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Jack and the Beanstalk (1952 film) facts for kids

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Jack and the Beanstalk
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Jean Yarbrough
Produced by Alex Gottlieb
Pat Costello
Bud Abbott
Lou Costello
Written by Nat Curtis
Pat Costello
Starring Bud Abbott
Lou Costello
Buddy Baer
Dorothy Ford
Barbara Brown
Music by Heinz Roemheld
Cinematography George Robinson
Editing by Otho Lovering
Studio Exclusive Productions
Distributed by Warner Bros.
Release date(s) April 12, 1952 (1952-04-12)
Running time 78 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $682,580
Money made $1.6 million (US rentals)

Jack and the Beanstalk is a 1952 American family comedy film starring the comedy team of Abbott and Costello. It is a comic revision of the "Jack and the Beanstalk" fairy tale.


Eloise Larkin and her fiancé Arthur's plans to attend the rehearsal of a play are jeopardized because no one will babysit her obnoxious kid brother Donald. Eloise phones the Cosman Employment Agency, where Mr. Dinkle and Jack just happen to be seeking work. Jack flirts with Cosman employee Polly, but he is thwarted by the arrival of her boyfriend, a towering police officer. Polly sends Dinkle and Jack to babysit, but an attempt to lull the boy to sleep by reading the fairy tale Jack and the Beanstalk (Jack's "favorite novel") aloud fails when Jack stumbles over the larger words. Bemused by Jack, Donald reads the story instead — a role-reversal made complete when Jack falls asleep as Donald reads. In his slumber, Jack dreams that he is the young Jack of the fairy tale.

In his dream, Jack learns that a Giant, who lives in a castle in the sky, has taken all of the kingdom's food as well as the crown jewels. The dire situation obliges the kingdom's princess to marry a Prince from a neighboring kingdom whom she has never met. Jack must also make sacrifices. His mother sends him to sell the last family possession, their beloved cow "Henry", to the local butcher, Mr. Dinklepuss. Along the way Jack meets The Prince, disguised as a troubador, who is kidnapped by the Giant soon afterward. The unscrupulous Dinklepuss pays Jack five "magic" beans for the cow. Upon returning home, Jack learns that the Giant has also kidnapped The Princess and Henry.

Undeterred by his mother's disappointment over the beans, Jack plants them and a gigantic beanstalk grows overnight. He decides to climb the beanstalk to rescue everyone from the Giant's clutches and retrieve "Nellie", the golden-egg laying hen that the Giant previously stole from Jack's family. Upon learning of Nellie's existence, Dinklepuss joins Jack on the adventure. When they reach the top of the beanstalk Jack and Dinklepuss are captured by the Giant and imprisoned with the prince and princess. The princess falls for the troubador after he serenades her, only to later learn this is the same prince she was betrothed.

After the Giant releases Dinklepuss and Jack from the dungeon in order to toil around his castle, they befriend his housekeeper, Polly, who helps them escape over the castle wall along with the royal prisoners, Nellie and some of the Giant's stolen gems (pilfered by the greedy Dinklepuss). They flee down the beanstalk with the Giant in pursuit, as Polly escapes the castle behind him, astride Henry. During the descent, Dinklepuss loses Nellie (who falls into the arms of Jack's mother) and then the gems, which rain down upon the impoverished townsfolk below. Once all are on the ground, Jack chops down the beanstalk, sending the Giant falling to his death. The villagers rejoice over their liberation by dancing around the hole the Giant made from his fall while amusingly singing "He Never Looked Better in his Life".

Just before being rewarded by the King for heroism, Jack is rudely awakened from his dream by Donald, who breaks a vase over Jack's head just as Eloise and Arthur return home. Jack's angry outburst over Donald's behavior results in a second blow to the head from Dinkle, which returns Jack to his dream state. After greeting the others as their storybook counterparts, Jack walks off into the night with the bravado of "Jack the Giant-Killer".


  • Bud Abbott as Mr. Dinkle/Mr. Dinklepuss
  • Lou Costello as Jack/Jack Strong
  • Dorothy Ford as Polly/The housekeeper/Receptionist
  • Buddy Baer as The Giant/Sgt. Riley
  • Shaye Cogan as Eloise Larkin/The Princess/Darlene
  • David Stollery as Donald Larkin
  • James Alexander as Arthur/The Prince
  • Barbara Brown as Mrs. Strong
  • William Farnum as The King
  • Mel Blanc as Farm Animals
  • Arthur Shields as Patrick the Harp
  • Johnny Conrad and the Johnny Conrad Dancers


Songs written by Lester Lee and Bob Russell
"Jack and the Beanstalk"
"I Fear Nothing"
"Dreamer's Cloth"
"He Never Looked Better in His Life"

A soundtrack, including songs and dialogue, was released on Decca Records on June 9, 1952.

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Jack and the Beanstalk (1952 film) Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.