The Parent Trap (1961)


“I’m not saying a word. Not one single word. ” – Verbena

Number of Times Seen – Between 3-5 times (cable in the 80’s and 23 Apr 2018)

Brief Synopsis – Two young girls meet in summer camp and discover that they are long lost twins, they decide to scheme together to reunite their parents

My Take on it – This is a film that I recall seeing numerous times as a kid and really enjoying it.

My wife had read the book this was based on when she was a kid and she was quite keen to see what it was all about.

It works really well within the context of how it’s presented to us.

The storyline itself is slightly far fetched and filled with numerous plot holes yet still manages to stay enjoyable for what it’s worth.

Hayley Mills is great in the dual role of the young girls and will always be remembered for this film.

Brian Keith and Maureen O’Hara are also both quite good as the separated parents who the girls wish to reunite.

This film also gives us some great supporting characters that help keep the tone of it all light and fresh.

The two main standouts were Charles Ruggles (as the grandfather) who constantly flicks his cigarette ashes into his palm during conversations and Leo Carroll (as the priest) who knows much more about life, love and parenting than one would expect.

The antics that the girls play on other characters here is fun to watch and it reminded me of something that might have happened in episodes of The Brady Bunch due to the way it was all done.

The wholesome nature of this film helps it work and it would be difficult to make such a plot work in the modern world (see the remake from the 90’s as proof).

Bottom Line – Fun film that works for what it tries to do.  The story itself is a bit far fetched but still is enjoyable. Mills is great in the dual roles of the girls and both O’Hara and Keith are fine as the separated parents.  The supporting characters really help make this even more enjoyable and the two that stood out the most were Ruggles as the grandfather and Carroll as Rev. Mosby. The antics that the girls play in this film were quite reminiscent of things that could have occurred on the set of The Brady Bunch and the wholesome nature of the story wouldn’t translate very well to today’s world. The remake from the 90’s proves that fact. Recommended!

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – In the dance party scene, where the layer cake falls off the beak of the totem pole, and drops onto Miss Inch’s face, the director originally wanted to cut the shot of the cake-fall. But when Walt Disney saw the rushes, Disney told the director to leave the shot in, saying it would be the biggest laugh in the film. Turns out, old Walt was right.  (From IMDB)

Rating – Globe Worthy (8/10)

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2 thoughts on “The Parent Trap (1961)

  1. Pingback: Temporal Top Ten – 1961 |

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