Basil Dearden's The Smallest Show On Earth (1957), which appeared in a number of unauthorized VHS editions during the 1980's, finally arrives on American shores in a worthy home viewing version with the Anchor Bay DVD. It may still lack a little luster -- it is a 45 year old movie that wasn't the object of a major presentation effort -- but the DVD runs circles around any prior video edition that this reviewer has seen, and that's quite a few. The picture, black-and-white and letterboxed with an aspect ratio of 1.66-to-1, has deep contrasts and lots of detail, and is transferred well enough so that the horizontal lines in the apron worn by Virginia McKenna in the opening scene flow together and shimmer. The letterboxing does wonders for Douglas Slocombe's cinematography and also for Dearden's direction, imparting a balletic feel to the camera movements in that same opening sequence, and the visual delights of this disc extend to the wittily designed menu -- which opens automatically on start-up -- and just about every corner of the picture, especially once we get to the broken down theater inherited by McKenna and her spouse (played by Bill Travers). The audio is excellent, bringing out every nuance of the dialogue and the exquisite details of William Alwyn's charming score. One only wishes that there were a trailer to be included on this disc, but that's a minor shortcoming. The 21 chapter are well chosen and very generous for an 80 minute movie. As with Carlton Browne of the F.O., this disc appears as part of Anchor Bay's Peter Sellers Collection, and as in the case of that movie, Sellers' work is more in the nature of an extremely prominent supporting performance than as the actual "star" of the movie.