Darby O’Gill And The Little People

Last Updated on: January 20th, 2024

Darby O’Gill And The Little People

“Darby O’Gill and the Little People” is a 1959 fantasy-adventure film produced by Walt Disney. The movie is based on H.T. Kavanagh’s short stories and is set in the countryside of Ireland. It tells the story of an old Irishman named Darby O’Gill (played by Albert Sharpe) who works as a caretaker for Lord Fitzpatrick’s estate.

Darby is known for his tall tales of leprechauns and fairies, which no one believes. However, one night, he encounters the king of the leprechauns, King Brian (played by Jimmy O’Dea), and is granted three wishes. The cunning leprechaun tries to trick Darby out of his third wish, leading to a series of magical and humorous misadventures.

Amidst the enchanting folklore, the film also follows the romantic storyline between Darby’s daughter, Katie (played by Janet Munro), and a young man named Michael McBride (played by Sean Connery), who is the new caretaker taking over Darby’s job.

The film is known for its impressive special effects and technical achievements, especially for its time. It features a combination of live-action and carefully crafted visual effects to create scenes of interaction between the characters and the “little people.”

“Darby O’Gill and the Little People” received critical acclaim for its storytelling, performances, and the magical atmosphere it created. It remains a beloved classic among Disney fans, especially those who appreciate Irish folklore and tales of mythical creatures.

The film’s success also contributed to the rise of Sean Connery’s career, who later became famous for his portrayal of James Bond in several movies. With its charming mix of fantasy, humor, and adventure, “Darby O’Gill and the Little People” continues to be a cherished part of Disney’s film legacy.

Fun Facts

  • “Darby O’Gill and the Little People” is a 1959 live-action film that combines Irish folklore with Disney’s storytelling magic. It tells the tale of Darby O’Gill, an Irishman who encounters leprechauns and tries to outsmart them to gain three wishes.
  • The film is known for its impressive special effects, particularly in the scenes featuring the leprechauns. The use of forced perspective and intricate set designs created the illusion of the little people, making it a technical achievement for its time.
  • Sean Connery, the future James Bond actor, played a significant role in the film as Michael McBride. “Darby O’Gill and the Little People” was one of Connery’s early acting roles, and his performance helped him gain recognition in the film industry.
Darby O'Gill And The Little People

Additional Details

  • Movie Studio:
  • Year Released: 1959
  • Type of Movie: Live-Action
  • Box Office: $4.9 million
  • IMDB Link


  • Albert Sharpe: Darby O’Gill
  • Janet Munro: Katie O’Gill
  • Sean Connery: Michael McBride
  • Jimmy O’Dea: King Brian
  • Kieron Moore: Pony Sugrue
  • Estelle Winwood: Widow Sheelah Sugrue
  • Walter Fitzgerald: Lord Fitzpatrick
  • Denis O’Dea: Father Murphy
  • J.G. Devlin: Tom Kerrigan
  • Jack MacGowran: Phadrig Oge
  • Farrell Pelly: Paddy Scanlon
  • Nora O’Mahoney: Molly Malloy


  • Director: Robert Stevenson
  • Producer: Walt Disney
  • Writers: HT Kavanagh and Lawrence Watkin
  • Music: Oliver Wallace

Movie Trailer:

About the Author

Craig Smith
I am founder and editor of DisneyNews.us. My passion for all things Disney goes pretty far back to my first trip to Walt Disney World in the mid-80's. I have since returned to the magical place more than 20 times. I started this site when I came to the realization that I spent a significant portion of my day reading articles about Disney and watching Disney content with my 8-year old, so it made sense that I would start sharing some of what I read and see and building a little community around it. Other interests include 80's nostalgia, vintage toys, video games, LEGO, Star Wars and tech gadgets. Other sites include DMR and VideoGamesStats.com.