Movie Review: Darby O'Gill and the Little People

by Catherine McCafferty
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Darby O'Gill

  • MPAA Rating: G
  • Running Time: 93 minutes

Quick Take: Be careful what you wish for when you match wits with a leprechaun king.

Released in Dublin in 1959, Darby O'Gill takes you back to the old magic of Disney movies, when special effects were limited to the optical (e.g., a floating spirit) or mechanical (e.g., Darby's stick turns against him). There's no CGI, animation, or stupendous special effects. Instead there is a quaint story set in a quaint Irish village where the priest is the ultimate authority and Darby provides the entertainment with his stories of "the little people."

Kids Will Like:

There are tiny little people dancing, riding horses, and disappearing and reappearing!

Parents Will Like:

It's fun to see Sean Connery pre-James Bond -- and to hear him sing.

Heads Up:

A fair number of scenes take place in the village pub and involve drinking. Darby, in fact, tricks King Brian into staying past dawn by getting him drunk and engaging in a rhyming contest.

The low-tech special-effects banshee might amuse older viewers, but could still spook young watchers, especially with her howl.

Given the Irish brogues of the characters, you sometime have to listen carefully to follow the dialogue.

Own It?

Rent it first. Because Darby O'Gill is a different movie experience from the current fare, it may -- or may not -- appeal to all viewers.

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