on 16 January 2013
I didn't buy this film from Amazon, but I would like to add some extra information for those who have read Liam Byrne's review ("DISNEY DISAPPOINTS WITH THIS DVD"), regarding the dubbed version of the film.
The UK DVD I own seems to contain the original soundtrack intact. (For example, when King Brian orders for the Stradivarius, it is in Gaelic, which I understand was replaced with English in the dubbed release).
Looking at the disc on my PC, the files are dated 08/06/2004 (8th June - Liam's review is dated April 2004), so it looks like Disney made a second run at some point to replace the proper track.
Obviously if buying online it's not a sure thing which version you get, but just some assurance that the original version is out there in R2, in case anyone was put off.
on 19 April 2004
Somebody in the Disney Organisation should be absolutely ashamed of themselves.
DARBY O'GILL and THE LITTLE PEOPLE must rank as one of the very best Disney feature films ever. It was one of the top grossing movies of 1959, with stunning special effects, long before computer technology, that are amazing to watch even today. The Director of LORD OF THE RINGS has publicly stated that he got his inspiration for many of his special effects from this Disney Classic.
It was Sean Connery's first Hollywood movie, and the part that led to his career as 007 in the Bond movies.
Although thought by the public to be generally a "Children's Movie" , it is anything but, and the Banshee sequence is guaranteed to chill the spine of the most hardened Horror fan.
So why is the long overdue DVD disappointing..?.. Because Disney missed a golden opportunity to capitalise on this magnificent feature by failing to include a single Special Feature. No commentary (and Sean Connery or Kieron Moore, both would have been excellent choices), No Stills, No Lobby Cards, No posters, No Cinema Trailer, ...in fact..No Nothing..JUST the basic movie...
Another gripe.....is the tampered with sound track...The original voices of Albert Sharpe (Darby), Estelle Winwood (The Widow Sugrue), Jimmy O'Dea (King Brian of Knocknasheega) and Jack MacGowan (Padraig Og) have all been dubbed with replacement voices..and badly so. Even in the opening scene Estelle Winwoods "old Hag" voice has been replaced by one that sounds like the Queen of England's cousin.....too posh. And in this scene the "dubbed voice" refers to her son Pony Sugrue as TONY Sugrue.
The dubbing takes away much of the charm and originality of the the 1959 cinema released DARBY O'GILL.
Hopefully the Disney Organisation will have come to its senses before the release of the USA version of the DVD in August 2004, but unfortunately they have made a mess of the UK version.
Nevertheless...a NOT TO BE MISSED movie....even with all the faults.
on 9 October 2011
This film as, others have said, is enchanting and brilliantly made.
A couple of extra points for discussion:
I read somewhere that Cyril Cusack turned it down because it portrayed the Irish and Ireland in a stereotypical and condescending way. Surely we are mature enough now to accept that this is a mythologized Ireland, with little connection to reality. It is highly puritanical to regard it as an insult to the true history of Ireland with all its political struggles and horrors. It is just a fantasy setting for a delightful story. Just as the Kent of "Darling Buds of May" is a long way from the reality.
The plot of Darby has a delightful conceit: whether or not the Little People really exist (for the purposes of the story) is kept ambiguous throughout. Only Darby ever sees anything, and then usually only when drunk. Only we, the viewers, get to see them too. Are we being shown his visions? Just as we think Darby's visions have been shown to be all in his mind, the film offers an ingenious explanation which allows us (and Darby) to keep believing in what we saw. Is it just a rabbit in the bag? If so, how does the glass pop out? This ambiguity is maintained to the end, when hero Michael McBride, who clearly doesn't really believe in the Little People, defends Darby's right to do so. But Michael McBride is from the modern world, and doesn't need to believe. It's therefore a film full of dramatic irony. We, the real viewers, suspend our disbelief, while the fictional hero doesn't. Very nice that they left that unresolved at the end.
Both me and my then 10 years old daughter we liked this 1959 Disney classic A LOT! Below, more of my impressions, with some limited SPOILERS.
Darby O'Gill (Albert Sharpe) is an aged widower, living with his adorable daughter Katie (Janet Munro) on a farm near the town of Rathcullen. For a very long time he was the caretaker of Lord Fitzpatrick's (Walter Fitzgerald) estate - but he is now retiring and his replacement is a young guy from Dublin, a certain Michael McBride (Sean Connery).
Darby is also a kind of local celebrity, as since like always during all his pub visits he regals his friends with tales of his battle of wits with the leprechauns and in particular of his long standing rivalry with their king, Brian Connors (Jimmy O'Dea). Almost everybody loves Darby O'Gill but nobody believes his tall tales - which in fact are all very much real... This film tells the story of the ultimate and the most dramatic episode in this "Darby O'Gill vs. Leprechauns" match of century...
This is a lovely, charming, adorable family film exploring in detail and with great care Irish folk legends. The two main actors, Albert Sharpe and Jimmy O'Dea, are absolutely splendid as two old (one is in fact 5000 years old) "frenemies" who enjoy a lot their rivalry, which they interrupt only occasionally to get drunk together...)))
Janet Munro is cute like a button in this film and she gives a great show - it is really heartbreaking that she was taken away by a deadly disease so early (she died in 1972, aged only 38). Young Sean Connery is of course a pleasure to watch in one of his first real roles (his earlier appearances were frequently not even credited) - this film certainly helped him a lot, even if his great break didn't come before 1962...
MEDICAL WARNING: if you are alergic to Irish folk legends, Irish accents, Irishness in general, Disney family films, singing, handsome young men courting bonnie lassies, happy endings, merry cheerfulness, good ale, sense of honour, friendship, joy of life, pranks, riddles, battles of wits and especially leprechauns - well, in such case watching this film can be life-threatening. This is a SERIOUS WARNING and it should be taken seriously...)))
This film may be a little bit difficult to understand for the younger children and also, PARENTAL WARNING here, there is one scene, involving a banshee (a REALLY bad one!), which will probably scare the pants out of them - therefore this film is probably not for any kid younger than 8.
Other that this one little reservation, this is an EXCELLENT, charming family film. A recommended viewing. ENJOY!
on 17 November 2000
If you like Irish Folklore then this is the video for you, with Leprachorns, Banshees and not forgetting the Irish Music. This video is a good all rounder, and is suitalble for children of all ages.
on 19 October 2010
Having seen this film "by accident" zapping on one of the many continental TV channels (I live in Brussels) where it was dubbed, I just had to get the original for a couple of reasons: the glorious authenticity of the Irish accents (not those of Sean Connery and the female lead, however) the special effects innovations, and the possibility of amusing my grandchildren and - in the long run - of introducing them to the English language, since one can choose to show the film in English while opting also for English subtitles.
The film came out (1951) just as I started grammar school after passing the "11+". We used to go to "the pictures" at least three times a week, and often twice on a Saturday. I can't recall having seen this film advertised at all during that period, so I feel as though I'm playing catchup, and enjoying the film where the goodies are very good and the baddies just bad enough. We'll be watching it with the kids at Halloween, re-living those ghostly/banshee moments which were, as I've said, technically ahead of their time (except for Disney's "Fantasia" of course, but that's another story!
I grew up with this film and it was not until much later that I realized that Sean Connery ...Michael McBride was the 007 guy. Everything is so fascinating when you are young. And the special effects are superb for the time. However I did have to take time to get over the banshee.
Darby O'Gill is well known for his fantastical stories, he is also known as the man who is constantly seeking the pot of gold he believes exists. When one day Darby tells all in the Inn that he has found the pot of gold, nobody of course pays him much heed, they are further aghast when Darby tells of a Leprechaun King called Brian, and how he tricked Darby out of his three wishes.
Fantastical romp that is cloaked by Irish mystical folklore, what's not to like really? It's a delightful tale told with intuitive pacing and containing wonderful special effects. Once Darby (Albert Sharp) enters the magical world of the leprechaun's, we are witness to gorgeous colour and jaunty shenanigans as director Robert Stevenson and his team unleash the tricks of the trade. Based on the Darby O'Gill stories written by H.T. Kavanagh, this production was something that Walt Disney had wanted to make for many many years, even visiting Ireland in 1948 to research for the project. Disney's wait was worth it for it oozes Disneys renowned production values and delivers entertainment for children and adults alike.
Joining the splendid Sharpe in the cast is the excellent Jimmy O'Dea as King Brian, Janet Munro as Katie, and a youthful Sean Connery as Michael McBride, all of which are in on the fun and all lighting up the tale with consummate ease. I defy anyone to not be tapping their feet for most of this picture! So go grab all the family and park yourselves in front of the TV and let the magic wash over you: for it will, to be sure to be sure. 8/10
on 12 May 2013
As with all Walt Disney productions, this film does not fail to live up to his reputation for first class family entertaiment. Being the son of an Irishman, having travelled Ireland extensively and knowing the Irish people and their ways, Albert Sharpe's portayable of Darby O'Gill was excellent and was fully complimented by Jimmy O'Dea who, himself, made the film come to life. The Irish Idioms were true to life and brought reality to this tale of Fairies, Magic, Banshee's and "The Little People." My only criticism would be the broad Scottish accent of Seán Connery and the unmistakable American accent of Kieron Moore. Many of the actors in this film were native Irish and, as with his appearance as Feeny in "The Quiet Man," Jack MacGowran, who played Phádraig Oge (King Brian's adjutant) in this tale, did not fail to please with his superb characterisation of the divilish Irish Leprachaun. The author of the original story "Darby O'Gill and the Good People" (ISBN 0-9666701-0-8 Published U.S.A. 1903) Herminie Templeton (Ní McGibney) was born in Aldershot, Hampshire, England 1861 and died in Chicago 1933. She married firstly John Templeton and secondly Marcus Kavanagh. Herminie Templeton Kavanagh travelled to Ireland to research material for her book and no doubt studied the Irish and their ways, For me, the film captures the essence of the Irish people with their playful nature, innocent and honest ways and, above all, their love of the family. If you want to watch a film full of fun, mischief and good humour, then I would strongly recommend "Darby O'Gill and The Little People."
on 8 August 2012
This was one of my favourites when young and still is.
I oftern whistle for he is my dear my darling one to my husband, sing it too.
But this like Escape from the dark which changed its name to The littlest Horse thieves.Littlest Horse Thieves [DVD]  [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]another early Disney favourite is very hard to find on dvd for uk viewers.
I think its a must see!
Sean Connery looks sooooo cute lol. If it was on tv which isnt often Id miss anything for it!!