Bedknobs and Broomsticks (1971) Poster


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  • Two books, actually. The movie, Bedknobs and Broomsticks is based on two children's books by British author Mary Norton [1903-1992]: The Magic Bed Knob or How to Become a Witch in Ten Easy Lessons (1943), and Bonfires and Broomsticks (1947). Both books were re-released in a single volume entitled Bedknob and Broomstick (1957). The books were adapted for the movie by Disney screenwriters Bill Walsh and Don DaGradi. Edit

  • The movie opens in WWII England, 1940, during the evacuation of children from war-torn London to the English countryside. That is how the three Rawlins children Charlie (Ian Weighill), Carrie (Cindy O'Callaghan), and Paul (Roy Snart) come to live with Miss Eglantine Price (Angela Lansbury). Edit

  • The children say that they like to eat bubble-and-squeak, toad-in-the-hole, sausages-and-mash, and fried fish. Miss Price replies that there are no fried foods served in her house, only cabbage buds, rose hips, glyssop seed, elm bark, whortle yeast, and stewed nettles. Edit

  • Bubble-and-squeak is a traditional English dish usually prepared by mixing mashed potatoes into shredded and sauteed cabbage and preparing like a potato cake. Onions, bacon, sausages, and leftover bits of beef or ham may also be mixed in or served alongside. Edit

  • Toad in the Hole is a classic British dish that is basically made of sausages baked in yorkshire pudding. Look here for the recipe. Edit

  • A popular British dish, sausages-and-mash is simply sausages (often referred to as "bangers") and mashed potatoes, usually served with onion gravy. See here for more details. Edit

  • Miss Price says that she doesn't like giving names to animals, so she calls her cat by the name he came with: Cosmic Creepers. Edit

  • No. The Isle of Naboombu, both the book and the isle, were made up for the movie. In the novel, the isle was named Ueepe. Edit

  • You can buy just about anything you want in Portobello Road, including rare alabaster (genuine plaster), a filigreed samovar owned by the czars, a pen used by Shelley, a new Botticelli, and the snipper that clipped old King Edwards cigars. There's Waterford crystals, Napoleon's pistols, society heirlooms with genuine gems, Rembrandts, El Grecos, and Toulouse-Lautrecos (all painted last week on the banks of the Thames). In the bookstore, you'll find Berke's Peerage, The Bride Book, The Fishmonger's Guidebook, a Victorian novel The Unwanted Son, The History of Potting, The Yearbook of Yachting, and the leatherbound Life of Attila the Hun. There are tokens and treasures, yesterday's pleasures, cheap imitations of heirlooms of old, dented and tarnished, scarred and unvarnished, in old Portobello they're bought and they're sold. Edit

  • The Substitutiary Locomotion spell (causes an inanimate object to take on a lifeforce of its own): "Treguna mekoides trecorum satis dee."

    The Traveling Spell (enchants the knob of a bedpost, turning the bed into a magical transport): "Hellebore henbane aconite glowworm fire and firefly light."

    The Turn-a-Man-into-a-Rabbit Spell: "Filigree apogee pedigree perigee."

    The Broomstick Spell (makes a broomstick fly): "Lackipo nikrif scrumpet leech." Edit

  • German soldiers invade Miss Price's house during the night, locking her and the children in an armory museum. Professor Emelius Browne (David Tomlinson) turns himself into a rabbit and joins them. Miss Price uses the Substitutiary Locomotion spell to animate the armor. As Miss Price hovers overhead on her broom, the animated forces wreak havoc on the Germans, eventually chasing them back to their boat, but not before they blow up Miss Price's workshop. The explosion knocks her off her broomstick, and the Substitutiary Locomotion spell comes to a halt. With all of her spell books and equipment destroyed, Miss Price can no longer practice her witchcraft, but she is proud that she was able to use it to stop the German raiding party. She admits that her poor memory and her aversion to poisoned dragon's blood made it so that she could never be a proper witch anyway. Emelius decides to join the British army, but promises that he will return and kisses Miss Price goodbye. In the final scene, as Emelius marches off with the Home Guard, the children bemoan the fact that they won't have any more fun now that Miss Price is no longer a witch. Paul points out that they still have the enchanted bedknob. Edit

  • Yes. The movie was remastered in 1996 following the discovery of a song that was never included in the original movie. The extended version (available on DVD) includes two previously-unseen sequences, one introducing Emelius Browne, and one near the end of the movie. Also, some missing parts were overdubbed. Edit

  • Bedknobs and Broomsticks is most often compared to Mary Poppins (1964) (1964), both movies being produced by Walt Disney Studios, sharing the same director (Robert Stevenson), music by the same team of composers (Richard & Robert Sherman), the same screenwriters, and both having a magical character in the lead role. Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (1968) (1968) is also similar in style, and Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (1971) (1971) is another family fantasy musical of the era. Another movie sometimes named as similar to Bedknobs and Broomsticks is the The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (2005)) (2005) in which three children are evacuated from WWII London and sent to live in the countryside where they visit another land accessible through the back of a magical wardrobe. Although not really similar in the way of Mary Poppins and The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, the Harry Potter movies are also recommended for their magical capers: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (2001) (2001), Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (2002) (2002), Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004) (2004), Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2005) (2005), Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (2007) (2007), Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (2009) (2009), Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 (2010) (2010), and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 (2011) (2011). Edit



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