×

Tom Thumb

The only thing lower case about this production is the Metro spelling of tom thumb. Otherwise, film is top-drawer, a comic fairy tale with music that stacks up alongside some of the Disney classics. It is really a musical comedy. It has five good songs, two of them by Peggy Lee.

With:
Russ Tamblyn Alan Young Terry-Thomas Peter Sellers Jessie Matthews June Thorburn

The only thing lower case about this production is the Metro spelling of tom thumb. Otherwise, film is top-drawer, a comic fairy tale with music that stacks up alongside some of the Disney classics. It is really a musical comedy. It has five good songs, two of them by Peggy Lee.

The screenplay, from the Grimm Bros fairly tale, is as simple as it can be. A childless couple (Bernard Miles and Jessie Matthews) get a miniature son (Russ Tamblyn) when wood-cutter Miles spares a special tree in the forest surrounding their home, and is rewarded by the Forest Queen (June Thorburn).

Complications in the story come from tom’s size, only five and one-half inches. There are villains (Terry-Thomas and Peter Sellers) attempting to use tom for their own evil purposes. There is romance between Alan Young, a neighbor, and Thorburn, finally un-bewitched from a fairy queen to a real, live girl.

Highlights of the production are the musical numbers and the special effects. Alex Romero staged the dance numbers, in which Tamblyn does some of the most athletic and exciting dancing he has had a chance at since Seven Brides for Seven Brothers. Georges Perinal’s photography, with special effects by Tom Howard, catches all the fun and liveliness of the staging. The miniature work was done in Hollywood, based on George Pal’s Puppetoon figures, and the life-size work in London.

1958: Best Special Effects

Tom Thumb

Production: M-G-M. Director George Pal; Producer George Pal; Screenplay Ladislas Fodor; Camera Georges Perinal; Editor Frank Clarke; Music Douglas Gamley, Ken Jones; Art Director Elliot Scott

Crew: (Color) Available on VHS. Extract of a review from 1958. Running time: 92 MIN.

With: Russ Tamblyn Alan Young Terry-Thomas Peter Sellers Jessie Matthews June Thorburn

More Film

  • The Great Hack (2019) - pictured:

    Film Review: 'The Great Hack'

    When I was growing up, we learned that the moral cornerstone of the First Amendment — the very essence of it — is that it’s about protecting the speech you don’t like. If the Nazis aren’t allowed to march in Skokie (a major test case in the 1970s), then a treacherous principle gets laid down: that [...]

  • Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

    ‘Once Upon a Time in Hollywood’ Tops Studios’ TV Ad Spending

    In this week’s edition of the Variety Movie Commercial Tracker, powered by the always-on TV ad measurement and attribution company iSpot.tv, Columbia Pictures claims the top spot in spending with “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.” Ads placed for the drama had an estimated media value of $5.71 million through Sunday for 997 national ad [...]

  • Circus of Books

    Outfest Film Review: 'Circus of Books'

    Rachel Mason grew up believing that her parents ran a small bookstore in Los Angeles. She wasn’t entirely mistaken, although the naive young woman — then an artsy teen, now a documentary filmmaker — never imagined that, as her mother Karen bluntly tells her on camera, “at one point, we were probably the biggest distributor [...]

  • Themba Ntuli and Ashley Lazarus

    Ashley Lazarus, Director of Apartheid-Era Cult Classic, Returns to Screen

    DURBAN–Director Ashley Lazarus, whose film about the interracial friendship between two young boys during the apartheid era became a South African cult classic in the 1970s, is set to return to the big screen with a film that builds on his life-long passion for early-childhood education. “Teacher Wanted” is the inspirational story of a teacher [...]

  • Channing Tatum

    Channing Tatum's Free Association Partners With Atwater Capital for Film Development Fund

    Free Association, a production company led by Channing Tatum, Peter Kiernan and Reid Carolin, has entered into a film development fund with Atwater Capital. The four-year $2 million revolving fund stipulates that Atwater will finance a minimum of five films with Free Association. Michael Parets, VP of production, will oversee the deal. Free Association will [...]

  • Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

    Box Office: Tarantino's 'Once Upon a Time in Hollywood' Takes on 'Lion King'

    Rick Dalton and Cliff Booth, Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt’s characters in Quentin Tarantino’s “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood,” will have to take on much more than a changing showbiz landscape. This weekend, the washed-up actor and his majordomo are battling Disney’s juggernaut “The Lion King” at the domestic box office. Tarantino’s R-rated auteur [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content