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.