Shamus (1958)

Shamus (1958)
Article 5538 by Dave Sindelar
Date: 4-8-2018
Directed by Eric Marquis
Featuring John Francis Rooney, Tiny Littler
Country: UK
What it is: Children’s fantasy

An Irish boy manages to get his hands on a leprechaun’s pot of gold, but is placed under a curse by the leprechaun so that he has the tale of a monkey which will only go away when he meets an Irish donkey.

Here’s another title that ended up on my “ones that got away” list until it recently showed up on YouTube. For those not familiar with that list, it consists of movies that ended up on my hunt list but which I was never able to find for one reason or another and which I eventually purged from my hunt list by leaving them on this one. Many of these movies are known to be lost. Some of them I simply don’t know if they still exist or not (and in some cases, they may never have existed). The rest are, like this movie, known to exist but are beyond my reach for one reason or another.

This movie had me thinking about reasons why I’ve not been able to find some of these movies in the last category, and I think there’s at least one simple reason – many of these movies simply don’t generate enough interest to merit their being released on home video or otherwise made available to the general public. Take this movie, for example. It’s a low budget children’s movie with no big or familiar names in the cast or crew, and it contains little in the way of special effects. The movie is not awful enough to garner a camp following, nor is it good enough to really capture the imagination of many children. For what it’s worth, it tells its story efficiently, and it keeps things moving enough to fill it’s short running time (less than an hour). Still, for a movie with a magical premise, there’s not much magic here, and it would largely go unmourned if it faded into obscurity. Yet I’m always glad to find and see one of these movies, if for no other reason than its rarity and my memory of not having been able to find it initially. But I could only recommend it to completists who have to see everything.

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