Darby O'Gill and the Little People

Darby O'Gill and the Little People

Synopsis of Movie

Twenty years in the making (or at least in the imagining), Darby O'Gill and the Little People was a labor of love for Walt Disney. Released to theaters in 1959, this adaptation of H.T. Kavanagh’s Darby O’Gill stories was highlighted by an involving story and some truly magical special effects.

Estate caretaker Darby O’Gill is known throughout his village as a tale-spinner and an accomplished fiddler. When he is replaced by a younger man, Michael McBride, it’s a crushing blow. Darby heads home to break the news to his daughter, Katie, but en route he falls down a well and into the realm of King Brian of Knocknasheega, land of the Leprechauns.

The king wishes to keep Darby underground forever, but Darby tricks the little man into the topworld, earning himself three wishes. King Brian hoodwinks Darby out of two, and Darby uses the third to ensure a happy marriage between Katie and the new caretaker. Things go wrong when Death arrives to claim a soul, a dilemma that forces both Darby and King Brian into noble action.

Walt Disney went to great lengths to weave a believable fairy tale, even placing a thank you title at the beginning of the film, “to King Brian of Knocknasheega and his leprechauns, whose gracious cooperation made this picture possible.” Despite clever details like these, Darby O'Gill and the Little People had a disappointing run at the box office. Time has been good to the movie, though, as curious audiences have tuned in either to see the little people themselves or to watch the work of a pre-James-Bond Sean Connery as Michael McBride.

Movie Release History

1959 - Darby O'Gill and the Little People

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

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