Darby O'Gill and the Little People (1959) - Rotten Tomatoes

Darby O'Gill and the Little People1959

Darby O'Gill and the Little People (1959)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Darby O'Gill and the Little People Photos

Movie Info

Darby O'Gill (Albert Sharpe ) is a fiddle playing caretaker of an Irish governor's estate. Nearing retirement, Michael McBride (Sean Connery) arrives as Darby's replacement. That night, Darby chases a runaway horse to a haunted hilltop and falls down a well. He ends up in the land of the leprechauns, where the diminutive King Brian orders him to play his fiddle. The leprechauns proceed to dance a wild jig before they leave their home and invade the nearby town for a night of revelry. Darby escapes, and King Brian follows him home, where the two engage in an all night drinking binge. In the morning the King is rendered powerless and Darby won't let the King leave until he is granted three wishes. The King tricks Darby into using up two of the wishes, but the third wish is used for uniting the new caretaker and Darby's beautiful daughter in marriage. When his daughter hits her head on a rock and nears death, Darby offers to take her place. He is saved from boarding a terrifying death coach by a grateful King Brian's magic powers. Walt Disney personally toured Ireland and researched the legends, people and customs of the Emerald Isle years before the film was made. The special effects are excellent, and the viewer has no trouble believing the dancing leprechauns are less than two feet tall in this delightful fantasy.

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Albert Sharpe
as Darby O'Gill
Sean Connery
as Michael McBride
Jimmy O'Dea
as King Brian
Kieron Moore
as Pony Sugrue
Walter Fitzgerald
as Lord Fitzpatrick
Denis O'Dea
as Father Murphy
J.G. Devlin
as Tom Kerrigan
Jack MacGowran
as Phadrig Oge
Farrell Pelly
as Paddy Scanlon
Nora O'Mahoney
as Molly Malloy
Maureen Halligan
as Gossiping woman
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Critic Reviews for Darby O'Gill and the Little People

All Critics (16) | Top Critics (3)

[An] overpoweringly charming concoction of standard Gaelic tall stories, fantasy and romance.

March 25, 2006 | Rating: 3.5/5 | Full Review…

For those of a sentimental turn, there is the delight of watching young Connery romancing the ineffably wholesome Janet Munro, a couple of years before things turned nasty for Commander Bond at Crab Key with the somewhat more knowing Ursula Andress.

February 11, 2006 | Full Review…
Top Critic

No one believes a man known for spinning tales full of blarney when he indeed befriends the king of the leprechauns.

March 10, 2003 | Full Review…

I was 6 when I saw this Walt Disney fantasy at my local theater, and when the cheesy but ghostly Coach of Death descends from the sky, I might have considered wearing diapers even then.

November 2, 2021 | Full Review…

It's not quite as well-known as it should be but it's really delightful.

May 13, 2019 | Rating: 8/10 | Full Review…

The film presents a series of utterly charming moments, some magical and some down-to-earth but, considering the setting, equally utopian.

March 10, 2008

Audience Reviews for Darby O'Gill and the Little People

Inconsequential Disney. Darby O'Gill doesn't come up in any list of Disney classics or fondly remembered films from the studio. Why? It's a little fantasy designed to cash in on a culture instead of telling a quality story. The biggest hurdle for the family audience is the thick accents of the main cast, while the somewhat plodding story tends to be an issue as well. It's not a badly made movie; it's just "meh." The forced perspective shots of the leprechauns, though, is a treat.

Jason Vargo
Jason Vargo

Super Reviewer

Little known precious gem.

Dannielle Albert
Dannielle Albert

Super Reviewer

I liked it when I was a kid. Seeing Connery so young is a little strange. The banshee in the movie was pretty scary when I was a kid and I think it still gives me a chill just thinking about it.

Jason Spencer
Jason Spencer

Super Reviewer

Darby O'Gill and the Little People Quotes

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