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Bedknobs and Broomsticks (1971)

aka Bedknobs and Broomsticks

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

Directed By: 
Details: 117 mins · English, German · G (USA)


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Small Miss Price
Small Emelius
Small Mr. Jelk
Small Bookman
Small Col. Heller
Small Swinburne
No_movie_poster Carrie
No_movie_poster Paul
No_movie_poster Charlie
No_movie_poster Mrs. Hobday
No_movie_poster Capt. Greer
No_movie_poster Portobello Rd. Workman
Small Gen. Teagler
No_movie_poster Elderly Farmer
No_movie_poster German Sergeant


No_movie_poster Robert Stevenson Director
No_movie_poster Bill Walsh Screenplay
No_movie_poster Don DaGradi Screenplay
No_movie_poster Cotton Warburton Editor
Small Mary Norton Novel
No_movie_poster Frank V. Phillips Director of Photography
No_movie_poster Irwin Kostal Original Music Composer
No_movie_poster Bill Walsh Production
No_movie_poster Ted Berman Story Contributor
No_movie_poster Ralph Wright Story Contributor


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


During the 1940 London Blitz, a family of three siblings, Charlie, Carrie and Paul Rawlins, are evacuated to the small village of Pepperinge Eye. There, they are placed in the care of Eglantine Price, who reluctantly accepts the trio into her home. The children learn that Miss Price is an apprentice witch, who wants to use her witchcraft to assist in the war effort. In exchange for their silence, Miss Price casts a spell on a bedknob that Paul removed from a brass bed in their room. When re-attached to the bed, it will travel anywhere that Paul asks. The next day, Miss Price receives a letter from the headteacher of her correspondence school informing her he is closing the college due to the war and cannot provide her with a crucial spell she has been waiting for to help her cause. As a result, she asks Paul if she can use the bed to go to London to track him down.

Reaching London, the four quickly encounter the headmaster, Emelius Browne, who is in fact a con artist. Browne is surprised to learn that the spells he thought were merely nonsense words out of an old book actually work for Miss Price. Miss Price asks to see the book, and Emelius takes the group to a mansion where he is currently residing (which is abandoned because of an unexploded bomb in the garden). While the children explore the home, Browne shows Miss Price the book, which is actually ripped in half, thus explaining why he closed the college before sending out the final spell.

Browne and Miss Price travel to Portobello Road with the children to search its many stalls and carts of old books. Their search attracts the attention of a spiv named Swinburne, who works for a man known as the Bookman, who has the other half of the book. Miss Price and the Bookman exchange their halves, but the completed text doesn't actually contain the spell itself but simply states that it is inscribed on a medallion known as the Star of Astoroth. Bookman tells the group that, during Astoroth's life, the wizard used his magic to imbue animals that he kept in cages and chains, with anthropomorphism. However, the animals rebelled, killed Astoroth, stole many of his possessions(including the star), sailed away on ship and were never seen or heard of again. But Bookman mentions that his half of the book has a final notation that says in the 17th century, a shipwrecked lascar was found lost at sea. The lascar was half crazy with thirst and sun exposure but swore that he saw an island ruled by animals. But Bookman says the island doesn't exist because he looked for it in every chart. When Bookman names the island, Paul realizes it's the island described in a children's book he took from Browne's house. Before Bookman can get the book, Miss Price, Browne and the children escape on the magical bed and travel to the island, Naboombu.

Eventually landing in a nearby lagoon, the group is caught by a bear that is fishing in the lagoon. The bear reveals that no people are intended to be on the island by order of the king. The bear then leads the party to meet the island's king, a lion. The king is upset because no one has volunteered to referee a royal soccer match. Browne convinces the king he can referee the match, and he observes the Star of Astoroth hanging on the king's neck while being trampled upon several times by the wild animals. Following the game, Mr. Browne secretly switches the Star with his referee's whistle and the group escapes on the magical bed. Upon returning home, Miss Price discovers that the Star has disappeared, as it cannot leave the fantasy world. Fortunately, Paul reveals that the words of the “substitutiary locomotion” spell have been in his book all along. Miss Price attempts the spell, which gives inanimate objects the ability to move on their own, but is unable to control it.

Later, when Miss Price and the children are informed that they can be relocated, they realize they have become comfortable with each other. However, Paul refers to Mr. Browne as 'Dad' which immediately makes him and Miss Price uneasy. Mr. Browne decides to take the first train back to London, and he bids a sad goodbye to the children as Miss Price warmly thanks him for all his help. At the station, learning that there won't be any trains until the morning, Mr. Browne decides to sleep on the bench but then feels guilty for leaving the family.

That night, a German raiding party invades Pepperinge Eye and commandeers Miss Price's house. She and the children are captured and taken to the village museum, inside an old castle. Mr. Browne discovers other Germans engaging in acts of sabotage. He returns to Miss Price's home and breaks into her workshop. The Germans hear the noise but Browne uses a spell to turn himself into a rabbit just as they confront him. He then joins group at the castle where he reverts to his human form, and suggests the substitutiary locomotion spell be cast on the old uniforms and weapons in the castle. Miss Price agrees and uses the spell to create a magical army of medieval knights, Elizabethan Guards, Cavaliers, Redcoats, and Highlanders.

The Germans, unable to stop the seemingly invincible army, retreat back into the sea but not before destroying Miss Price's workshop. The explosion knocks her from the sky, where she had been directing the magical attack astride a flying broomstick. This breaks the spell. Miss Price accepts that this is the end of her days as a witch, but is happy she got to make a small contribution to the war effort. The next morning, Mr. Browne enlists and departs (with an escort from the local Home Guard) but promises to return. Charlie bemoans that their adventures are over, only for Paul to reveal he still has the magical bedknob, implying that they can at least go anywhere they like.

Release Dates:

DVD : 2001-03-20