Bedknobs and Broomsticks (1971)

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Robert Stevenson directs Dame Angela Lansbury, David Tomlinson and Cindy O’Callaghan in this comedy fantasy musical about a trainee witch, some blitz refugee urchins and a posh dreamer. 

Not a patch on Mary Poppins even if the formula is repeated studiously. The songs aren’t as good, although I have a soft spot for Portobello Road. The animated sequence lacks charm. Dick Van Dyke appears to be being played by three cute yet haggered looking kids. Yet it is still also the closest we have ever gotten to the sheer perfection of Mary Poppins. Lansbury and Tomlinson are excellent sports with nice chemistry. The bed travel sequences are trippy. And then the bloody Nazis only go and show up for a wonderous action slapstick finale.

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