Tom Thumb (film)

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Tom Thumb
Original poster by Reynold Brown
Directed by George Pal
Produced by George Pal
Written by Ladislas Fodor
Starring Russ Tamblyn
Alan Young
Peter Sellers
June Thorburn
Music by Douglas Gamley
Ken Jones
Cinematography Georges Périnal
Edited by Frank Clarke
Galaxy Pictures Limited
Distributed by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Release dates
  • 4 December 1958 (1958-12-04) (UK)
  • 22 December 1958 (1958-12-22) (US)
Running time
98 minutes
Country UK
Language English
Budget $909,000[1]
Box office $3,250,000[1]

Tom Thumb (stylised as tom thumb) is a 1958 fantasy-musical film directed by George Pal and released by MGM. The film, based on the fairy tale of the same name, is about a tiny man who manages to outwit two thieves determined to make a fortune from him.

It starred Russ Tamblyn in the title role, with a largely British supporting cast (it was filmed in both Hollywood and London), including Bernard Miles and Jessie Matthews as Tom Thumb's adoptive parents, and comic actors Terry-Thomas and Peter Sellers as the villainous duo who try to exploit the tiny hero for profit.

Director Pal worked with cinematographer Georges Périnal, animators Wah Chang and Gene Warren, art director Elliot Scott and special effects artist Tom Howard to create the animated and fantasy sequences. Peggy Lee wrote the songs, and Douglas Gamley and Ken Jones wrote the music.

The film is referenced in The Wonderful World of the Brothers Grimm (1962) and Pinkeltje (1978). The film is also featured in That's Dancing! (1985)

The filming locations for the movie were in Hollywood, Los Angeles, California, USA and London, England.



  • "Tom Thumb's Tune"
Music and Lyrics by Peggy Lee
Sung and danced by Russ Tamblyn and the Puppetoons
  • "After All These Years"
Music by Fred Spielman
Lyrics by Janice Torre
Sung by Jessie Matthews (dubbed by Norma Zimmer)
  • "Talented Shoes"
Music by Fred Spielman
Lyrics by Janice Torre
Sung by Ian Wallace
  • "The Yawning Song"
Music by Fred Spielman
Lyrics by Kermit Goell
Sung by Stan Freberg
  • "Are You a Dream"
Music and Lyrics by Peggy Lee
Sung by Alan Young


The film was the 8th most popular movie at the British box office in 1959.[2]

According to MGM records the film earned $1,800,000 in the US and Canada and $1,450,000 elsewhere, making a profit of $612,000.[1]


At the 1959 Academy Awards, the film won an Oscar for Tom Howard in the category of Best Effects, Special Effects.

At the 1959 BAFTA Awards, Terry Thomas was Nominated for a BAFTA Film Award in the category of Best British Actor.

At the 1959 Golden Globes, the film was nominated for Best Motion Picture - Musical.

At the 1959 Laurel Awards, the film was nominated for Top Musical, while Russ Tamblyn was nominated for a Golden Laurel for Top Male Musical Performance.

At the 1959 Writers Guild of America Ladislas Fodor was nominated for a WGA Award (Screen) for Best Written American Musical.

Home video[edit]

Tom Thumb has been released as a DVD for all regions and to VHS.[3][4][5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c 'The Eddie Mannix Ledger’, Margaret Herrick Library, Center for Motion Picture Study, Los Angeles
  2. ^ "Year Of Profitable British Films." Times [London, England] 1 January 1960: 13. The Times Digital Archive. Web. 11 July 2012.
  3. ^ "tom thumb". Warner Archive. Retrieved 27 February 2013.  Produced to order.
  4. ^ Tom Thumb (DVD (region 1)). Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. 3 October 2000. Retrieved 27 February 2013. 
  5. ^ Tom Thumb (VHS videotape). Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. 7 December 1994. 

External links[edit]