovers will delight at the antics of Bella, Sam's perky performing pooch.

Start watching in: 30 days

Finish watching in: 48 hours

Directed by

Anthony Simmons

Featuring

Marjorie Yates

Bella

Peter Sellers

Genres

Drama

Tags

Battersea River Thames Music Children Dogs Vaudeville Family Entertainers

Collection

Unavailable on DVD Forgotten Features Based on the Book…

Released

1973

Country

United Kingdom

Language

English

Read lessRead more
Part of

1,000s of beautifully preserved films, capturing 120 years of Britain on Film

Explore
The map

Subscription

View All

Welcome to a new subscription service like no other.

>100s of hand-picked classics and critically-acclaimed films

>Critic Mark Kermode picks a must-see film every week

>No contract, cancel anytime

Cookies Policy

This website uses cookies, as explained in our Cookies Policy.

To accept the terms and hide this message please click 'I accept'.

I accept

Passionate about film? So are we…

Don't miss the email made for the in-the-know film fan:

New releases — on the same day as in cinemas Special collections & unheralded classics Exclusive news on discounts


Never ask | Ask me later