Bedknobs and Broomsticks (1971) Review


During World War II in England Charlie, Carrie and Paul Rawlings are sent to live with Eglantine Price, who just happens to be an apprentice witch.


Miss Price is not very happy about having three children coming to live with her as she is working her way through a Witch apprenticeship, but when it is suddenly cut short by Emelius Browne she decides they must travel to London so she can get the final lesson which she had been promised as part of the contract. Travelling with the children by flying bed, just proving the spells work.

Emelius Browne is rather surprised that the spells actually work, which just shows he was trying to make money when offering well nothing really. He pretty much was running a scam and was amazed that Eglantine managed to get the spells to actually work. So they set out to find the final part of the book which had been ripped in half.

I have now watched this film a couple of times and it just does not fill me with as much joy as Mary Poppins. I am not sure if it is because I had never actually seen this one when I was a child, I just always find a little disappointing. Which is so tough considering Angela Lansbury and David Tomlinson are in the leading the roles. The latter I just find so fantastic given his Mr Banks role, and I can see how much they are trying to recreate a similar thing for him in this film. He really does have a lovely well talk-singing voice if that is even an actual thing, it makes sense to me anyway! Angela Lansbury is obviously fantastic, I just feel they are let down by the story and songs. Nothing really sticks as much as other films in this genre.

It keeps in the Disney musical type theme from the 60s and 70s still having animation parts in with the live action. I am guessing they felt people wouldn’t realise it was Disney if they did not have animated characters? That is just something I am guessing at because that is how it seems really when you watch it now. Disney was full on animation and these were the first steps into live action. Although now they seem to be obsessed with turning everything into full live action remakes which are just not needed to be brutally honesty.

Anyway a little bit more about this film, I was very happy to see the small role from Bruce Forsyth who for those not in the UK was very famous for TV presenting in his later years! I totally forgot he was in this, so it was a lovely surprise.

9 thoughts on “Bedknobs and Broomsticks (1971) Review

  1. I think it might be one of those childhood nostalgia things. This is one of my husband’s favorite movies because he watched it all the time as a kid. But when we watched it together I had a similar reaction to yours in that I like Mary Poppins a lot better.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I personally love the movie. Not at “Mary Poppins” levels, of course, but I enjoy the story, David Tomlinson, Angela Lansbury, and the Sherman Brothers songs. Which version do you watch? The original release? Or the longer DVD release?

    Regarding the late Bruce Forsyth in this: “Nice to have seen him, to have seen him…nice!”

    Liked by 1 person

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