Darby O’Gill (and the
Village Little People)
Walt Disney aimed the film at Americans with ‘shamrocks in their eyes’. He missed
I learned today that it’s the 60th anniversary of that famous “Irish” film Darby O’Gill and the Little People (which came as something of a surprise). Burdened by stereotypes, loaded with clichés and struggling beneath the weight of a hundred-thousand mawkish factual errors, DoG was a fantasy movie that doesn’t even try to get the basics right but at least it introduced some brilliant new Irish actors (Sean Connery and Janet Munro!).
For me, riding into town on my High Shetland Pony (couldn’t afford the horse), this Disney production epitomises everything that’s wrong with how Irish people and Irish culture/mythology have been represented by overseas entertainment productions to date.
I’m always ready to be corrected but I suspect it’s probably the one movie most hated by Irish people all over the world.
Either way, there an excellent article in this week’s Irish Times on the making of the movie, which is fascinating in itself. You can find it here: OIRISH FILM