The Great Movie Re-Watch
Bedknobs and Broomsticks (1971)
An apprentice witch, three kids and a cynical magician conman search for the missing component to a magic spell to be used in the defense of Britain in World War II.
I remember Bedknobs and Broomsticks fondly. It’s not a movie that I’ve seen often, but it made a big enough impact on me that I bought it when I saw it for sale. I’ve watched it once since then and still enjoyed it, but that’s been years and years ago (it’s a DVD to give you an idea). While talking with some friends, I discovered that they had the same experience. They’d seen it, liked it, but didn’t remember much if anything about it, just that they liked it.
It’s based on a book, of course. Disney purchased the rights when they had issues getting Mary Poppins and then Bedknobs was set aside when they finally did get Poppins. It seems like it did well at the time, though it was compared to Mary Poppins in reviews. I looked to see if there was a blu-ray available on Amazon and it appears to only be on streaming and DVD, so I guess it never made it to blu-ray. It’s not a movie that’s gotten a lot of love and I wonder if it’s because of the witch element.
After my re-watch, I still enjoy it, but since it’s on Disney+, I don’t feel the need to own it. There was a very long singing and dancing number that had some questionable representation. It also felt a bit like Mary Poppins, though, that could have been that one of the main actors was from that film. After reading the Wikipedia entry it sounds like at least one song originally written for Mary Poppins was included in Bedknobs and Broomsticks.
By far, the best scene in the movie was the battle at the end. It was so bonkers ridiculous, and amazing. That part alone made me almost keep the film. Still, as I said, it’s a DVD, and Disney+ has it available, and it doesn’t seem likely to be taken down.
I just want to add, Angela Lansbury is a treasure, and every time I see her, I think of Murder She Wrote and want to watch it. Plus, she was Mrs. Potts in Beauty and the Beast, the best Disney movie ever! (Maybe not ever, but definitely up there)