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So tomorrow's drunk livetweet movie will be Bedknobs and Broomsticks! This is one I've seen more often and more recently, but not as an adult. Starting around 3:00 or 4:00 eastern.
As always, I'm doing this for groceries and household supplies. We are currently in full quarantine at my house after a possible exposure incident, which means we've got to pay extra for delivery. Any tips appreciated. You can throw in in advance.…
Getting ready to watch Bedknobs and Broomsticks drunk and tweet about it! If you all continue to find this experiment entertaining I'll keep it going next week with a Disney animated movie I haven't seen yet. Which one? Vote below!
We are currently quarantined here due to possible exposure so anything we need in the next couple weeks will have to be ordered/delivered. I'm hoping for $250 between today and tomorrow's livetweeting of the feature.…
So here's my background for this one: this is a movie I've seen multiple times, probably most recently in the 90s. My mother ran a licensed in-home daycare for most of the first two decades of my life and this was one of the many movies we had on VHS tapes of dubious provenance.
My memories of it are not crystal clear (couldn't tell you the names of any of the characters) but I remember the overall story. The two parts of it that affected me most are the song/setting Portobello Road and the "professor" character. Yep, I love a con artist, go figure.
My very first D&D 5E character was loosely inspired by this! Charlatan background, Old Ones Warlock. A street spiritualist who plundered old books to help her make up convincing "ancient lost rites" for a revivalist scam, accidentally invoked a real power she didn't understand.
Anyway. I have made some popcorn and taken the customary two shots to get rolling, so I think we're going to get started. At just three minutes shy of two hours, I believe this is the longest movie I've done like this?
Opening credits are Bayeux Tapestry meets Bewitched. Don't think this made any impression on me as a child.
Ooh, but David Tomlinson, who plays the professor/phony magus, is depicted visually as a juggler. Kind of a deep cuts tarot reference here, as Triumph I, The Magician, was originally known as "Il Jongleur", the juggler, referencing deft manipulation and trickery, not sorcery.
Oh, and then the imagery deepens as we see the juggler cavorting with his back to a stereotypical crone working real witchy magic at a cauldron, conjuring forth what looks to be a siren or harpy and an amazon, two female figures from Greek mythology.
The director of photography is depicted as a wizard with a lantern - someone was having a lot of fun here! Magic lantern shows were a precursor to modern cinema.
They show a bunch of tradespeople practicing their crafts alongside the crew credits, people in deep conversation for the technical consultants, it's all very symbolic.
They start showing animal characters and play a leitmotif from the signature animated sequence as they introduce the director of animation and the animators.

One thing I know about this movie - it was originally planned as an alternative to Mary Poppins, then delayed for that.
As dramatized in Saving Mr. Banks, Walt Disney spent a lot of time pursuing the rights to adapt Mary Poppins, whether because he wanted to keep the promise to his daughters or because he regarded them as gold standard barometers of what would sell.
The rights to the books this movie were based on were secured as an alternative, and the development was started and then put on hold when they finally landed the Mary Poppins deal.
At least one of the songs in this movie ("Beautiful Briny Sea", which provides the animated leitmotif) was shuffled between the sister films.
Eric Larson! Not to be confused with Erik Larsen, Eric Larson was one of the Nine Old Men of Disney, veteran animators who had been with the House of Mouse since the bad old days and worked on their first animated feature, Snow White. Most had left by the 70s.
The whole of this sequence basically tells the story of the movie but in a way that only matters if you know the story of the movie already. Very well done.

Are these the White Cliffs of Dover, and if not, why are they white?
It's hard to tell with the words in the foreground, but there's a lone sentry with a rifle slung over his shoulder in that scene just barely visible as the words fade in and out.
First proper scene of the movie is an old man painting over a four-way signpost. He's not yet blacked out the name "Pepperidge Eye" or something when a British army officer drives up and asks him which way it is. The old man, who is staring at the information, says "Couldn't say"
He explains he's painting over the signposts in case the "nahsies" invade. The officer says he's not a Nazi but a British officer. The old man counters that this is what a nahsy would say. The officer directs his driver on, in the wrong direction.
That scene made absolutely no impression on me any previous time I saw it.
In a very picturesque town under some very picturesque ruins, a historical museum is being used as an evacuation center for children who have been Lion, Witched, and Wardrobed out of London due to blitz.
We watch a very kind old woman who I don't think is part of the movie after this and I perceive as an adult is likely being offered as contrast, happily taking in a gaggle of children as her part of the war effort because Lord knows she's got the space for them.
She leaves, and the hall is empty except for three impatient looking ragamuffins who protest at being forgotten. The ragamuffin coordinator lady asks them their names, and we're introduced to the Rawlins children: Carrie, Charles, and Paul.
Okay, but the plot thickens: Wikipedia mentions that the Seven Sisters are used as a stand-in for the cliffs of Dover.

So, anyway. The Ragamuffin Coordinator Lady (RCL) says that the children are to go to the home of a Miss Price, whom she is expecting (but who has not shown up). She's interrupted by a commotion in the form of a musical number happening outside.
It's a bunch of pensioners in uniform singing about defending England as the Old Home Guard, apparently being interpreted here as being entirely made up of WWI retirees too old for active service.
The Brigadier Curmudgeon Emeritus of the Home Guard is greeted by the British military officer while the Ragamuffin Coordinator Lady smiles off to the side. Apparently the song exists to give her an excuse to be outside to witness Angela Lansbury ride up on a villain-coded bike.
I'm guessing the sulfurous clouds of smoke the bike puts out are meant to signal "witch", in the absence of any titular sticks, broom or otherwise.
...oh, while Miss Price (Angela Lansbury's character) is checking her mail, the military officer identifies the smell as sulphur and the pensioner (who served with her father in the big one) scoffs that you can't make motor fuel out of sulphur. So the coloration is not accidental
She's received a parcel that is very obviously a broom wrapped in plain brown paper (like pornography or issues of Mad Magazine). The woman who releases it to her is very curious because the sender, "Professor Brown", previously sent her a cat. Subtle they are not!
The woman (it's the Ragamuffin Coordinator Lady, I think, faceblindness makes it hard to tell when switching contexts) pumps Miss Price for any hot goss about Professor Brown, which Miss Price waves off as she doesn't actually know him.
She tells Miss Price there's something else for her, inside the museum... where the Rawlins children have put on some very historical armor and are fighting each other with swords and spears.
The Ragamuffin Coordinator Lady explains that the government are evacuating as many children as possible from London, which Miss Price deems "very sensible", then protests when it becomes clear she's expected to be responsible for any of them.

Her face when:
The Ragamuffin Coordinator Lady makes various appeals like "you have a big house" and "also it's the law", so Miss Price relents on the condition they find another home as soon as possible because she has important broom business.

Angela Lansbury's reactions are just priceless.
Outside the local priest congratulates Miss Price on her charitable act and offers to come by in the afternoon to see to the children's spiritual needs. She repels him with "They won't be with me that long." and then fires a blast of brimstone in his face.
Her house is big, a big rambling house that is still pretty cottage-y looking in construction as opposed to a big country estate. She takes the children there in her sidecar which is luckily big enough for them and their luggage, though they don't have much with them.
The children are suspicious of the house, proclaiming it "a bit murky" and noting that no one is around for miles. When they ask who else lives there, she says it suits her purpose to live alone. They're then startled by a hissing black cat.
Cat noises in movies always sound so fake. I know it's hard to get a cat to make a specific noise on command but it blows my mind how often filmmakers resort to someone literally making cat noises themselves as a foley effect.
The children ask what the cat's name is and Miss Price says she doesn't believe in giving animals ridiculous names, but she calls him Cosmic Creepers (the caption says "Creepus" but I think that's accent confusion) because that's the name that came with him.
There's either only one spare bedroom in this big house or only one room she feels like sparing. Probably the former because she identifies it as her father's bedroom and asks them to be careful, so I don't think it would have been her first resort if there was another option.
Because of that, she directs the two boys to share the bed and the girl to sleep on the sofa, then tells them to wash before supper, which causes the older child to proclaim this "a house of horrors".

This kid would never survive today.
In the dining room, the kids are theatrically whispering when Miss Price tells them not to bother, she is exceptionally keen of hearing - they are plotting to run back to London (they were happy to call the whole thing off back in the museum when she protested).
She suggests if they wish to plot further, they do it somewhere she won't have to listen.

I identify with her so much.
She says she doesn't know much about what children eat so they'll have to eat what she eats, then asks if there's anything in particular they fancy. Carrie answers "Sausage and mash, bubble and squeak, toad in the hole."

Look, only one of those words is food.
When the children mention fried fish, she says there's no fried food in her house. "How do you keep your health?" and she rattles off an herbal pharmacy.

Wacky cultural clash! Also, she's a witch.
At night, she checks in on them as they're asleep, smiling, and it's a great effective fakeout moment where you're like, "Oh, her heart is softening," but then she smiles wider when she sees they're asleep and basically does a little dance of joy and runs to get her package.
She takes the parcel to a locked room (the cat runs in before she can close the door, and doesn't immediately demand to be let out as soon as she's locked it... okay, suspension of disbelief is one thing) and opens it.
Before we see what is inside the suspiciously broom-shaped package, she reads the note inside, which is from a correspondence school and congratulates her on having qualified as an apprentice witch.
She opens it all the way, and... oh, it's a broom.
Upstairs, the children are waking up because it's time for their plan to run away. Downstairs, Miss Price is figuring out how to ride the broom. The instructions tell her to sit sidesaddle as "Technically, a witch is always a lady, except when circumstances dictate otherwise."
She sits awkwardly sideways on a broom she's holding up and reads the "basic formula" to start it up, and it flies out of her hand in a way that's indistiguishable from award-winning actress Angela Lansbury throwing a broom.
She opens a window, turns out the lantern, and tries again, causing her to wrestle with the bucking broom in a way that's indistinguishable from award-winning actress Angela Lansbury dancing with a broom, until it throws her off again and then Sorcerer's Apprentices itself away.
Until we see it walking, there's very little in this sequence that could be understood to be explicitly magical and not just a woman who wants to believe fooling herself, which I think is probably deliberate and pretty well done?
Like, I think the audiences who showed up for this understood they were going to see a fantasy movie about a witch, so it's not like they could have got much mileage out playing coy, but given the nature and source of her magical learning, it's a good touch.
For her third try she goes back to her own initial instinct and ignores the editorial advice of Professor Emelius Brown (I think this is also an important thematic touch), standing astride the broom as she says the spell... and it works! she goes flying out the window.
The music here as she flies is a triumphant march interspersed with some hints of wobbliness. Her flight is shown as being fairly slow and staid, and a little uncertain.
The smallest of the ragamuffins is the one who spots her as they're sneaking out. He asks "How's she do that?" and the sister answers, very matter-of-factly, that it's because she's a witch. Obviously. The small child accepts this immediately as a full explanation.
Up in the air, Miss Price decides to try "Look Ma, No Hands!" and the broom immediately plummets like it just spotted the golden snitch.
After watching her crash, the children argue if they should make like a toad in the hole and hop it, or go see if she's hurt. The oldest child asserts "You can't hurt a witch" and starts to lead them away.
But then as Miss Price limps back to the house, he decides to use "the old loaf" (he is pointing at his head so from context I deduce this is Cockney rhyming slang for "bowl cut") to pounce on the opportunity presented by living with a secret witch.
The next morning, Charlie (that's the oldest boy, I'm starting to get their names) casually brings up her hurt ankle and then remarks on the "Lovely weather for flying" before producing her broken broom. He promises to keep her secret in exchange for one or two changes... sausage and jam, no more washing (this kid definitely grows up to be a redditor), and a bit of "lolly", i.e., "cold hard cash". Miss Price asks him if he's ever heard of a rich witch, and then asks "Have you considered what danger you might be in?"

Murder, She Implied.
Charles dares her to turn him into a toad (which his brother Paul greets as a lovely idea) and after consulting her notebook for the magic words, she attempts it.

So, the magic words: "Filigree, apogee, pedigree, perigee."
I didn't learn that "apogee" and "perigee" were actual words until much later so I thought the game company Apogee Software was named in reference to this.
Instead of a toad, she turns him into a rabbit (complaining that she can never manage toads) through a neat bit of animation that was a very good transformation effect for the early 70s. Like, I'd say gold standard up until computer "morphing" became a thing.
There's a chase sequence between the cat and the rabbit that's very well done despite never having the two live animals in the same shot, while Miss Price explains that her spells never last that long anyway.
And the spell in fact wears off right as the cat has him cornered, which results in a short chase in the other direction before Carrie grabs him and stops him. She says they should all be friends and Paul opines that he doesn't think Miss Price is a "wicked" witch.
She agrees that she's not wicked at all and says that if only she could trust them, she would tell them how important her work is to the war effort, but it's secret.

Clever move! This gets the children from thinking they have something to hold over to her to being part of it.
Charlie suggests a "pact" where they give her something valuable as collateral. Carrie protests he's trying to be clever again but he explains how it gives them something to lose, too.
She leads them to her workspace, while Paul tells Charlie he made a better rabbit. She explains that her correspondence course in witchcraft came with a "free bonus" traveling spell.
Charlie's checking out her reagents while she looks for the spell in her papers. In addition to the bog standard eye of newt, there is "Poisoned Dragon's Liver". Paul questions - was the dragon poisoned, or just the liver?
Miss Price doesn't know because it came prepared as part of the course.

Lots of little touches hinting at the hokum nature of the school.
She tells the children she needs an object like a ring or bracelet, "something you can twist". They don't have any jewelry - they are evacuees, "traveling light" as Charlie put it in an earlier scene. They ask the youngest, Paul, if he has anything.
He says he always carries a few "fings", never know when they'll be useful, and produces: a piece of blue glass, a lovely bit of string, a horeshoe nail... all random child treasures but also things that I think have actual significance in magical practices.
But they're all just distractions from the main attraction: a bedknob from the bed upstairs, which Carrie points out can be twisted on or off.
Miss Price has Carrie turn down the lamps and recites the spell, which makes the knob glow a pretty pink to let us the audience know the magic worked. The children are unimpressed: "Is that all we get?" She explains that it will let them travel via the bed.
Charlie questions if it will really work and Miss Price replies she has no reason to believe it won't, then further explains that since Paul provided the material component, he's the only one who can work it. "That's the way the spell works."
There's a ring at the front door and she sends the children upstairs, telling them to not try the traveling spell unsupervised. Cut to her reading a letter declaring the college of witchcraft has been closed due to the war before they can send the final lesson.
The children, impatient but obedient, come down to see what's keeping her and she says she has had some bad news. When Carrie asks if they can do anything to help, she says no, then realizes Paul can help her get to London.

He wants to go to the jungle, though.
She calls him over and explains very gently and sincerely that she needs his help, that she was expecting a very important spell in the mail and she must go to London to find the man who has been teaching her magic.
In the midst of this comes possibly the most unfortunate line in the history of Disney movies.
She puts it to him that with his help she can find Professor Browne and bring the war to an end, and asks him what his decision is. He hands the knob to her (though per the rules she'll still need him to do it) and they go upstairs. Looks like she dressed for travel.
She's seeing that the children are dressed warmly and making sure they've gone to the bathroom. When she suggests Charlie put on something warmer, he says he's not going because he's decided the "traveling bed" nonsense is rubbish, it obviously won't work.
Not sure why he's suddenly decided to go all Penn and Teller on the concept of witchcraft when he's seen her fly and was turned into a rabbit and was the one who blackmailed her into providing them with this explicitly magical reward for their complicity.
Charles asks how's the bed even supposed to get out of the room and Miss Price's answer is "We'll just have to find out."
While they make the bed (so they don't appear in London in an unmade bed, how scandalous), Miss Price sings about how Charlie is at the "Age of Not Believing", where you start to doubt your heroes and yourself and stop believing in happy endings.
Charlie gets in a well-timed snide aside of "What's that supposed to be, poetry?" at the more metaphorical lines.
And follows it up with "Lovely sentiment, I'm sure." He's sulking literally in the corner, turning his back on the bed and telling them to leave him out of it while the others settle in. Miss Price gives Charlie directions and tells him what to say, then tells them to hold on...
Meanwhile Cosmic Creepers is making Charlie nervous and eventually spooks him into running onto the bed, just as the animated gold sparkles from the knob are spreading to encompass the whole thing.
The bed vanishes in sparks of red and gold and then there's some tinted negatives and rear projection type effects mixed in with trippy line art to imply both that the bed is flying to London but also that it's not moving through literal space.
They land in the middle of an oppressive smog bank, which Carrie identifies as London on account of "that lovely, sooty air". Miss Price asks Charlie if he believes, and he doesn't, because he doesn't see any Professor Browne. (Note: Nothing is visible except the bed.)
She wanders off into the fog to "make inquiries", but while she's gone and Charlie is expounding on how the magical flying bed that took them to London obviously doesn't "work proper" or he'd be there, Paul spots a man carrying a case with his name painted on it.
Professor Brown struggles with his oversized case for a bit, then turns it around and it converts into a fold out display table/booth advertising "Love Potions" and "Charms For Every Occasion", with palmistry charts and beads and cards.
He gets the crowd's attention with some sparks from his gloves and then starts a barker's patter, showing off bits of stage magic while the children wheel the bed in closer, remarking he's not the sort of professor they expected.
His climactic trick is to take an "unprepared" pane of glass (which he provided) and put it in an "unprepared", which he repeats for emphasis, brown paper bag, and then drive an ordinary steel nail through the bag without breaking the glass... cue foley effect of glass smashing.
With that he completely loses the crowd, except for the children who are there on another purpose. He convinces Paul to buy a bird call for one penny. It might be fairly said that Paul needs practice, but I suspect he was ripped off.
Miss Price admonishes Carrie, saying she wouldn't have expected her to wander off (boys will be boys, apparently) and Carrie explains that they found her professor.

Miss Price is unimpressed.
She asks if he is the same Professor Emelius Browne who is the headmaster of the Emelius Browne College of Witchcraft. He informs her that he is the late headmaster, as the college is defunct, and there are no refunds - "look at your contract".
She ignores the mention of money and presses him for the last spell and he begins to literally fold up shop, saying he's late for a squash appointment at his club. (The obvious lie being another joke that didn't make any impression on me as a child.)
When he tries to make an exit stage pronto, Miss Price has absolutely no hesitation in setting the children on him, leading to him making a series of angry protestations interspersed with "Would you mind?"
While they occupy him, she looks up the transofmration spell and turns him, briefly into a rabbit.

He is more flabbergasted that one of his spells, from his school, worked than he is that he was briefly a rabbit.
He explains that his "spells" are just nonsense words from an old book, given a bit of his own style because "the old sorcerers, they did have a tendency to waffle on".
He is delighted to have met someone who can actually do the magic, none of the kneejerk disbelief that Charlie showed, and proclaims her a "treasure". She asks him to stick to the point, and says she must see his book. He invites her to luncheon at his new townhouse... they can discuss his ideas at the same time. There's a fun bit of business as they are piling on the bed for travel and she sends him around to the other side of the bed because "I always travel on the left."
He is amazed to learn that the traveling spell works as well, and when the bed begins to glow and shake, he asks "Is this vehicle safe?" and is told it's "Perfectly safe, if a bit theatrical."
...okay, so, I knew from my earliest watching that Browne was a sham, but I never caught the fact that his "townhouse" is a very fancy house that was abandoned by the owner due to an unexploded German bomb lodged in the lawn.
She asks him how he can stand to live next to something so dangerous and he proclaims himself "a bit of a coward" but has decided the bomb is the best friend he's ever had as it allows him to live like a king.

Professor Browne, or How I Learned To Stop Worrying...
Inside, he's entertaining Miss Price in style with stolen cheese and wine. The cynical Charlie notices he keeps the curtains closed so no one will see the house is occupied, though he insists it's "so we can enjoy the gentle glow of candlelight".
Miss Price allows the children to explore the house, though she tells them not to touch anything, reminding them that the house doesn't belong to Mr. Browne. I have no idea how I didn't retain any of this part, even if I wouldn't have had the full context on the Blitz first time.
Once they're gone, she presses him for the final spell, which she names as Substitutiary Locomotion.
Upstairs, the children find a nursery and begin exploring it by candlelight.
In the library, Browne hands the candlestick to Miss Price and then climbs a bookcase ladder... only to reveal he's hanging an old poster of himself as The Magnificent Emelius, assisted by Mlle. Franceska.
His big idea is to reinvent magic act, "with an assistant who can really do magic". Sounds like you'd be the assistant, brownie.
He's giving her the full show business press... and now he's singing about how she has the "know-how" and he has the "show-how".
He asks her name, and when she repeats "Miss Price", he specifies her first name, which it transpires is "Eglantine". He is very pleased that her name rhymes with "shine".
He just rhymed with "acumen" with "superhuman". She's not impressed, but I kind of am?
So while he's dancing around and she's searching books, upstairs Paul has found a picture book called "The Isle of Naboombu". Charlie proclaims there is no such place, which Paul counters with the ironclad logic of childhood: how did they get pictures, then?
Cut back to downstairs and we're seeing the last sparkles of animation around an already-transformed rabbit (cheaper that way!) while Miss Price tells Browne she did warn him and asks him again where the book is.
The rabbit hops away and over to a bookcase and pulls off a battered leather codex of sorts, in something that looks like a pretty neat bit of animal training? I'm guessing there was something behind the book that the rabbit wanted.
Browne, humanized once again, protests at her choice of animals, saying he wouldn't mind being a tiger or a hawk, something with "a bit of dash". She ignores him and pages through the book, finding the spell she's looking for at the end.
...or rather, finding a description of it. It says that the spell is five mystic words, and the words are... not in the book, which ends on that page.
For dramatic purposes, she has to turn over the page she's looking at to discover this. It does appear that the other pages in the book are also blank on the back side, like it was bound together from sheets that weren't originally in a book.
Browne explains that this is why he closed the college - he ran out of material. She asks where the other part of the book is and he says he hasn't the foggiest, he bought it at a street market and the seller thought he was paying in "dud coin" and the fought over it and it tore.
So now they're off to PORTOBELLO ROAD, the musical number I remember best from this movie. Honestly, probably my favorite Sherman Brothers song.
I've got to take a quick break, back in 5-10 minutes. If you're enjoying this, please feel free to tip something in.…
And if you don't have the movie or Disney+, you can watch this musical sequence here.

(There's also a longer version that was cut from the theater that is probably on YouTube, which I've not seen yet.)


Anyway, I'm not going to try to describe the whole sequence as even the cut version... kind of goes on, but the first bit is basically establishing that most of the stuff for sale here is fake, and Browne is 100% in his element.
They search a bookseller for the other half of the book, which the merchant protests he wouldn't have as he doesn't sell damaged goods. But a shady gentleman overhears the name "The Spells of Astoroth" and slinks away.
They're on the way to another bookstand when Browne spots an old man trying to gin up interest in an old piano and offers to help out. He starts playing a livelier version of the Portobello Road song and a bunch of military folks grab other instruments and start playing.
It turns into a dance-off between different groups of soldiery from all over the Empire, showing off their various sick moves (and in some cases, their Sikh moves).
Watching it now with knowledge that there's a much much much longer cut out there, it's pretty obvious that this was cut down and patched together because it basically just fades out and back in without any rhyme or reason through different unrelated dance sequences.
We finally get back to Miss Eglantine Price's book quest, where she's searching shelves while people are trying to dance on them. Eventually she's caught up in the action and briefly enjoys herself before she gets back to the search.
By the time Browne catches up to her, a man with a bell is telling everyone to clear out, it's closing time, and the last bit of the very long dance breakdown ends as Browne returns to mournfully singing "Portobello Road, Portobello Road..."
As the street empties, a man comes up asking Browne if he'd like to buy some nylons for the lady, or some petrol coupons, or some watches that fell off the back of a lorry.

Deft bit of storytelling, establishing that the street market is not "the black market"....
...and that while the goods there are suspect, most of the players are in on the game and they're not so gauche as to undermine the war effort by circumventing rations.

But this gentleman is our shady fellow and he just wanted to get close enough to pull a knife.
The shady fellow directs them to "the bookman", who we're introduced to in a dingy basement as the bed comes rolling down the stairs.

"Sorry, guv, no one told me about the stairs," says Charlie.
Browne is trying to present the bed as a peace offering to the bookman while Miss Price and Paul protest that they own the bed and the one knob, respectively.
The bookman is trying to put on a friendly and affable face but his aggressively shady minion (name of Swinburne) is kind of undermining him. When Bookman says there isn't much he wouldn't do for the other half of the book...
Swinburne leans in and says, "Or haven't done, right?"

Bookman warns his lackey off and then compares their plight to a "jolly detective story or a jigsaw puzzle" and says they're after the same thing.
So here's a big clue to the twist that's coming up - she thinks he has the spell, but he's openly saying he's looking for it, too. But she agrees the sensible thing is to put their pieces of the book together.
He reads the last bit of what she had, "the five mystic words are..." and then begins turning the page over frantically looking for what they are as she begins to read, "engraved n the star that was always worn by the sorcerer, Astoroth".

Neither half has the words.
Browne points out an illustration showing Astoroth, wearing the star pendant and surrounded by animals in cages. He remarks that it's a pity they can't just read the words on the illustration. (Foreshadowing!)
Bookman elaborates on the image: Astoroth's final work involved using magic to turn animals more human, until they turned against him and killed him, stealing his magic and sailing away. A shipwrecked sailor in the 17th century claims to have found an island ruled by them.
When Miss Price asks where the island is, Bookman declares that he searched for it and determined "the isle of Naboombu does not exist". (Paralleling what charlie said about it!) Paul recognizes it and begins to speak up about the picture book...
...but Charlie's cynicism means he's a bit quicker on the uptake than Miss Price in this circumstance and he clamps a hand over his brother's mouth, claiming he sometimes just "burbles" when he has nothing to say.
Bookman's affable exterior is falling away, though. He demands Paul speak, and Paul proudly shows off the book. Browne protests that surely Bookman isn't interested in a simple children's picture book, and as things to turn into a stalemate over custody of yet another book...
...Bookman pulls out an enormous knife, which Swinburne passes on in preference of his own little flick-blade, because it's more personal.
Miss Price declares it's time to go and the Bookman laughs because they're locked in. Mr. Browne calls this "the fundamental weakness of the criminal mind"... even while Bookman is searching for the lost spell he doesn't actually believe in anything, including magic.
I think Browne aids in their escape by proclaiming he will use his powers to make the bed disappear, though. Bookman may be perfectly willing to believe in magic but not willing to believe that Browne is anything but a cheap entertainer.
So at Miss Price's urging, Paul directs the bed to the Isle of Naboombu and off they go, before Bookman and Swinburne can react.
I'm actually going to stop about there because this is about the halfway point in the movie, and just before the big stylistic shift that's coming up seems like a good place to break, and I'll run into dinner time soon.

I'll pick it up tomorrow afternoon at about the same time.
Me swilling Fireball and analyzing old Disney movies is made possible through viewers like you. If you enjoy this feature, please feel free to tip in. Very helpful now as my house is in quarantine.…
I will say that when I think back on the Portobello Road sequence, I don't remember the dance parts nearly as well as the bookends. I'm not sure if they didn't hold my interest as much as the parts with Browne singing wistfully about the things for sale or what.
Like, I remembered that they happened but wasn't thinking of them as being as extensive a part of the scene as they were.
It's weird the stuff that sticks versus the stuff that doesn't.
Hey, so. I'm not having a great day today and am not in the right headspace for getting drunk and analyzing a Disney movie, so I'm going to punt on the rest of Bedknobs and Broomsticks until tomorrow or Monday. Thank you for your patience.
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