52 user 21 critic

Darby O'Gill and the Little People (1959)

Approved | | Adventure, Family, Fantasy | 23 March 1960 (Japan)
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.



, (suggested by "Darby O'Gill" stories)

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

Won 1 Golden Globe. See more awards »



Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Adventure | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A Swiss family must survive being shipwrecked on a deserted island.

Director: Ken Annakin
Stars: John Mills, Dorothy McGuire, James MacArthur
Adventure | Drama | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A boy attempts to realize his father's dream of climbing an alpine peak known as the Citadel.

Director: Ken Annakin
Stars: Michael Rennie, James MacArthur, Janet Munro
Adventure | Family | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

An eccentric millionaire and his grandchildren are embroiled in the plights of some forest gnomes who are searching for the rest of their tribe. While helping them, the millionaire is ... See full summary »

Director: Robert Stevenson
Stars: Walter Brennan, Matthew Garber, Karen Dotrice
Adventure | Family | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

In 19th century England, young Mary Grant and her brother, Robert, embark on a dangerous quest to find their missing father, a sea captain who vanished somewhere along the Chilean coast.

Director: Robert Stevenson
Stars: Hayley Mills, Maurice Chevalier, George Sanders
Family | Comedy | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

A teenage boy is cursed with periodically turning into an sheepdog.

Director: Charles Barton
Stars: Fred MacMurray, Jean Hagen, Tommy Kirk
Comedy | Family | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A college professor invents an anti-gravity substance which a corrupt businessman wants for himself.

Director: Robert Stevenson
Stars: Fred MacMurray, Nancy Olson, Keenan Wynn
Family | Western | Adventure
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Legends (and myths) from the life of famed American frontiersman Davey Crockett are depicted in this feature film edited from television episodes. Crockett and his friend George Russell ... See full summary »

Director: Norman Foster
Stars: Fess Parker, Buddy Ebsen, Basil Ruysdael
Family | Adventure | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Davy Crockett and his sidekick Georgie compete against boastful Mike Fink ("King of the River") in a boat race to New Orleans. Later, Davy and Georgie, allied with Fink, battle a group of ... See full summary »

Director: Norman Foster
Stars: Fess Parker, Buddy Ebsen, Jeff York
Comedy | Sci-Fi | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

When Professor Brainard experiments further on Flubber derivatives, he gets in trouble and only his students can help.

Director: Robert Stevenson
Stars: Fred MacMurray, Nancy Olson, Keenan Wynn
Old Yeller (1957)
Family | Drama | Adventure
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A boy brings a yellow dog home. The dog loves the family as much as they love him, but can the love last ?

Director: Robert Stevenson
Stars: Dorothy McGuire, Fess Parker, Tommy Kirk
Adventure | Family | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Johnny Tremain is drawn into the Revolutionary War, and becomes a patriot fighting to free the colonies from England. Along the way he learns about life and about himself.

Director: Robert Stevenson
Stars: Hal Stalmaster, Luana Patten, Jeff York
Adventure | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

The treasure seeking adventures of young Jim Hawkins and pirate captain Long John Silver.

Director: Byron Haskin
Stars: Bobby Driscoll, Robert Newton, Basil Sydney


Complete credited cast:
Albert Sharpe ...
Jimmy O'Dea ...
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


WALT DISNEY SPINS MOTION PICTURE MAGIC! (original print ad - all caps) See more »


Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



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?


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 (1954) 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. See more »


When Michael and Katie escape from the the bully in the field, Michael's neck-scarf has fallen down his shirt and is no longer visible. After Katie mentions that she didn't care if Michael got hurt, his scarf suddenly is tied prominently around his neck and plumped under his chin. 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 Bones: The Dwarf in the Dirt (2009) See more »


The Wishing Song
Written by Lawrence Edward Watkin & Oliver Wallace
Performed by Albert Sharpe and Jimmy O'Dea (uncredited)
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

27 October 2002 | by (Ottawa, Canada) – See all my reviews

I saw this movie on TV as a child, and the scenes of the banshee and the death coach scared and impressed me so much, I carried the memory of them all my life. When I was an adult and saw it on video, I was astonished to find that the scenes are STILL impressive and creepy! Considering how sophisticated special effects have become since 'Darby O'Gill' was made in 1959, that's quite a tribute to the moviemaking skills of the day. The scenery is lovely, the actors skilful and wholeheartedly into their work, the music catchy and delightful, and really there's nothing not to like in this movie. The duels between Darby and his nemesis, King Brian, are wonderfully funny, as each tries to outsmart the other. The village characters are all well-drawn and likeable personalities. Pony Sugrue seems more 'American' than the others, but then, he's not supposed really to fit in in the village, and his punishment at the end is an enjoyable comeuppance. Favourite scenes - the banshee and death coach at the end, as mentioned, and all the leprechauns dancing under the fairy mountain then riding their little white horses out into the night as Darby plays them a wild tune on his fiddle. Don't be put off by the date on this movie; it's as good now as the day it was made.

35 of 37 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Why does the bartender give Pony the stout? pinbackwiggly
Who is the Banshee?!?! longview
Question for non irish people who watched it lianmc
What would happen in a re-make? hodgepodge2989
Does King Brian have to stay in the Death Coach? ayelver
Sean Connery's Singing. danielsaks

Contribute to This Page