In a mythical land, woodcutter Jonathan agrees not to chop down the oldest tree in the forest in return for three wishes granted by the Forest Queen. After he wastes two wishes bickering with his wife, the third brings them Tom, a thumb-sized child. The couple dote upon him, but are unable to protect him when, on his way to the village, the innocent Tom falls in with villainous Ivan and Tony.Written by
A long time ago in a forest far away, woodcutter Bernard Miles (as Jonathan) is granted three wishes by beautiful forest queen June Thorburn (as Queenie), for sparing a giant tree from his axe. Alas, Mr. Miles squanders his wishes by growing a giant symbolic sausage on his nose, but wife Jessie Matthews (as Anne) receives a consolation prize when tiny Russ Tamblyn (as Tom Thumb) arrives on his birthday, fully grown. The childless couple always wanted a son. After getting lost at the local fair with family friend Alan Young (as Woody), Mr. Tamblyn is rescued by villainous Terry-Thomas (as Ivan) and mugging sidekick Peter Sellers (as Antony). The black-dressed men use Tamblyn to steal some gold coins, which gets his parents arrested...
This marvelous adaptation of the "Brothers Grimm" story is, to coin a familiar phrase, "fun for children of all ages." The film won special effects wizard Tom Howard a second "Academy Award", making him two for two. Gymnastic dancer Tamblyn performs a perfect ten as the un-capitalized "tom thumb"; the versatile young actor had just been receiving "Oscar" consideration for his dramatic roles. Also superb is the dastardly pairing of Terry-Thomas and Peter Sellers, who savor every second of their screen time. Taking the director's chair for his first feature, "Puppetoon" master George Pal reaches a career high. The soundtrack isn't riddled with hits, but it nonetheless captures the charm. A romantic subplot is the only thing not filled to the brim with magic.
******** tom thumb (11/27/58) George Pal ~ Russ Tamblyn, Terry-Thomas, Peter Sellers, Alan Young
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