TV Cream

Films: D is for...

Darby O’Gill and the Little People

Drunkenness, bar-room brawling, death and love triangles may not be what most people expect from a Disney live-action feature, but they’re all here and in glorious Technicolor, too. Albert Sharpe is the eponymous hero tussling with his leprechaun adversary King Brian – played brilliantly by Irish comedy legend Jimmy O’Dea – and all the great clichés of Irish folklore, banshees, pookahs and death coaches abound. Sean Connery also makes an early appearance demonstrating that his unique talent for speaking lines in his own accent even though they have clearly been written for another had developed early. In addition, forced perspective may be wowing the masses in the Ring Trilogy these days but here similar effects are achieved with creditable success and with only a fraction of the expertise now available. The Disney live-action feature has a worthy history often forgotten (The Black Hole, The Love Bug, Tron etc) and this sits comfortably at the top of the heap.

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