This excellent fantasy romps through the folklore world of Ireland, with Albert Sharpe starring as Darby O'Gill, the aging caretaker of a large estate. He falls into a well and lands in the cavernous realm of the Little People, ruled by King Brian (Jimmy O'Dea, in an unforgettable
performance). Following a wild leprechaun celebration, the rock walls open and the king leads his men out on miniature horses to frolic in the Irish countryside. Later, Darby tricks King Brian into granting him three wishes, but quickly learns that one should be careful of what one wishes for.
This wonderful tale is told with a brisk, imaginative pace and the special effects--whereby Darby interacts with the tiny leprechauns--are marvelously executed, and sometimes frightening. Sharp camerawork is enhanced with brilliant colors and the music (by Oliver Wallace and Lawrence E. Watkin) is
delightfully and capriciously Irish. Young Sean Connery is a breathtaking feast for the eyes, and Munro makes a fetching colleen. Overall production reflects Walt Disney's perfectionist detail; Disney dreamed of making the film for 20 years and took a trip to Ireland in 1948 to do research. Any
child who hasn't seen DARBY O'GILL AND THE LITTLE PEOPLE has missed an important bit of fancy, and that goes for adults too.
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