Darby O’Gill and the Little People (1959)

(6.9/10) out of 3,276 votes
Runtime: 93 minutes
Color: Color
USA Title: The Wishes of Darby O'Gill

Genres: , ,

Directors: Robert Stevenson
Writers: Lawrence Edward Watkin, H.T. Kavanagh
Cast: Albert Sharpe, Janet Munro, Sean Connery, Jimmy O'Dea, Kieron Moore, Estelle Winwood, Walter Fitzgerald, Denis O'Dea, J.G. Devlin, Jack MacGowran, Farrell Pelly, Nora O'Mahoney

More than a wee bit of magical shenanigans!

Darby O'Gill seems to be as full of blarney as any old codger in Ireland, but the stories of leprechauns he tells at the pub are true. In fact, he and the tiny King Brian, ruler of the little people, are friendly adversaries, continually out-foxing each other. Darby needs a bit of magical help from the wily king when Lord Fitzpatrick replaces him as caretaker with the handsome, strapping young Michael from Dublin. Michael falls in love with Darby's beautiful daughter, Katie, which is all right with Darby; but the lad has a rival in a local ruffian, the son of a devious widow who wants her boy to be the caretaker. King Brian's supernatural assistance is necessary to make everything come out all right, but the sneaky leprechaun won't play matchmaker without a fight. Finally, real trouble comes in the form of the Banshee, and Darby will need all his quick wits to save his daughter from the wicked spirit.

Fun Fact: Jimmy O'Dea and the other actors who played leprechauns were not given any screen credit, nor did Walt Disney allow any other material to be published about them in the marketing for the film. Disney's intention was to give the illusion he was using real leprechauns for the filming. Disney even went so far as to film the Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color episode, "I Captured the King of the Leprechauns" (#5.26), in which he and "Darby" (Albert Sharpe) manage to corner King Brian and convince him to participate in the film along with his people.



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