HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Raya and the Last Dragon
Letter from Paris
Behind the Mask
Lucky
Matrix, The
Undergods
Betrayed
Fried Barry
Once Upon a River
Cowboys
Atlantis
We Still Say Grace
Enfant Terrible
Nomadland
Playboy of the Western World, The
Bike Thief, The
Threshold
Virtuoso, The
Here are the Young Men
Beast Beast
Labyrinth of Cinema
Justice Society: World War II
Artist's Wife, The
Truman & Tennessee: An Intimate Conversation
Pusher III
Palm Springs
Devil Commands, The
Oak Room, The
Pusher II
Forget Everything and Run
Secrets & Lies
Red Moon Tide
Man with Nine Lives, The
Pusher
Pot Carriers, The
Black Bear
Don't Cry, Pretty Girls!
Portal
Me You Madness
Reckoning, The
   
 
Newest Articles
Let Us Play: Play for Today Volume 2 on Blu-ray
Before The Matrix, There was Johnny Mnemonic: on Digital
More Than Mad Science: Karloff at Columbia on Blu-ray
Indian Summer: The Darjeeling Limited on Blu-ray
3 from 1950s Hollyweird: Dr. T, Mankind and Plan 9
Meiko Kaji's Girl Gangs: Stray Cat Rock on Arrow
Having a Wild Weekend: Catch Us If You Can on Blu-ray
The Drifters: Star Lucie Bourdeu Interview
Meiko Kaji Behind Bars: Female Prisoner Scorpion on Arrow
The Horror of the Soviets: Viy on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Tarka the Otter and The Belstone Fox
Network Double Bills: All Night Long and Ballad in Blue
Chew Him Up and Spit Him Out: Romeo is Bleeding on Blu-ray
British Body Snatchers: They Came from Beyond Space on Blu-ray
Bzzzt: Pulse on Blu-ray
The Tombs Will Be Their Cities: Demons and Demons 2 on Arrow
Somebody Killed Her Husband: Charade on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Maroc 7 and Invasion
Network Double Bills: The Best of Benny Hill and The Likely Lads
Network Double Bills: Some Girls Do and Deadlier Than the Male
Absolutely Bananas: Link on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Hawk the Slayer and The Medusa Touch
The Price of Plague: The Masque of the Red Death on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Seance on a Wet Afternoon and Ring of Spies
Chaney Chillers: Inner Sanctum Mysteries - The Complete Film Series on Blu-ray
   
 
  tom thumb It's A Small World After All
Year: 1958
Director: George Pal
Stars: Russ Tamblyn, Alan Young, June Thorburn, Terry-Thomas, Peter Sellers, Bernard Miles, Jessie Matthews, Ian Wallace, Peter Butterworth, Peter Bull, Stan Freberg, Dal McKennon, Barbara Ferris
Genre: Musical, Fantasy, AdventureBuy from Amazon
Rating:  7 (from 2 votes)
Review: Once upon a time, many years ago, Honest Jonathan (Bernard Miles) was out in the forest where he lived trying to chop down a large tree. He had just begun when a young woman magically appeared, the Forest Queen (June Thorburn), and told him she would rather he didn't fell this particular tree; he was so astonished at her disappearing and reappearing act that he agreed to her wishes, and in return she granted him three of his own. Once he returned to his cottage, he told his wife Anne (Jessie Matthews) about this at the dinner table and wished he had a big sausage to accompany the cabbage he was offered...

Well, that was one wish gone, and soon all three were used up since the sausage was then attached to Jonathan's nose then wished off it again - what a waste. But where was our title character, the one from the Brothers Grimm fairy tales? He shows up later that night, presumably as compensation for the childless, middle-aged couple, and the adventure can commence properly in this, a musical fantasy created by something of an expert in the field during this era, George Pal, producer turned director. Here he was using MGM's British arm to realise his endeavours, which meant a cast mostly hailing from that country.

Though Tom himself was played by an American, the incredibly athletic Russ Tamblyn who had so impressed audiences earlier that decade with his dancing in Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, and here was recruited to perform more of his impressive moves. First sighted wearing a leaf, because Tom is five and a half inches tall, he is quickly adopted by Jonathan and Anne, who have a whole room full of toys for him to play with, though luckily he doesn't have to exert himself pushing them about because in proto-Toy Story fashion they spring to life when the parents are not around, animated by way of Pal's patented Puppetoons, a line of stop motion which had proven very popular.

This leads to possibly the film's most famous sequence where Tom dances with the playthings, flinging himself around the set with oversized models mixed with the puppets, so dazzling in its invention that the rest of the movie has trouble living up to it. To do so they introduced a sinister element, and there are those who when watching this as an adult find the movie oddly unsettling, but then that was more faithful to the Grimm's stories than might be readily admitted. It's not as if Tom ends up like The Incredible Shrinking Man and has to battle a giant cat or spider - though you do wonder if he ever was faced with such problems due to his diminutive stature, but there are villains in this nonetheless, played by Terry-Thomas and Peter Sellers, just on the cusp of making their names internationally.

Those two want to rob the local village's bank, so persuade Tom to assist them under the pretence they need the money to give to orphans when they are planning nothing of the sort, which establishes the grand finale where Jonathan and Anne are unjustly accused of stealing the gold and threatened with a lashing, which seems unduly harsh for a family film from the fifties. All that was more interesting than the subplot where Alan Young was a woodwind (i.e. recorder) player in the village band, and wanted to marry the Forest Queen but couldn't since she was immortal and he was not, though a kiss will remedy that (couldn't she have made him immortal instead?). Along with these complications were songs by Peggy Lee, fresh off her Lady and the Tramp triumph, though she didn't pen the memorable paean to going to sleep, the Yawning Man's song here sung by the legendary Stan Freberg. There's no denying tom thumb probably plays better when you were a little kid, but it rarely flags and Pal's imagination was well-suited to this material; tumblin' Tamblyn's gymnastics remained superb.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 3750 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (2)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
  Desbris M
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
Enoch Sneed
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt
  Sdfadf Rtfgsdf
   

 

Last Updated: