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Bedknobs and Broomsticks (1971)

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An apprentice witch, three kids and a cynical magician conman search for the missing component to a magic spell to be used in the defense of Britain in WWII.

Director:

Robert Stevenson

Writers:

Ralph Wright (animation story), Ted Berman (animation story) | 3 more credits »
Reviews
Popularity
4,089 ( 266)
Won 1 Oscar. Another 1 win & 5 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Angela Lansbury ... Miss Price
David Tomlinson ... Emelius
Roddy McDowall ... Mr. Jelk
Sam Jaffe ... Bookman
John Ericson ... Col. Heller
Bruce Forsyth ... Swinburne
Cindy O'Callaghan Cindy O'Callaghan ... Carrie
Roy Snart Roy Snart ... Paul
Ian Weighill ... Charlie
Tessie O'Shea Tessie O'Shea ... Mrs. Hobday
Arthur Gould-Porter Arthur Gould-Porter ... Capt. Greer (as Arthur E. Gould-Porter)
Ben Wrigley Ben Wrigley ... Portobello Rd. Workman
Reginald Owen ... Gen. Teagler
Cyril Delevanti ... Elderly Farmer
Rick Traeger Rick Traeger ... German Sergeant
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Storyline

During WWII in England, Charlie, Carrie, and Paul Rawlins are sent to live with Eglantine Price, who 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 bed knob from her late father's bed and places the "famous magic traveling spell" on it, and only Paul can activate it. Their first journey is to a street in London where they meet Emelius Browne, 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 <anscher@radonc.duke.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

You'll beWITCHED! You'll beDAZZLED! You'll be swept into a world of enchantment BEYOND ANYTHING BEFORE! See more »


Certificate:

G | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

official site

Country:

USA | UK

Language:

English | German

Release Date:

13 December 1971 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Bedknobs and Broomsticks: 25th Anniversary Special Edition See more »

Filming Locations:

Dorset, England, UK See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$20,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$18,530,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (1996) (restored) | (re-release) (1980) | (initial US release) (November 1971)

Sound Mix:

3 Channel Stereo (RCA Sound Recording) (5.0) (L-R)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Many people in the film, both on and off screen, have actual connections to WWII. Angela Lansbury, Roddy McDowall, and Robert Stevenson all emigrated to the US from the UK due to the outbreak of war. David Tomlinson served as a Flight Lieutenant in the Royal Air Force. Robert B. Sherman served in the US Army, and was one of the first Allied soldiers to see the Dachau concentration camp. He used his time recuperating from a gunshot wound to the knee to learn about the English people and their culture. Manfred Lating and Fred Hellmich were native-born Germans who had lived under Nazi rule. See more »

Goofs

When the market stall trader removes the necklace from around Carrie's neck saying, "Who d'you think you are, the Queen of Sheba?", her mouth, reflected in the mirror, isn't moving. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Captain Ainsley Greer: You there, which way to Pepperinge Eye?
Elderly Farmer: Couldn't say, sir. It said on the wireless to paint out the sign posts in case the Nazis drop in.
Captain Ainsley Greer: I'm not a Nazi, I'm a British officer!
Elderly Farmer: That's what you'd say if you *was* a Nazi, isn't it sir?
See more »

Crazy Credits

King Leonidas is referred to on-screen by name, by is only credited as "Lion." See more »

Alternate Versions

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 »

Connections

Referenced in At the Movies: D.A.R.Y.L./Cocoon/Return to Oz (1985) See more »

Soundtracks

The Age of Not Believing
(uncredited)
Performed by Angela Lansbury
Music and Lyrics by Richard M. Sherman and Robert B. Sherman
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
One of the few films so good...
11 November 2005 | by LocalfreakSee all my reviews

This is one of the few films where I consider the film rendition to be an improvement on the original book. The story is clear, accessible, amusing and interesting and the musical numbers are without a doubt exceptional. I adored the cyclical rendition of 'The old home guard' and the charming 'Portobello Road', a great combination of early animation + real actors techniques which, though dated do not detract from the charm of the piece. The background of the Second World War worked well and was not omitted as the film got under way, which so often happens in 'evacuee' stories.

An often far too underrated film, it produces no end to enjoyment for people of all ages. The performances from the actors are exceptionally well done and the entire text is neatly tied together and well designed. Guaranteed to put a smile on your face!


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