Carol Reed made some really great films, but the ones I really love are in black and white. This was pretty disappointing, The colors are annoying, the story and acting weak. I was excited that he made a "Yiddish" film (albeit in English) but disappointed when i watched it. Some captivating images of London's East End, but not a good film, pretty shlocky :-(
A rather misfired attempt to film a kind of East End Yiddish fable unwisely peopled by Johnson's attempt at Cockney and Diana Dor's perky busom - neither likely sounds or sights of that locale. That said it has some heart and the locations are vivid.
Working with animals and children could be tough but this film shows that it's worth it. Moving and haunting, this film gives a glimpse in the life of a post WW-II Jewish community in London working hard for survival. It's a family film essentially but it doesn't shy away from the absurdity of life.
OK, the film colour is lousy, Celia Johnson's posh accent can't fool anyone, and "Joe", played by Jonathan Ashmore, spends most of the film yelling his lines at the top of his lungs. HOWEVER, the cleverness and sensitivity of the script and Carol Reed's storytelling makes up for all these weaknesses. A daring film for its time.... for today too, considering. A great film!