Darby O'Gill and the Little People (1959)

Imdb Ranking 6.9

Darby O'Gill likes to sit around the local pub, play cards and talk about his encounters with the leprechauns. He tells of one particular encounter with Brian Conners, the King of the leprechauns. Darby had him cornered and isn't going to let him go until he gets his three wishes. Darby asks for health, and King Brian grants it. Darby the asks for a big crop of potatoes, and King Brian grants it. For the third wish Darby asks for a crock of gold and the wish is granted. The King then asks him about his fourth wish. Darby wishes for crocks of gold for his friends, and the King starts laughing and says: "Three wishes I'll grant you great or small, but wish a fourth and loose them all!"

Lord Fitzpatrick replaces Darby with Michael McBride (Sean Connery) from Dublin as the caretaker on his estate. Darby is retired at half pay and he and his daughter Katie will have to move out of the guest house.

While chasing a horse, Darby falls down a hole and lands in the land of the Little People in Fairy Mountain. He is brought to the King, and sees a great hall with all the leprechauns doing a jig, while King Brian plays the bag pipes. King Brian tells Darby that he will have to stay with them there forever.

King Brian: Once you're here, there's no goin' back.
Darby O'Gill: [standing] I gotta get back to Katie!
King Brian: Ah, you needn't worry about Katie. She'll give you a grand wake an' then she'll forget all about you.
Darby O'Gill: Mind what you say about Katie!
King Brian: Calm yourself now, calm yourself!
Darby O'Gill: What've I ever done to you?
King Brian: Nothing, Darby.
Darby O'Gill: Who tells all the stories about ye?
King Brian: You do, Darby.
Darby O'Gill: Aye, who makes the women watch where they're throwin' their wash water when you an' your lads are out walking invisible?
King Brian: You do, Darby.
Darby O'Gill: An' who makes the men tip their hats respectful to every swirl o' dust? King Brian: You. You've done grand.
Darby O'Gill: So you put the come-hither on me, that's 'ow ye pay me back! You ungrateful little frainey! Your heart's as cold as a white Christmas!
At this all the leprachauns shout angrily.
Darby O'Gill: They better watch what they're sayin'. I speak Gaelic too! Now you listen to me!
King Brian: No, you listen to me! Phadrig Oge was standin' under the white thorn tree by the summer house when his Lordship gave you the bad news today. And, the moment I heard you were in trouble I swore I'd take you out of it! And if you're the fine, decent man I think you are, you'll be showin' me a little bit of gratitude!
Darby O'Gill: I am grateful.
King Brian: Then you can forget the tears an' troubles of the world outside. There's nothin' but fun and diversion here!

Darby then plays the fox hunt reel on his fiddle and everyone starts doing the jig. Darby plays faster and faster. The leprechauns dance and then get their white horses and ride round and round. Th King opens the side of the mountain and off they all ride on a fox hunt. Darby fills his pockets with treasure, and just barely makes it out before the mountain closes, but he had a hole in his pocket and his treasure is gone.

The angry King follows Darby home, and Darby offers him some of his whiskey and before you know it the King is drunk. Darby gets the King involved in a rhyming game (a great scene):

Darby: Oh, I'd wish I had time to sing you a song, / But, when I get started, I sing all night long.
King: Oh, singin's no sin, and drinkin's no crime / If you have one drink only, just one at a time.
Darby: Oh, I wish all the rhymers were like Brian Connors; / When it comes to rhymin', he takes all the honors.
King: Oh, I knew you could sing when you opened your mug; / So, you carry the tune, and I'll carry the jug.
King: Oh, I wish all the maids were like Mary McCluskey; / When she's out to a drink, well, she starts with the "whuskey".
King: But, Mary she married poor Jimmy McQueen / 'Cause she wanted her name to rhyme with poitin.
Darby: Oh, I wish I was married to Old Widow Tunney. / She's as ugly as sin but has beautiful money.

Just then the crock crows and it is morning. The King has lost his powers. Darby sics his cat on the Kin gand the King gives him his three wishes again. Darby first wish is that the King will be at his beck and call until Darby thinks up his next two wishes. Darby puts the King in a bag and puts him on a shelf.

Darby brings the King to the pub. He opens the bag and hands the King in a glass of twenty year old whiskey and the glass come back out empty. Off Darby goes with the bag on his back. When Darby shows the contents of the bag to Michael, he can only see a rabbit. Michael thinks Darby is a poacher. Darby says: "I wish you could see him." and the King tells Darby that he has used his second wish. The King says, he does see me, as a rabbit. Darby only has one wish left.

The only thing Darby really wants is for Katie to settle down with a good man. The King asks Darby if Michael is acceptable and Darby says he is, and the King appears to both Katie and Michael that night in their dreams. Before you know it Michael and Katie are courting.

Katie then finds out that Michael has replaced her father and she starts moving her stuff out. Michael asks Katie to be his wife, but she runs out. Darby brings the King in his bag to the pub to make his wish. He says he won't wish for the gold, because nine times out of ten it leads to unhappiness. Katie comes to the pub and throws the bag and the King runs out in the shape of a rabbit.

Katie goes after a horse, and then Michael and Darby hear the banshee. They go up the hill after Katie. The banshee appears and Darby throws a lantern at it. Katie is lying unconscious and Michael and Darby bring her home, but she won't wake up. The banshee then appears at the house, an Michael chases her with a shovel. The banshee then calls for the death coach for Katie. Darby calls the King and wishes for the coach to go away, but the King says that is not in his power. Darby then wishes for the coach to take him instead of Kate. The King grants the wish. The coach then pulls up for Darby, and he enters it.

The King then goes in to the coach with Darby. He tells her that Katie is fine. The King tricks Darby in to a fourth wish and the other ones are now gone. Darby falls out of the death coach back to earth and Katie is still fine.

Michael comes to the pub and confronts Pony Sugrue, who has been making life difficult for him and for Darby also. A fist fight ensues and the good guy wins.

A beautiful, lovingly made movie, full of legends, blarney and songs. As Irish as it gets, even though it was made by Disney. A really good movie about Ireland.