Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.

Thursday, July 26, 2012


Russ Tamblyn
TOM THUMB (1958). Director: George Pal.

Honest Jonathan (Bernard Miles) and his wife Anna (Jessie Matthews) have always wanted a child, "no matter how small," and the Forest Queen (June Thorburn) delivers one -- Tom Thumb (Russ Tamblyn), a boy who is only six inches tall. Tom is inveigled into helping two crooks (Terry-Thomas and Peter Sellers) into robbing the village treasury, and after his parents are arrested,Tom takes after the real thieves with the help of Woody (Alan Young), who is in love with the Forest Queen. Tom Thumb is colorful and good-looking, and Tamblyn makes a wonderful Tom Thumb, but the picture is basically for your more patient children. Sellers, with an Italian accent and dressed in a fat suit, is marvelous, as is Terry-Thomas as his partner-in-crime. Years before Toy Story this movie presented toys who come alive when no adults are present. These "puppetoons" are brought to life with stop-motion animation. Peggy Lee wrote the songs -- "Talented Shoes" isn't a bad number. Mercifully Alan Young is dubbed when he sings one passable romantic ballad.

Verdict: Half-charming; half-cloying. **1/2.

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