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directed by William Castle
USA 1950


Harry Musk is one in a million. That means, It’s a Small World tells us, that he’s the one out of a million children who is perfectly proportioned but will never grow larger than a typical six-year-old. Adult, pint-sized Harry (Paul Dale) longs to be part of the big world. But more often than not, that world mocks him as an oddity or exploits his eagerness to be acknowledged for what he really is: a living, breathing man with normal feelings and desires. This celluloid plea for acceptance, which features Will Geer (The Waltons) and noir icon Steve Brodie (Desperate, Out of the Past) among the supporting players, comes from a perhaps unexpected source. William Castle – known later for creating clever ways to hype his House on Haunted Hill, 13 Ghosts and other cult faves – directs and co-writes.


Theatrical Release: June 24th, 1950

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DVD Review: Warner Home Video (Warner Archive Collection) - Region 0 - NTSC

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Warner Home Video

Region 0 - NTSC

Runtime 1:08:30

1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 7.56 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.


Audio Dolby Digital 1.0 (English)
Subtitles None
Features Release Information:
Studio: Warner Home Video

Aspect Ratio:
Original - 1.33:1

Edition Details:
• None

DVD Release Date: August 17th, 2010
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Chapters 20



Not your typical William Castle film - and not your typical film - period. It's surprisingly well-made - a decent story and film that works, to some extent, even today. It's obvious, strange and simplistic but could have really been exploitive. The retrained quality is one Castle didn't utilize much in his career. Our protagonist gets exploited into pickpocketing and bad women before finding his way. It's uniqueness is in the steps taken where not to tread - but never gets preachy. For those seeking a 'freaks' angle you will find this far too wholesome.

It's standard single-layered but progressive in the original 1.33:1 aspect ratio and looks very good. This is labeled under the Warner "Re-mastered Edition" labeling and the image is excellent. Contrast and detail are top-shelf. The image is also damage free. Excellent overall.

The mono sound is a little hollow but dialogue is audible if unremarkable and there are no subtitles offered - nor supplements.

I was interested in this - more for its 'non-standard' story. I may, very well, be alone on my appreciation of It's a Small World. It was quite transparent and uncomplicated - but it sated my mood. I like innocent movies like this although it certainly wouldn't be considered any masterpiece. It may have been trying to, gently, ride on the coattail interest of films like Tod Browning's Freaks - especially with Tag lines like "...When the emotions and longings of a man... are pent-up in the body of a child!"

NOTE: At the writing of this review it is 40% OFF at Warner's Archive store! 

  - Gary Tooze


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DVD Box Cover

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Warner Home Video

Region 0 - NTSC


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