The daughter of legendary British actor John Mills and novelist Mary Hayley Bell (as well as the sister of actress Juliet Mills), young Hayley Mills broke the surface of fame at the tender age of 12, starring opposite her ... more »father in the thriller Tiger Bay. That film, along with a Berlin Film Festival award, was enough to attract the attention of Walt Disney, who promptly signed her to a five-year contract and put her in the starring role of Pollyanna. After wringing hearts and nabbing a special Oscar, Mills segued into the comedy thing--for double the fun--in The Parent Trap, the 1961 farce in which she played twins, separated at birth, who scheme to reunite their biological parents (Maureen O'Hara and Brian Keith, both surprisingly sexy for a Disney movie). On the brink of adolescence, Mills was a saucy role model for children of the Kennedy era: cute, endearing and, above all, wholesome despite her sneaky ways--everyone's meddlesome sister. Easily stepping into the Disney child-star gap as the original Mouseketeers were (literally) outgrowing their uniforms, Mills was the studio's live-action bread and butter for a brief moment in time, and The Parent Trap still remains her best vehicle, a classic now to adults who came of age during the early '60s. It also pioneered the processed split-screen technique, which while not seamless was revolutionary and exciting enough that, upon seeing the initial results, Uncle Walt asked the filmmakers to shoot more scenes in which Mills played opposite herself. --Mark Englehart« less
I think the funny thing about this movie is Hayley Mills. She was a good little actress in her time, but she did make little goofs. Disney didn't bother to edit some of her little mistakes (mostly goofing up words or forgetting a line in a song) so it makes the movie actually seem natural.
It is a sweet story, and I love the ending. I also love Maureen O'Hara in her motherly role! GOOD STORY and better than the modern one.
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A Classic Charmer
Gary F. Taylor | Biloxi, MS USA | 09/26/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Although the split-screen technique had been around for a decade or so, it was usually more noted for its failures than its success, and the actor required to play dual roles usually took tremendous heat for their failure to create two physically identical but distinctly different characterizations on screen. But with THE PARENT TRAP, with the difficult dual role resting on the shoulders of an extremely young star, Walt Disney struck gold. It would be the single highest grossing film the studio had released up to that time, and even some forty years later the baby-boomers who flocked to see it in 1961 regard it as one of their favorite movie experiences.But THE PARENT TRAP has a lot more going for it than mere nostalgia. The cast is really, really good, featuring the ever-likable Maureen O'Hara and Brian Keith in leading roles and a host of great character actors (including Leo G. Carroll and Nancy Kulp) in minor roles. And then there is Haley Mills. The daughter and sister of noted English actors, Mills was no newcomer to the screen when THE PARENT TRAP went before the cameras--she had even picked up an Oscar for her earlier Disney film POLLYANNA. Even so, this was no guarantee that she could pull off the feat of double roles, something that had daunted even the legendary Bette Davis. But she did.The story has been told so often that surely every one knows it by now. A wife delivers twin daughters--but shortly afterward divorces her husband, and each wins custody of one child. The children are raised without any knowledge of each other's existence... until they unexpectedly bump into each other at summer camp, put two and two together, and devise a scheme to get their parents back together again.Even today, and in spite of its familiarity, it's an amusing idea, and while the actual script is weak in spots the cast, and especially Haley Mills, makes the most of it. There's plenty of slapstick, lots of laugh-out-loud scenes, and enough charm to beguile all but the most cynical viewers. And Haley Mills clearly demonstrates why she was regarded as the single most gifted child actor of her era: although she plays both Susan and Sharon with the same edge of mischievous fun, they do indeed come off as completely different personalities.Of course, digital technology has left the old split-screen technique in the dust, and today its easy to see the flaws in the technique that weren't so obvious at the time. And the quality of the film transfer is not the best: while this isn't the worst transfer I've seen, it is full of artifacts nonetheless. Even so, the appeal of the story, the cast, and most particularly Haley Mills make up for a lot, and this Disney double DVD comes complete with a host of bonuses (including a making-of documentary and an audio commentary track by director David Swift and Haley Mills) that fans will enjoy quite a bit.If you were a fan of the film then, you'll remain a fan of it now. And if you want to introduce your family to a truly charming movie experience, you couldn't make a better choice.--GFT (Amazon Reviewer)--"
Simply a Winner
Jason | Tennessee, United States | 12/29/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The Parent Trap is, by far, my favorite movie. I couldn't tell you exactly how many times I've seen it, but it would probably be somewhere around 300 times. I know it word for word, and can actually quote the movie for someone at any time, which I have done quite a bit, along with my sister, Jennifer. The Parent Trap stars Hayley Mills playing twin daughters of a divorced couple (Brian Keith and Maureen O'Hara). The girls, who have long been separated, meet accidentally for the first time at summer camp. After discovering they are long-lost twin sisters, the two concoct an outrageous scheme to switch places in an effort to get their parents back together. Personally, I don't like the new Parent Trap. The old one is just... classic. Although, I have done a "survey" with my friend, Elizabeth (another fan of the old one), and found that kids born from 1990 and up seem to like the new Parent Trap better than the old one, while it's opposite with people born from 1989 and below. No matter how old you are, however, I know you'll love The Parent Trap (1961). I highly recommend it to you. Feel free to e-mail me at TennVol86@cs.com and tell me your thoughts on the movie or my review."
Disney Shines With Their Classics!
Sallie A. Martin | OK | 05/08/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Disney is finally becoming smart and are releasing their classics for the first time on DVD.
I was very impressed with the Parent Trap 2 cd set. The commentary between the director David Swift and star Hayley Mills was VERY interesting. Hayley talks about how difficult it was playing two parts as well as many other pieces of trivia and interesting facts about the movie. The sound is really good since it is THX certified, and the picture is crisp and clear. The behind the scenes documentary is a great plus along with the animated short that is included as well. There is alot more extras than are even listed on the back. There is a jukebox that plays songs from the movie, a documentary on the woman who played Hayley's twin, and much more!
You will want this movie for your collection, because it still has the charm of a Disney classic with a twist of modern technology with TONS of extras included. I was very satisfied with my purchase and I highly recommend that if you like this movie or have it on vhs, get the DVD while you can!"
Spanish Jack's Review Could Ruin an Excellent Movie
Jamerican Princess | Florida | 06/17/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I never write reviews, but thought I had to do so, after reading Spanish Jack's comment. There is no need for me to tell you about the film because the other reviewers already did. While Spanish Jack may have had some good intentions in his writing, he ultimately could close the doors on viewers who appreciate the arts and classics, but are not white. This movie is a family, fun-loving movie for anyone who truly appreciates a combination of great acting, a well-told story and even pace. It's comical without stupidity or obscene language. Even though the cast is all white -- as most classics were in that time period, it is a movie to be enjoyed by all races and all age groups regardless of your family situation. You will not be disappointed."
Great job Disney!!
microjoe | 01/30/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Now this is the way a classic should be treated. Disney pulled out all the stops for the DVD's in their new "Vault Disney Collection" which has 4 different releases as of 1/29/03. I have always loved this movie, and you can read all the great things about the film itself from other reviewers and from the VHS reviews. First and most importantly it's WIDESCREEN. I think all DVD's should be. But the EXTRAS!! WOW, they put it all in here.
The 2 disc set has much more than is listed here or on the packaging. It is loaded with surprise features, but you have to hunt for them. A featurette "Disney Legend Hayley Mills"; Featurette on the double used for behind the back shots called "Who's the Twin" with a recent interview from her; "Seeing Double" is a mini-documentary about the process used to make it appear to be 2 girls when there were one in may shots; A great interview feature with recently deceased animator Ward Kimball, and director David Swift; About 17 minutes from a classic Disney TV episode from 1961 "The Titlemakers", featuring work on the films title shots and music; several archive galleries with studio fan cards, costume design sketches, lobby cards, invitations, film production letterhead, posters, magazine ads, screenplay, and the complete exhibitors campaign book; audio features with production photos such as a Radio Spot from the original release, two songs, and 2 interactive "Sound Studio" demonstrations. There is a touching feature on the songwriting team, the Sherman Brothers, responsible for many of the memorable songs from movie history including Mary Poppins, Bedknobs and Broomsticks, and the non-Disney "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang". More features include "Lets Get Together"; Another behind the scenes documentary with tons of modern interviews of the stars and film-makers called "Caught in the Act, the Making of the Parent Trap". Also more production archives; and the 1961 Disney Studio album which is a video showcasing all the Disney created in 1961 from Parks, to TV, to theater; Also included is the original theatrical cartoon released with the film.
To find all of these is not easy, so make sure you poke around and push on every icon you can and play the things that do not sound intersting since they can lead to another menu of goodies.
Thank you! Thank you, whoever at Disney pushed to treat this DVD like this. The extras have caused me to rave about the Vault Disney series to everyone I know and buy extra copies for my loved ones as Christmas presents. I hope all Disney fans buy tons of these so Disney understands it is worth putting the extra work into a DVD. On the other hand I and my friends have refused to buy some of the Disney discs they have rushed to the market lately with no extras and no Widescreen. Are you listening Disney??"