7.2/10
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56 user 24 critic

Darby O'Gill and the Little People (1959)

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.

Director:

Robert Stevenson

Writers:

Lawrence Edward Watkin, H.T. Kavanagh (suggested by "Darby O'Gill" stories)
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Won 1 Golden Globe. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Albert Sharpe Albert Sharpe ... Darby O'Gill
Janet Munro ... Katie O'Gill
Sean Connery ... Michael McBride
Jimmy O'Dea Jimmy O'Dea ... King Brian
Kieron Moore ... Pony Sugrue
Estelle Winwood ... Sheelah Sugrue
Walter Fitzgerald ... Lord Fitzpatrick
Denis O'Dea ... Father Murphy
J.G. Devlin J.G. Devlin ... Tom Kerrigan
Jack MacGowran ... Phadrig Oge
Farrell Pelly Farrell Pelly ... Paddy Scanlon
Nora O'Mahoney Nora O'Mahoney ... Molly Malloy (as Nora O'Mahony)
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

So filled with magic and blarney you'll hardly believe your eyes! See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

official site

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Irish

Release Date:

23 March 1960 (Japan) See more »

Also Known As:

The Little People See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Walt Disney Productions See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound Recording)

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In the original release, there were numerous asides where the Irish characters would speak in Munster Irish. Darby counts off "aon, dó, trí, ceathair" before playing the Fox Chase; several times King Brian rallies the hunt with a cry of "Ar aghaidh linn! (ahead with us!)" and so on. A later version had most of these lines redubbed in English. See more »

Goofs

When Darby arrives in the hall of the leprechauns his shadow is immediately in front of him. In the next shot, as he walks towards Brian, his shadow is behind him. See more »

Quotes

[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 »

Alternate Versions

After the modest returns during its first run, it was felt that younger viewers had trouble understanding the thick Irish accents. The film was redubbed, replacing some of the Irish with English and softening the Irish accents, for reissues. See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Cinema Snob: Song of the South (2017) See more »

Soundtracks

The Rakes of Mallow
(uncredited)
Traditional
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
It's just lovely.
9 November 2008 | by SpikeopathSee all my reviews

Darby O'Gill is well known for his fantastical stories, he is also known as the man who is constantly seeking the pot of gold he believes exists. When one day Darby tells all in the Inn that he has found the pot of gold, nobody of course pays him much heed, they are further aghast when Darby tells of a Leprechaun King called Brian, and how he tricked Darby out of his three wishes.

Fantastical romp that is cloaked by Irish mystical folklore, what's not to like really? It's a delightful tale told with intuitive pacing and containing wonderful special effects. Once Darby (Albert Sharp) enters the magical world of the leprechaun's, we are witness to gorgeous colour and jaunty shenanigans as director Robert Stevenson and his team unleash the tricks of the trade. Based on the Darby O'Gill stories written by H.T. Kavanagh, this production was something that Walt Disney had wanted to make for many many years, even visiting Ireland in 1948 to research for the project. Disney's wait was worth it for it oozes Disneys renowned production values and delivers entertainment for children and adults alike.

Joining the splendid Sharpe in the cast is the excellent Jimmy O'Dea as King Brian, Janet Munro as Katie, and a youthful Sean Connery as Michael McBride, all of which are in on the fun and all lighting up the tale with consummate ease. I defy anyone to not be tapping their feet for most of this picture! So go grab all the family and park yourselves in front of the TV and let the magic wash over you: for it will, to be sure to be sure. 8/10


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