Darby O’Gill and the Little People
Released on June 26, 1959
Box Office: $ 2.3 Million
Starring: Sean Connery, Albert Sharpe, Janet Munro, & Jimmy O’Dea
Director: Robert Stevenson
Plot: Darby O’Gill is an old caretaker on a rich Lord’s estate. He and his daughter live in the Gatehouse of the property. When it is decided by the lord to hire a new younger caretaker. Darby goes to the King of the Leprechauns, to capture him so he can get three wishes. But, when a local bully decides he wants the caretakers job, he will do anything to get it.
Final Thoughts: What to say about Darby O’Gill? Most people would probably say that they never heard of it. But if it wasn’t for this movie you might not have had James Bond as you would know him today. As mentioned on Scott Criscuolo’s & Rob Piontek’s Podcast on Bond, Albert Broccoli first discovered Sean Connery when he saw this movie. This movie is a pretty fun and quick watch. There were many different aspects to this movie that I found enjoyable. One which being the camera work. To shoot the scenes with the little people they used a technique called “forced perspective.” They shot the scene with the normal sized actors closer to the camera and the rest of the actors who played the Little People lined up further from the camera on the same horizontal plane.
One of the greatest facts about this movie was that Jimmy O’Dea (King Brian) or any of the “little” people were never given any screen credits for their roles. This was because Walt Disney wanted to give the illusion that they used actual leprechauns to shoot the movie. They even went so far as to shoot a skit on The Magical World of Disney where Walt & Darby O’Gill (Sharpe) travel to Ireland to meet with King Brian to ask him to be in the movie. These are the little things that Walt Disney did to keep the illusion of magic alive. It’s just like his amusement parks when you are there you are sucked into the world if Disney.
I found Sean Connery to be very good in this movie, though I found it weird hearing him with an Irish accent instead of his normal Scottish accent that we have all become accustomed to. Though he has said himself the singing aspect of this movie is probably the part that he least fond of. There was a rumor at the time going around that the parts where he sings with Janet Munro, were dubbed. But that has never been confirmed to be true.
Overall if you are looking for a fun movie to watch that you have never seen or you’re just interested in watching the movie that brought about the first James Bond, check it out. I can guarantee that you will get a kick out of some of the parts of this movie if not the movie in its entirety.
Final Score: 2 out of 5
Next Movie Review: Journey to the Center of the Earth (1959)