Bedknobs and Broomsticks

From Academic Kids

Template:Infobox Movie

Bedknobs and Broomsticks is a Disney musical film, which premiered October 7, 1971. It is based upon two books by Mary Norton. In this film, Angela Lansbury plays Eglantine Price, an English witch-in-training who uses her powers for good purposes, and came to take charge of three orphans sent out of London into the country to protect them from Nazi bombings. Determined to use her witchcraft for good, she seeks out the professor of the mail-in witchcraft course she is taking, the phony Emelius Brown (played by David Tomlinson) who owns a magical volume that holds the key to a spell she wishes to learn, in order to use it against the Nazis.

The film was directed by Robert Stevenson, and songs are written by Richard M. Sherman and Robert B. Sherman. The film won an Academy Award for Best Special Visual Effects.


Different versions

The film has been re-edited several times. The studio cut the film from an intended length of approximately 2 hours and 20 minutes to 117 minutes before release, and from that length to 97 minutes for a 1979 rerelease. Much of what was once missing includes dramatic material, like most of Roddy MacDowall's role as an unscrupulous minister, and musical material (three songs were eliminated entirely, and two that remained, "Eglantine" and "Portobello Road" were shortened in the film, but not on the soundtrack album).

Released in 1996 was a 139-minute version featuring footage that was cut before release. Supervised by restoration head Scott MacQueen, Disney did little promotion of this reconstruction, and did not reissue it in theatres though it was reasonably popular on video and TV airings prior. Most people didn't see it until the 2001 DVD release (there was a laserdisc of this cut in 1997, but that was a niche format to begin with).


  • "The Old Home Guard" also known as the Home Guard Song.
  • "The Age of Not Believing"
  • "With a Flair" (only in the 1996 reconstruction)
  • "Eglantine"
  • "Portobello Road"
  • "The Beautiful Briny" (originally written, but not used, in Mary Poppins)
  • "Substitutiary Locomotion"
  • "Nobody's Problems For Me" (only in the 1996 reconstruction)
  • (a song not in any current version of the film but intended to be so, as it was on the soundtrack album, was "A Step in the Right Direction." Ironically, it was this presence that was instrumental in the studio's decision to reconstruct the longer cut)

Selected foreign titles

  • French: L'Apprentie Sorcière
  • German: Die tollkühne Hexen in ihrem Fliegenden Bett
  • Italian: Pomi d'ottone e manici di scopa
  • Portuguese (Brazil): Se A Minha Cama Voasse
  • Spanish (Spain): La Bruja Novata
  • Dutch: Heksen en Bezemstelen
  • Swedish: Sängknoppar och kvastskaft


  • The title of the film is punned in an episode of the TV series The Partridge Family entitled "Bedknobs and Drumsticks," and an episode of Beavis and Butthead called "Bedpans and Broomsticks."
  • Many of the people involved in this film have actual connections to World War II. Lansbury and co-star Roddy MacDowall both left England during the war to begin their acting careers, whilst David Tomlinson stayed and flew in the Royal Air Force.
  • This film reunites several cast and crew from the earlier Mary Poppins, namely David Tomlinson, the Sherman Brothers, director Robert Stevenson, art director Peter Ellenshaw, and music director Irwin Kostal.

External links


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