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Bedknobs and Broomsticks (1971)

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An apprentice witch, three kids and a cynical magician conman search for the missing component to a magic spell to be used in the defense of Britain in WWII.

Director:

Robert Stevenson

Writers:

Ralph Wright (animation story), Ted Berman (animation story) | 3 more credits »
Won 1 Oscar. Another 1 win & 5 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Angela Lansbury ... Miss Price
David Tomlinson ... Emelius
Roddy McDowall ... Mr. Jelk
Sam Jaffe ... Bookman
John Ericson ... Col. Heller
Bruce Forsyth ... Swinburne
Cindy O'Callaghan Cindy O'Callaghan ... Carrie
Roy Snart Roy Snart ... Paul
Ian Weighill ... Charlie
Tessie O'Shea Tessie O'Shea ... Mrs. Hobday
Arthur Gould-Porter Arthur Gould-Porter ... Capt. Greer (as Arthur E. Gould-Porter)
Ben Wrigley Ben Wrigley ... Portobello Rd. Workman
Reginald Owen ... Gen. Teagler
Cyril Delevanti ... Elderly Farmer
Rick Traeger Rick Traeger ... German Sergeant
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Storyline

During WWII in England, Charlie, Carrie, and Paul Rawlins are sent to live with Eglantine Price, who it turns out is an apprentice witch. Charlie blackmails Miss Price that if he is to keep her practices a secret, she must give him something, so she takes a bed knob from her late father's bed and places the "famous magic traveling spell" on it, and only Paul can activate it. Their first journey is to a street in London where they meet Emelius Browne, former headmaster of Miss Price's witchcraft training correspondence school. Miss Price tells him of a plan to find the magic words for a spell known as Substitutiary Locomotion, which brings inanimate objects to life. This spell will be her work for the war effort. Written by Matthew Anscher <anscher@radonc.duke.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

You'll beWITCHED! You'll beDAZZLED! You'll be swept into a world of enchantment BEYOND ANYTHING BEFORE! See more »


Certificate:

G | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official site

Country:

USA

Language:

English | German

Release Date:

13 December 1971 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Bedknobs and Broomsticks: 25th Anniversary Special Edition See more »

Filming Locations:

Dorset, England, UK See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$20,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$18,530,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (1996) (restored) | (re-release) (1980) | (initial US release) (November 1971)

Sound Mix:

3 Channel Stereo (RCA Sound Recording) (5.0) (L-R)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Many people in the film, both on and off screen, have actual connections to WWII. Angela Lansbury, Roddy McDowall, and Robert Stevenson all emigrated to the US from the UK due to the outbreak of war. David Tomlinson served as a Flight Lieutenant in the Royal Air Force. Robert B. Sherman served in the US Army, and was one of the first Allied soldiers to see the Dachau concentration camp. He used his time recuperating from a gunshot wound to the knee to learn about the English people and their culture. Manfred Lating and Fred Hellmich were native-born Germans who had lived under Nazi rule. See more »

Goofs

The film is introduced 'England in the August of 1940 ...' At the museum, the first woman taking evacuees says: "... anything to get these poor children away from those terrible bombings in London" . Although in August 1940 the Battle of Britain was in full spate, London was not bombed until 7 September. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Captain Ainsley Greer: You there, which way to Pepperinge Eye?
Elderly Farmer: Couldn't say, sir. It said on the wireless to paint out the sign posts in case the Nazis drop in.
Captain Ainsley Greer: I'm not a Nazi, I'm a British officer!
Elderly Farmer: That's what you'd say if you *was* a Nazi, isn't it sir?
See more »

Crazy Credits

King Leonidas is referred to on-screen by name, by is only credited as "Lion." See more »

Alternate Versions

The Disney Channel, to commemorate the film's 25th Anniversary, once showed the 1996 139m restored print with a special introduction by Angela Lansbury. See more »

Connections

Referenced in House of Mouse: Big Bad Wolf Daddy (2001) See more »

Soundtracks

Substitutiary Locomotion
(uncredited)
Performed by Angela Lansbury, David Tomlinson, Ian Weighill, Cindy O'Callaghan, and Roy Snart
Music and Lyrics by Richard M. Sherman and Robert B. Sherman
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Brilliant family entertainment!
17 September 2006 | by BA_HarrisonSee all my reviews

Set during WWII, Bedknobs and Broomsticks is a fun-filled fantasy adventure for kids, starring Angela Lansbury as an apprentice witch who, with the help of three evacuee children and a 'Professor of Witchcraft', thwarts a Nazi invasion.

Brilliantly inventive, with loads of laughs, this movie will delight kids of all ages with its great characters, exciting story and catchy tunes. Lansbury is perfect as Eglantine, the not-quite-perfect witch who takes the three children on the adventure of a lifetime, and her three young co-stars (Cindy O'Callaghan, Roy Snart and Ian Weighill) are equally impressive as the Cockney rascals who aid in battling the nasty Hun.

The special effects are somewhat dated, but let's face it, kids don't care too much about these things, so long as they are entertained. And entertained, they will be. With some impressive scenes which brilliantly mix live action and animation to great effect, and more genuine movie magic than a hundred Harry Potters, it would be hard not to enjoy this wonderful slice of cinematic escapism. In fact, only a rather drawn-out musical number set in Portobello Road mars the film's perfection, but with so much else to enjoy, that can easily be forgiven.

And besides, any film featuring UK television legend Bruce Forsyth as a 'Flash' Harry style spiv is guaranteed a good rating from me.


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