During World War II in England, Charlie (Ian Weighill), Carrie (Cindy O'Callaghan), and Paul Rawlins (Roy Snart) are sent to live with Miss Eglantine Price (Dame Angela Lansbury), who, as it turns out, is an apprentice witch. Charlie blackmails Miss Price that if he is to keep her practices a secret, she must give him something, so she takes a bedknob from her late father's bed and places the "famous magic travelling spell" on it, and only Paul can activate it. Their first journey is to a street in London, where they meet Emelius Browne (David Tomlinson), former headmaster of Miss Price's witchcraft training correspondence school. Miss Price tells him of a plan to find the magic words for a spell known as "Substitutiary Locomotion", which brings inanimate objects to life. This spell will be her work for the war effort.Written by
Matthew Anscher <email@example.com>
This movie premiered at New York City's Radio City Music Hall. The Music Hall's Christmas stage show ran so long, that movie premieres had to run less than two hours. After much debate, Disney cut this movie down to one hour and fifty-seven minutes. The Sherman brothers decided not to renew their contract with Disney after the same thing happened to The Happiest Millionaire (1967) and The One and Only, Genuine, Original Family Band (1968). In 1995, Scott MacQueen, head of Disney's restoration department, discovered that two of the cut songs, "With a Flair" and "A Step in the Right Direction", were still on the soundtrack album and quoted throughout the underscore. He persuaded Disney to reconstruct the longer cut. The picture element of "A Step in the Right Direction" has yet to be located. See more »
Towards the end, when the star disappears from Mr. Browne's hankie, Miss Price said objects would not pass from one world to another. However they, the clothes, bed, and bedding passed from their world to Naboombu without issue. See more »
The opening credits are based on the Bayeux Tapestry, a full account of the 1066 Norman conquest of Britain. See more »
There is one still-missing song that was intended to be in the film, entitled "A Step in the Right Direction." It would have occurred after Miss Price opened her package and found a broomstick. Disney could not locate any film footage of this number, but they found the audio tracks and still photographs of the number. The restoration team created a still-photo recreation to include as a supplement; it has appeared on most home video versions of the 139-minute cut. Because it was done on tape, it was decided audiences might find the switch from live action to still photos jarring. For this reason, it was left out of the film's reconstruction.
Before the December 1971 wide-release of Bedknobs and Broomsticks, Disney released it in limited engagement theaters around the US with an approximate 130 minute running time around November of 1971 (2 hours, 10 minutes.) Whether or not "Step in the Right Direction" was included in this limited US release remains debated to this day. However, the approximate 10 minutes of film that was included in the November,1971, limited release, was removed from all widespread distribution prints around mid December of 1971. With the exception of Step in the Right Direction, this footage was not restored until the Special Edition 1996 DVD was released. Added footage within the special edition 1996 DVD restoration, brought the film to an approximate 140 minute, (2 hours, 20 minutes) running time. However, the true whereabouts of Step in the Right Direction's film footage for Bedknobs and Broomsticks remain unknown, but are presumed lost or destroyed. See more »
This place in England during 1940. Three orphans (Carrie, Charles and Paul) are sent to live with Miss Price (Angela Lansbury). She doesn't want them but reluctantly takes them in. It seems she is studying to be a witch through a correspondence course with the College of Witchcraft. (OK--I realize this is a family film but--College of Witchcraft??? Come ON!!) Before she can finish the course though the college is closed because of the war (???) and she seeks down the head Professor Browne (David Tomlinson). And her and the kids travel around on a bed with the help of a magical bedknob.
I first saw this when I was 9 and vaguely remember loving it. It sure doesn't hold up as an adult! The story is silly (even for a fantasy), the kids are terrible actors and one of them (Charles) is incredibly obnoxious. Also Roddy McDowall is third billed and only appears in two short scenes! There's also a trip to the Isle of Naboombu which is run by animated animals. I thought that might be fun but the animation is poor (for Disney) and it has a very violent and far too long soccer game between the animals. There are a few saving graces here: Lansbury and Tomlinson are just great; the songs (while forgettable) are pleasant; the long dance sequence on Portobello Road is very colorful and full of energy and the Oscar-winning special effects are still pretty impressive at the end. But the weak story line, poor animation and unlikable kids really pull this one down. I heard the extended version is even worse! I can only give this a 7.
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