Initially released in 1903 and the inspiration for the 1959 Walt Disney movie, "Darby O'Gill and the Little People, " this novel is told through chapters that could be read individually as short stories. The story is set in Ireland and includes the story of Darby O'Gill's sojourn in the mountain home of the fairies, when he wins his freedom (and fairy gold) from King Brian Connors. Other chapters include "How the Fairies Came to Ireland, " "Darby O'Gill and the Leprechaun, " and "The Adventures of King Brian." The final chapter, "The Banshee's Comb, " is a fantastic tale in which Darby must match wits with the banshee and her ghosts, or meet his doom.
Release dates: June 26, 1959
Running time: 93 minutes
Albert Sharpe as Darby O'Gill
Janet Munro as Katie O'Gill
Sean Connery as Michael McBride
Jimmy O'Dea as King Brian
Kieron Moore as Pony Sugrue
Estelle Winwood as Widow Sheelah Sugrue
Walter Fitzgerald as Lord Fitzpatrick
Denis O'Dea as Father Murphy
Jack MacGowran as Phadrig Oge (King Brian's adjutant)
This is very close to being my absolute favorite Disney film of all time. The humor, the singing(and yes James Bond sings), okay the dialogue can be a wee bit cheesy at times but it fits, and the overall look of the film is just a perfect blend. I've never read the short stories that the film was based from but even if they're only half as good as the movie, I know I will love them and I'm sure they are more than that good. As a decendant of Irish immigrants, March has always been a special time in our house and I haven't missed a single year of the tradition of watching this film. I actually look more forward to watching this film and The Quiet Man more so even than I do with A Christmas Carol when December rolls around.