The 3 Worlds of Gulliver: On Trial

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Having insulted Brobdingnagian court wizard Mackovan and provoked the temper of the King, Gulliver has imperiled both himself and his wife Elizabeth.  Mackovan intends to prove that Gulliver is a witch and have him burned alive, a prospect that excites Mackovan’s delightfully-named daughter Shrike (!!).

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Mackovan’s test is nothing more than a high school chemistry litmus test, which is rigged to turn Gulliver’s clothes blue and constitute proof of witchcraft (although since no one else from the court is present, Mackovan can just claim that his test worked).

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Being a Man of Science, Gulliver recognizes the principles behind the test and secretly changes the basic solution to acidic before immersing himself.  Then Gulliver’s hubris runs away with him and he knocks the remainder onto Mackovan’s head, turning the wizard’s hair red.  Look at Shrike’s gleeful anticipation at Gulliver’s condemnation. Too bad she wasn’t beach-combing the day Gulliver washed ashore…

The King is totally prepared to accept Mackovan’s allegations of witchcraft against Gulliver, but he prefers a more theatrical method of execution than auto-da-fé.  Several specimens of Gulliver-scale wildlife have somehow been collected by the King, including a 15-foot-long Harryhausen crocodile.  The King decides that letting the crocodile devour Gulliver would give good sport for the court.  I’m sure Shrike would love to have seen this, but she is somehow excluded from the spectacle.

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The Queen’s favor is insufficient to save Gulliver, but she manages to secure Elizabeth’s amnesty (the Queen’s smile before and after imprisoning Elizabeth under glass hints at future inquiries and demonstrations regarding marital relations). The queen also tosses Gulliver one of her buttons to use as a shield, but the King’s plan really takes a hit when Gulliver discovers that the pin holding the latch of a nearby letterbox works admirably as a Gulliver-scale sword.

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Gulliver slays the dragon, the Queen releases Elizabeth, and Glumdalclitch rescues them both and runs off.  The giant court pursues her, and she finally flings her sewing box containing Gulliver and Elizabeth into the sea.  Of course they wash up right back at their home village in England, and get right to work making a daughter, who will be named Glumdalclitch.  The film ends before her brob-mother can pay them a visit.


 

Originally posted:  03 Jun 2016

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