- The Parent Trap (1961 film)
name = The Parent Trap
caption = Theatrical release poster
David Swift (screenplay)
Hayley Mills Maureen O'Hara Brian Keith
director = David Swift
Buena Vista Distribution
21 June 1961
runtime = 129 min.
country = USA
language = English
imdb_id = 0055277
followed_by = "
The Parent Trap II"|
"The Parent Trap" (1961) is a Walt Disney Productions
feature filmstarring Hayley Mills, Maureen O'Haraand Brian Keithin a story about teenage twins and their divorced parents. The screenplay by the film's director David Swift was based upon the book " Lottie and Lisa" ("Das Doppelte Lottchen") by Erich Kästner. "The Parent Trap" was nominated for two Academy Awards, was broadcast on television, saw three television sequels, was remade in 1998 with Lindsay Lohan, and has been released to VHS and DVD. The original film was Mills' second of six films for Disney.
Plot and cast
"The Parent Trap" follows identical twins Sharon and Susan (
Hayley Mills) as they attempt to reunite their divorced parents Maggie and Mitch ( Maureen O'Haraand Brian Keith). The two 13-year-old girls meet for the first time at summer camp and switch identities in order to visit the parent they have never seen. While Susan is in Boston masquerading as Sharon, Sharon is in California masquerading as Susan.
Sharon calls Susan in Boston with the news that their father is planning to marry a gold-digger and their mother needs to be rushed to California to prevent the union. In Boston, Susan tells her mother the truth about the switched identities and the two fly to California.
With both parents and both twins in California, the twins set about (with some slight approval from their mother) sabotaging their father's marriage plans. Mitch's money-hungry girlfriend Vicki Robinson (
Joanna Barnes) receives some rude, mischievous treatment from the girls and some veiled cattiness from Maggie. When Vicki is away for an evening, the girls stage a reprise of their parents' first date in Mitch's home with an Italian dinner and a gypsy violinist. The former spouses are gradually drawn together.
Vicki however digs her heels in regarding Mitch and marriage, but the girls effect the coup de grace on a wilderness camping trip: Vicki spends her time swatting mosquitoes after dousing herself with a sugar and water "mosquito repellent" given her by Sharon and Susan, and finds her sleep interrupted by two bear cubs who are drawn to her tent by a trail of honey left by the twins. Exasperated, Vicki gladly tosses in the towel. Mitch and Maggie rekindle the love they once held for each other and the two remarry in the final scene with the twins as members of the wedding party.
Cathleen Nesbittand Charles Rugglesas the girls' maternal grandparents, Una Merkelas Mitch's sympathetic housekeeper Verbena, Ruth McDevittand Nancy Kulpas summer camp staff, and Leo G. Carrollas Reverend Mosby. Hayley Mills' father John appeared in the uncredited role of a golf caddy while Susan Henningwas Hayley Mills' uncredited body double for several of the "twin" shots in the film.
The screenplay originally called for only a few trick photography shots of Hayley Mills in scenes with herself; the bulk of the film was to be shot using a body double. When Walt Disney saw how seamless the processed shots were, he ordered the script reconfigured to include more of the special effect.
The film was shot mostly in
Californiaat various locales, including millionaire Stuyvesant Fish's 5,200 acre (21 km²) ranch in Carmel, Monterey's Pebble Beach golf course, and the studio's Golden Oak Ranch in Placerita Canyon, where Mitch's ranch was built. It was also shot in Camp Cedar Lake, in the Angeles National Forest 5 minutes from Big Bear Lake, California. It was the design of this set that proved the most popular, and to this day the Walt Disney Archives receives requests for plans of the home's interior design. Of course, there never was such a house; the set was simply various rooms built on a sound stage. Camp Inch was based on a real girls' camp called Camp Crestridge for Girlsnear Asheville, North Carolina.
Richard M. and
Robert B. Shermanprovided the songs, which, besides the title song "The Parent Trap," includes " For Now, For Always," and "Let's Get Together". "Let's Get Together" is heard playing from a record player at the summer camp; the tune is reprised by the twins when they restage their parents' first date. The title song was performed by Tommy Sandsand Annette Funicellowho were both on the studio lot shooting " Babes in Toyland" (1961) at the time.
Awards and nominations
The film was nominated for two
Academy Awards: one for Sound by Robert O. Cook, and the other for Film Editing by Philip W. Anderson.
The film was theatrically re-released in 1968. The Disney Studios produced three television sequels "
The Parent Trap II" (1986), " The Parent Trap III" (1989), and "" (1989). In 1963, ABC television sitcom" The Patty Duke Show" debuted using similar filming techniques in a series about teenage cousins (played by Patty Duke) with identical twin appearances but with completely different personalities. The original "The Parent Trap" was remade in 1998 starring Lindsay Lohan.
* [http://ultimatedisney.com/parent.html The Parent Trap (1961) Vault Disney DVD Review with Pictures]
* [http://ultimatedisney.com/parenttrap-2moviecollection.html The Parent Trap I & II: 2-Movie Collection DVD Review with Pictures]
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