A Totally Bonkers Children's Movie Is Streaming For St. Paddy's
A lot of us are wisely spending this St. Patrick's Day not drunkenly expelling germs onto a karaoke mic while belting out Dropkick Murphy songs among a crowd of sweaty strangers, but rather, staying indoors and watching TV. Sadly, aside from five minutes of The Fugitive, there aren't a ton of St. Patrick's Day-themed movies out there. But if you're looking for an appropriately Irish flick to watch tonight, Disney+ is streaming one of the most bonkers children's movies of all time.
Darby O'Gill and the Little People is a 1959 live-action fantasy set in the small town of Rathcullen. The titular caretaker spends his days getting drunk and literally chasing leprechauns-- so yeah, it's as sensitive and nuanced a portrayal of Irish culture as you'd find in the cereal aisle of the grocery store.
This movie is bizarrely random, as shown by these Leprechauns apparently having Palpatine-like lightning powers ...
And the scene in which Darby escapes the Leprechauns by seemingly hypnotizing them with fiddle music wouldn't seem out of place in a modern art-house horror movie. We haven't even mentioned that it co-stars the decidedly not Irish Sean Connery who [gasp] sings!
And if you haven't been sufficiently traumatized yet, the climax finds Darby battling a Banshee and being picked up by the Death Coach.
Even weirder was the way the movie was promoted. For some reason, Walt Disney straight-up pretended to be half-Irish. Meanwhile, human actor Jimmy O'Dea, who plays the Leprechaun King, went uncredited in the film because Disney "hoped to create the illusion that he was using real leprechauns." Which is the same kind of nonsense he pulled with the actress who voiced Snow White, thus ruining her career. Disney even produced a TV special, I Captured the King of the Leprechauns documenting how he journeyed to Ireland and abducted a magical dude to star in his movie.
But if it wasn't for this insane movie, Connery would never have gotten the role of 007. Probably because his name was actually in the credits. Slainte!
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