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Friday, 6 February 2015

Classic Film Review: Tom Thumb (1958)

An adaptation of the famous fairy tale, Tom Thumb stars Russ Tamblyn as the boy no bigger than a thumb whose existence is granted as a wish to Jonathan (Bernard Miles) and Anne (Jessie Matthews) by the Forest Queen (June Thorburn). While Tom falls into trouble with villains Ivan (Terry-Thomas) and Antony (Peter Sellers), the Forest Queen is also faced with the fact she wants to become human to be with Woody (Alan Young), but is he worthy of her love after he loses Tom?

I'm sure I must've seen this when I was younger but all the detail had passed me by so I came to it fresh. Russ Tamblyn is phenomenal, both in acrobatic ability and charm. He's so perfect for the role that I honestly can't imagine anyone else playing it with such energy. The rest of the cast is equally as enjoyable, Terry-Thomas and Peter Sellers in fairly typical roles for them and hamming it up something rotten. I enjoyed the interplay between June Thorburn and Alan Young and, really, every minor role was brilliantly cast.

This is a very flamboyant, colourful film and it has two centrepiece musical numbers - 'Tom Thumb's Tune' and 'Talented Shoes', both of which are extremely catchy and likely to torment you for days. The first is Tom's greeting by the toys in his room which showcases Tamblyn's athletic ability wonderfully and the second is a number in the town square with - you've guessed it - talented dancing shoes. If I have one niggle with this film it's that the scene in the villains' lair went on a little too long but it was funny enough and gave a little tension to the finale. The special effects are not at all shabby for 1958, not spectacular by any means but in keeping with the story as a whole and thoroughly enjoyable.

Definitely one I'd rewatch - and perhaps with my father too since he came in the room for two minutes and stayed for half the film!

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