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The Films of Robert Stevenson

Tudor Rose

The Man Who Changed His Mind

King Solomon's Mines

Non-Stop New York

Owd Bob

The Ware Case

Young Man's Fancy

Return to Yesterday

Tom Brown's School Days

Back Street

Joan of Paris

Jane Eyre

Dishonored Lady

To the Ends of the Earth

The Woman on Pier 13

Walk Softly, Stranger

My Forbidden Past

The Las Vegas Story

Johnny Tremain

Old Yeller

Darby O'Gill and the Little People (June 17/07)

Though Darby O'Gill and the Little People is saddled with premise that's almost egregiously lightweight, the film does manage to win the viewer over with its myriad of small charms - with Sean Connery's small supporting role certainly one of the more overt examples of this. The story follows a genial Scot (Albert Sharpe's Darby O'Gill) as he instigates a minor war with the King of the Leprechauns (Jimmy O'Dea); Janet Munro co-stars as Katie, Darby's long-suffering daughter, while Connery pops up as potential love interest Michael McBride. It's the subplot revolving around Katie and Michael's tentative romance that initially keeps things interesting, as there's really not a whole lot within the central storyline to hold the viewer's attention; this is in spite of a lively, exuberant performance by Sharpe that almost makes up for the surprisingly lackluster opening hour, which is seemingly devoted entirely to sequences in which Darby sings and dances. The dark and genuinely creepy third act leaves Darby O'Gill and the Little People on a far more positive note than one might've expected, and there's no denying that the film is ultimately an entertaining (if all-too-slight) piece of work.

out of


The Absent-Minded Professor

In Search of the Castaways

Son of Flubber

The Misadventures of Merlin Jones

Mary Poppins

The Monkey's Uncle

That Darn Cat!

The Gnome-Mobile

Blackbeard's Ghost

The Love Bug

Bedknobs and Broomsticks (July 31/15)

Bedknobs and Broomsticks follows Angela Lansbury's Miss Price, an apprentice witch, as she and her three charges (Cindy O'Callaghan's Carrie, Roy Snart's Paul, and Ian Weighill's Charlie) embark on a quest for a missing component to a magical spell, with the journey bringing the four characters into contact with a wide variety of wacky people and places - including a shifty con man (David Tomlinson's Emelius) and an animated land ruled over by a tempestuous lion. There is, as becomes increasingly clear, little within Bedknobs and Broomsticks that wholeheartedly works, as the movie, which runs a punishing 139 minutes (!!!), never entirely takes off and generally lurches from one far-from-memorable musical number to the next. (It's clear, too, that many such moments outstay their welcome to an almost absurd degree, with the best and most tedious example of this a seemingly endless song-and-dance sequence on the streets of London.) The passable performances and somewhat grungy visuals perpetuate Bedknobs and Broomsticks' atmosphere of mediocrity, with the movie crossing into all-out disaster territory as it follows the characters' journey into the aforementioned animated landscape (ie it's just excessively silly). By the time the action-packed yet rather interminable final stretch rolls around, Bedknobs and Broomsticks has firmly established itself as a painfully overlong and often tedious misfire from the creative team behind (the far superior) Mary Poppins.

out of

Herbie Rides Again

The Island at the Top of the World

One of Our Dinosaurs is Missing

The Shaggy D.A.

© David Nusair