Darby O'Gill and the Little People (1959) Poster


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  • Aging Irishman Darby O'Gill (Albert Sharpe) relates to his pubmates at the Rathcullen Arms about the time he encountered Brian Connors (Jimmy O'Dea), the Leprechaun King, and how the two of them entered into a battle of wits. After being captured when Darby tricks him into staying up past cockcrow (after which leprechauns lose their powers until nightfall), King Brian is forced to grant Darby three wishes. But King Brian has a few tricks up his royal sleeves, too. Edit

  • Darby O'Gill and the Little People is based on British author Herminie Templeton Kavanagh's tales about Darby O'Gill, compiled in two books: Darby O'Gill and the Good People and The Ashes of Old Wishes and Other Darby O'Gill Tales. The tales were made into a screenplay by American writer Lawrence Edward Watkin. Edit

  • It was believed, in the 18th and 19th centuries, that fresh, hot bread could give you indigestion or even such severe cramps that a person could die. Katie calls eating hot bread a "mile murder", which literally translates as "thousand murders". Edit

  • It's meant to imply that Dublin men don't waste any time when it comes to romancing and go after what they want. Edit

  • When he points his staff and the mountain opens, Brian says "oscail" which is the Irish-Gaelic word for "open". For example, "Oscail an doras" means "Open the door". It is pronounced like "oscull". Edit

  • Poteen (poitin): bootleg irish whiskey

    Dudeen: a clay tobacco pipe with a short stem

    Stirabout: a porridge of irish origin consisting of oatmeal or cornmeal boiled in water or milk

    Pannikin: a small metal cup or pan

    Blatherskite: a person given to babbling, foolish, nonsensical talk

    Jakeen: a pregorative term for someone from dublin

    Wirra: an exclamation of sorrow, grief, or concern

    Turf creel: a basket for carrying peat fuel

    Pookah: a spirit or ghost

    Costa bower (cóiste bodhar: silent coach): a death coach, once sent to earth what cannot return empty

    Sonsy: buxom, healthy, and good-natured

    Faith: interjection meaning "damn" Edit

  • When the banshee, followed by the Cóiste Bodhar, come looking for Katie, Darby pleads with King Brian to grant him his third wish...that the death coach take him (Darby) instead of Katie. Sadly, King Brian grants Darby his wish. When Darby mounts the coach, however, he is surprised to see King Brian sitting across from him, electing to ride with his "grand adversary". With a grin on his face, King Brian says, "I wish I could go with you all the way." Without thinking, Darby replies "I wish you could, too." King Brian roars in laughter, pointing out that Darby has just made a fourth wish, which negates the three previous wishes. King Brian then throws his friend out of the coach, saving his life. Back at the cottage, Katie has come out of her fever and is happy to see Michael at her side. In the final scenes, Darby finishes telling his story to his pubmates at the Rathcullen Arms. When Pony Sugrue (Kieron Moore) laughs at the story, Michael thrashes Pony for knocking him out and pouring whiskey all over him to make him appear drunk. After knocking out Pony, Michael, Katie, and Darby ride home in the wagon, Michael and Katie singing "Pretty Irish Girl" in duet. Edit



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