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Darby O'Gill and the Little People (1959)

Approved  |   |  Adventure, Family, Fantasy  |  23 March 1960 (Japan)
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Reviews: 51 user | 22 critic

A wily old codger matches wits with the king of the leprechauns and helps play matchmaker for his daughter and the strapping lad who has replaced him as caretaker.



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Won 2 Golden Globes. See more awards »



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Complete credited cast:
Albert Sharpe ...
Jimmy O'Dea ...
Kieron Moore ...
Walter Fitzgerald ...
Denis O'Dea ...
J.G. Devlin ...
Farrell Pelly ...
Nora O'Mahoney ...
Molly Malloy (as Nora O'Mahony)


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. Written by J. Spurlin

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


SPARKLIN' FULL OF FUN! (original print ad - all caps) See more »


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Official Sites:




Release Date:

23 March 1960 (Japan)  »

Also Known As:

The Little People  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording)



Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


When Michael doesn't kiss Katie, King Brian (Jimmy O'Dea) exclaims "And him a Dublin man!" O'Dea was born and raised in Dublin. See more »


When Darby pretends to take a drink from the mug and pours the liquor back into the jug, he spills much of it, leaving a large stain around the jug neck. When the jug is next seen, less than a minute later, the neck is completely dry. See more »


[first lines]
Katie O'Gill: Come in, Mrs. Sugrue!
Sheelah Sugrue: Katie, darlin'! Can you lend me the loan of a small pinch o' tea; I'll pay ye back Thursday.
Katie O'Gill: Ye can have it an' welcome.
See more »

Crazy Credits

In the opening credits: My thanks to King Brian of Knocknasheega and his Leprechauns, whose gracious co-operation made this picture possible. - Walt Disney See more »


Referenced in Legend of the Bog (2009) See more »


The Fox Chase
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Generally shies away from treacle...and Albert Sharpe is wonderful
25 July 2004 | by (las vegas, nv) – See all my reviews

Until "Mary Poppins" came along, I don't think Hollywood took Walt Disney seriously as a live-action movie producer. James Baskett received a special Oscar for "Song of the South", as did Hayley Mills in 1960 for "Pollyanna". However a great many performances in Walt's early output deserved a more substantial recognition, such as James Robertson Justice in "The Sword and the Rose" and Albert Sharpe in this film. Playing storytelling Irish codger Darby O'Gill, Sharpe is charming spinning tall tales in a quaint village, capturing himself a real live leprechaun and being rewarded with three wishes before the little King is freed. Colorful outing for older children and nostalgic adults, relying less on sugary sentiment and doting tots than on old-fashioned whimsy. Sean Connery has a nice romance with Janet Munro (who is always a pleasure) and the special effects, particularly near the end, are quite marvelous. **1/2 from ****

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Why does the bartender give Pony the stout? pinbackwiggly
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