The Info List - Darby O'Gill And The Little People

Darby O'Gill and the Little People
Darby O'Gill and the Little People
is a 1959 Walt Disney
Walt Disney
Productions feature film starring Albert Sharpe, Janet Munro, Sean Connery
Sean Connery
and Jimmy O'Dea, in a tale about a wily Irishman and his battle of wits with leprechauns. The film was directed by Robert Stevenson and its screenplay written by Lawrence Edward Watkin after the books of Herminie Templeton Kavanagh. The film's title is a slight modification of one of the two Kavanagh books, Darby O'Gill and the Good People. This book and her other book, The Ashes of Old Wishes And Other Darby O'Gill Tales, were the sources for this movie.


1 Plot 2 Cast 3 Production 4 Reception 5 Comic book adaption 6 References 7 See also 8 External links

Plot[edit] Darby O'Gill (Albert Sharpe) is the aging caretaker of Lord Fitzpatrick's (Walter Fitzgerald) estate in the small Irish town of Rathcullen, where he lives in the gatehouse with his lovely, almost grown, daughter Katie (Janet Munro). Darby spends most of his time in the town pub, regaling his friends with tales of his attempts to catch the leprechauns, in particular, their king, Brian Connors (Jimmy O'Dea). Darby is past his prime as a laborer, so Lord Fitzpatrick decides to retire him on half pay and give him and Katie another cottage to live in, rent-free, and give his job to a young Dubliner named Michael McBride (Sean Connery). Darby begs Michael not to tell Katie that he is being replaced, to which Michael reluctantly agrees. That very night, Darby is captured by the leprechauns while chasing Fitzpatrick's runaway horse Cleopatra (revealed to be a Pooka), on top of the fairy mountain Knocknasheega. Darby learns that King Brian has brought him into the mountain so he could avoid the shameful admission to Katie about losing his job, but this would mean that Darby would not be allowed to return to Rathcullen and must remain with the leprechauns permanently. However, Darby tricks the leprechauns into embarking on a fox hunt by playing a rousing fiddle tune called "The Fox Chase" for them on a Stradivarius
violin, loaned to him by King Brian. The leprechauns leave on horseback through a large crack in the mountainside wall, from which Darby also escapes. Expecting Brian to track him down once realizing he escaped, Darby produces a jug of poitín and tricks the leprechaun into a drinking game to trap him at sunrise (when the leprechaun's powers no longer have any effect). Darby uses his first wish to have Brian remain at his side for two weeks or until he makes his two wishes. Meanwhile, despite a rocky beginning between them, (Katie is under the impression that Michael is merely seasonal help), the two begin to show signs of growing affection. Brian stirs the two more in the direction after tricking Darby into making his second wish, warning Darby that his kin might resort to targeting Katie to get him back. Later, the town bully Pony Sugrue (Kieron Moore), who has his eyes on both Katie and the caretaker job, learns of Michael's position and attempts to get him fired with his meddlesome mother Sheila (Estelle Winwood) revealing the truth to Katie. A livid Katie, after lashing out at her father and Michael with the intent to leave early, chases Cleopatra to Knocknasheega at nightfall. By the time Darby finds his daughter, Katie is gravely injured with a fever as a banshee appears. Despite Darby getting Katie back to Rathcullen while attempting to drive the apparition away, the banshee summons the cóiste-bodhar to carry Katie's soul off to the land of the dead. Desperate, Darby elects to use his final wish to go in his daughter's place, which a saddened King Brian reluctantly grants. But while accompanying Darby on his way to the next world, King Brian tricks Darby into making a fourth wish ("wishing" that his friend could join him in the afterlife). Because he is only allowed three wishes, this negates all the previous wishes and spares Darby's life. Katie's fever lifts and she and Michael reveal their love for each other. Michael later confronts Pony at the pub for his attempt to get him fired knocking him out and making him appear an incompetent drunkard. Finally, Darby and Michael depart arm-in-arm, joining Katie outside in the wagon for a happy ending, with Michael and Katie singing a final duet together of "Pretty Irish Girl." Cast[edit]

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


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The film's development began with a visit to Ireland
and the Irish Folklore Commission by Walt Disney
Walt Disney
and associates in 1947. The Disney company continued to liaise with the commission and its director, James Delargy, over the coming decade based on Disney's desire to use Irish folklore as the basis of a film but, to Delargy's disappointment, eventually decided to make an adaptation of Irish-American writer Hermione Templeton Kavanagh's 1903 collection of stories Darbie O'Gill and the Good People.[3] The duet "Pretty Irish Girl", apparently sung by Sean Connery
Sean Connery
and Janet Munro, has been alleged to feature dubbed vocals by Irish singers, Brendan O'Dowda and Ruby Murray.[4] A single of the duet was released in the UK. However, the deeper male vocal and breathy female vocal (which matches Munro’s a capella finish to the song, plainly recorded on set) performing the song in the American version of the film[5] do not match the voices of O'Dowda (a tenor) nor Murray (a trained singer.)[6] Connery does sing the song Pretty Irish Girl (with solo piano accompaniment) on the 1992 compilation The Music of Disney: A Legacy of Song, and in 1959 Top Rank released a single in the UK (catalog number JAR 163) which featured Connery and Munro singing the song.[7] Reception[edit] On the film's initial release, A. H. Weiler of The New York Times praised the cast (save Connery whom he described as "merely tall, dark, and handsome") and thought the film an "overpoweringly charming concoction of standard Gaelic tall stories, fantasy and romance."[8] Film critic and historian Leonard Maltin
Leonard Maltin
in his book The Disney Films, states, " Darby O'Gill and the Little People
Darby O'Gill and the Little People
is not only one of Disney's best films, but is certainly one of the best fantasies ever put on film."[9] Maltin rates the movie so highly that in a later article he included it among a list of lesser known outstanding Disney films. Comic book adaption[edit]

Dell Four Color
Four Color
#1024 (August 1959)[10][11]


^ "1959: Probable Domestic Take", Variety, 6 January 1960 p 34 ^ "Big Rental Films of 1969", Variety, 7 January 1970 p 15 ^ Tony Tracy, 'When Disney Met Delargy: Darby O'Gill and the Irish Folklore Commission', Béaloideas: Journal of the Irish Folklore Society, Vol. 78, 2010 pp 50-59. ^ "Gifted Irish tenor linked with Percy French", The Irish Times, 2 March 2002 ^ Duet between Connery and Munro on YouTube. ^ O'Dowda-Murray recording on YouTube. ^ 45 cat 45 cat collectors catalog listing of record. ^ New York Times Review. Retrieved September 23, 2008 ^ Maltin, Leonard (2000). The Disney Films. Disney Editions. p. 416. ISBN 978-0-7868-8527-5. Retrieved 2010-08-17.  ^ "Dell Four Color
Four Color
#1024". Grand Comics Database.  ^ Dell Four Color
Four Color
#1024 at the Comic Book DB

See also[edit]

Disney films Irish mythology in popular culture Lists of films released by Disney

External links[edit]

Wikiquote has quotations related to: Darby O'Gill and the Little People

Official website Darby O'Gill and the Little People
Darby O'Gill and the Little People
on IMDb Darby O'Gill and the Little People
Darby O'Gill and the Little People
at Rotten Tomatoes Darby O'Gill and the Little People
Darby O'Gill and the Little People
at the TCM Movie Database

v t e

Films directed by Robert Stevenson

Happy Ever After (1932) Falling for You (1933) Tudor Rose (1936) The Man Who Changed His Mind
The Man Who Changed His Mind
(1936) Jack of All Trades (1936) King Solomon's Mines (1937) Non-Stop New York
Non-Stop New York
(1937) Owd Bob (1938) The Ware Case (1938) Young Man's Fancy (1939) Return to Yesterday
Return to Yesterday
(1940) Tom Brown's School Days (1940) Back Street (1941) Joan of Paris
Joan of Paris
(1942) Forever and a Day (1943) Jane Eyre (1943) Dishonored Lady
Dishonored Lady
(1947) To the Ends of the Earth (1948) I Married a Communist (1949) Walk Softly, Stranger
Walk Softly, Stranger
(1950) My Forbidden Past
My Forbidden Past
(1951) The Las Vegas Story (1952) Johnny Tremain (1957) Old Yeller (1957) Darby O'Gill and the Little People
Darby O'Gill and the Little People
(1959) Kidnapped (1960) The Absent-Minded Professor
The Absent-Minded Professor
(1961) In Search of the Castaways (1962) Son of Flubber
Son of Flubber
(1963) The Misadventures of Merlin Jones
The Misadventures of Merlin Jones
(1964) Mary Poppins (1964) The Monkey's Uncle (1965) That Darn Cat!
That Darn Cat!
(1965) The Gnome-Mobile
The Gnome-Mobile
(1967) Blackbeard's Ghost
Blackbeard's Ghost
(1968) The Love Bug
The Love Bug
(1968) Bedknobs and Broomsticks
Bedknobs and Broomsticks
(1971) Herbie Rides Again
Herbie Rides Again
(1974) The Island at the Top of the World
The Island at the Top of the World
(1974) One of Our Dinosaurs Is Missing
One of Our Dinosaurs Is Missing
(1975) The Shaggy D.A.
The Shaggy D.A.

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