Darby O'Gill and the Little People is a Disney film based on the Darby O'Gill series by Herminie Templeton Kavanagh.
- Albert Sharpe - Darby O'Gill
- Janet Munro - Katie O'Gill
- Sean Connery - Michael McBride
- Jimmy O'Dea - King Brian
Darby O'Gill is the aging caretaker of Lord Fitzpatrick's estate in the small Irish town of Rathcullen, where he lives in the gatehouse with his lovely, almost grown, daughter Katie. Darby spends most of his time in the town pub, regaling his friends with tales of his attempts to catch the leprechauns, in particular, their king, Brian Connors. Darby is past his prime as a laborer, so Lord Fitzpatrick decides to retire him on half-pay and give him and Katie another cottage to live in, rent-free, and give his job to a young Dubliner named Michael McBride. Darby begs Michael not to tell Katie that he is being replaced, to which Michael reluctantly agrees. That very night, Darby is captured by the leprechauns while chasing Cleopatra, his runaway horse (he is actually led astray by a Pooka), on top of the fairy mountain Knocknasheega. Darby learns that King Brian has brought him into the mountain so that Darby can avoid the shameful admission to Katie about losing his job. However, Darby tricks the leprechauns into embarking on a fox hunt by playing "The Fox Chase" for them on a beautiful Stradivarius violin, loaned to him by King Brian. The leprechauns mount their tiny white horses and leave through a large crack in the mountainside wall, from which Darby escapes.
King Brian, angry for being made a fool of, comes to fetch Darby, and another battle of wits ensues over a jug of poitín. Darby traps King Brian by getting him so drunk that he does not notice the sunrise, which strips him of his powers until the next sunset. Trapped, Brian is forced to grant Darby three wishes before he can return home. Darby wisely makes his first wish be that King Brian not return to Knocknasheega, but to remain at his beck and call for a fortnight (two weeks), giving him time to think of two other, equally wise wishes. King Brian is furious, but forced to comply. The wily leprechaun king manages to trick Darby into (partially) wasting his second wish by appearing only as a rabbit in Darby's burlap sack, causing Darby unwittingly to say to Michael: "I wish you could see him [the King]". King Brian "grants" this "wish" by continuing to appear to Michael as a rabbit; however he meets Darby halfway by appearing to both Michael and Katie in his true form in their dreams. Darby decides that he wants to use his third and last wish to ensure Katie's happiness. King Brian says to Darby that what Katie probably wants most of all is a "good, steady lad with temperate ways". Someone, in short, like Michael.
After a rocky beginning, Katie and Michael begin to show signs of growing affection for each other. Katie believes Michael is merely seasonal help, as her father could not bring himself to break the news of his retirement (and their imminent move). However, Michael has an arrogant rival in Pony Sugrue, the town bully with his eyes on both Katie and Michael's job.
Katie, angered at finding out the truth about her father's retirement from Pony's unpleasantly meddlesome mother, injures herself in a fall on Knocknasheega while trying to catch Cleopatra at night. The banshee appears, heralding Katie's death and sending the cóiste-bodhar, a spectral coach driven by a dullahan, to carry her soul off to the land of the dead. Desperate, Darby elects to use his final wish to go in his daughter's place. King Brian is deeply saddened at Darby's wish, but grants it, but once Darby is on his way to the next world, King Brian reappears in the Death Coach and tricks Darby into making a final fourth wish ("wishing" that his friend could join him in the afterlife). Because he is only allowed three wishes, this negates all the previous wishes and spares Darby's life. Darby is saved and King Brian has (literally) the last laugh in their running battle of wits.
Katie's fever has broken and she and Michael reveal their love for each other. Michael also fights Pony Sugrue at the pub, getting his just revenge for Pony's attempt to get him fired by clubbing him on the head and pouring whiskey all over him to make him appear drunken and incompetent. Michael soundly thrashes Pony and knocks him cold. Finally, Darby and Michael depart arm-in-arm, joining Katie outside in the wagon for a happy ending, with Michael and Katie singing a final duet together.
- "The Wishing Song" - Darby and King Brian
- "Pretty Irish Girl" - Michael and Katie
- "Pretty Irish Girl (reprise)" - Michael and Katie