The Parent Trap

Two identical twin sisters, separated at birth by their parents’ divorce, are reunited years later at a summer camp, where they scheme to bring their parents back together. The girls, one of whom has been living with their mother and the other with their father, switch places after camp and go to work on their plan, the first objective being to scare off a gold-digger pursuing their father.

Credits: TheMovieDb.

Film Cast:

  • Susan Evers / Sharon McKendrick: Hayley Mills
  • Margaret ‘Maggie’ McKendrick: Maureen O’Hara
  • Mitch Evers: Brian Keith
  • Charles McKendrick: Charles Ruggles
  • Louise McKendrick: Cathleen Nesbitt
  • Verbena: Una Merkel
  • Vicky Robinson: Joanna Barnes
  • Edna Robinson: Linda Watkins
  • Hecky: Crahan Denton
  • Rev. Dr. Mosby: Leo G. Carroll
  • Miss Inch: Ruth McDevitt
  • Miss Grunecker: Nancy Kulp
  • Miss Lockness: Irene Tedrow
  • Mr. Eaglewood: Frank De Vol
  • Betsy (uncredited): Kay Cole
  • Gwen (uncredited): Barbara Hunter
  • Ursala (uncredited): Lynette Winter
  • Trooper Wilfred Stafford (uncredited): Joseph Richard Stafford
  • Mitch Evers’ Golf Caddy (uncredited): John Mills
  • Parent (uncredited): Don Ames
  • Parent (uncredited): Herschel Graham
  • Parent (uncredited): Louise Lane
  • Parent (uncredited): Leoda Richards
  • Teenager (uncredited): Dave Goelz

Film Crew:

  • Set Decoration: Hal Gausman
  • Presenter: Walt Disney
  • Original Music Composer: Paul J. Smith
  • Sound Supervisor: Robert O. Cook
  • Art Direction: Carroll Clark
  • Director of Photography: Lucien Ballard
  • Editor: Philip W. Anderson
  • Sequence Artist: Don DaGradi
  • Songs: Richard M. Sherman
  • Songs: Robert B. Sherman
  • Art Direction: Robert Clatworthy
  • Title Graphics: T. Hee
  • Novel: Erich Kästner
  • Costume Design: Bill Thomas
  • Set Decoration: Emile Kuri
  • Director: David Swift
  • Music Editor: Evelyn Kennedy
  • Sound: Dean Thomas
  • Visual Effects: Ub Iwerks
  • Title Graphics: Bill Justice
  • Title Graphics: Xavier Atencio
  • Orchestrator: Franklyn Marks
  • Costumer: Chuck Keehne
  • Producer: George Golitzen
  • Assistant Director: Ivan Volkman
  • Makeup Artist: Pat McNalley
  • Costumer: Gertrude Casey
  • Visual Effects: Bob Broughton
  • Hairstylist: Ruth Sandifer
  • Dialogue Coach: Leon Charles
  • Acting Double: Susan Henning
  • Special Effects Technician: Petro Vlahos

Movie Reviews:

  • r96sk: I’ve always heard of this, and its later remake, but never got around to watching it. I have now and I thoroughly enjoyed it.Hayley Mills, just like in ‘Pollyanna’, is infectious so you can’t help but like her character(s). She does a respectable job playing two parts here, the camera work and editing in that regard is exceptionally good – I didn’t notice any major issues with the special effects or body double(s).

    Brian Keith and Maureen O’Hara portray the parents of Mills’ Sharon/Susan, both adding positive elements with their performances. I like the dynamic between the two, even if their characters aren’t perfect; especially with the sprinkling of domestic violence from O’Hara’s Maggie.

    The plot, which I had heard about beforehand, is certainly interesting. They do a fine job at melding it together and making it feel more plausible than it is. With that said, I do believe the run time could’ve been shorter as the third act is a little uneven in my opinion.

    A fun film, mostly thanks to the delightful Hayley Mills.

  • Kamurai: Good watch, probably won’t watch again, but can recommend if you’ve seen any other Parent Trap and not this one.This holds up surprisingly well: Hayley Mills did an excellent job playing both of the girls. I questioned it once, but I honestly thought it was two different people during the movie.

    That might explain why so much of the movie looked like green screen even though they established it was a real scene by interacting with it. It is also surprising how much 1961 green screen looks like modern 2020 “true motion” with a almost fake looking background.

    Yes, it is quite a gimmick to do a “twins switch places”, though that’s partly because of this movie. It would be one thing if there were just a lot of twin actors looking to make it in the business, but today’s climate would claim movies like this were stealing jobs from twins.

    Though the movie is incredibly dated, it’s actually interesting to see that 1950’s motif where it was normal to have household staff still. The adults were a bit of a bore, it was the girl(s) fighting or getting along to antagonize the adults that really makes the movie, and that might be the big problem of it all. You have a young teen carrying the movie by doing double work, and the rest of the movie just doesn’t feel loved. Sadly it shows the ethics of 1960’s Disney.

    The movie is fun though, and while I doubt anyone is going to watch it over and over again, it is definitely worth a watch, if for nothing else than seeing a birth of a trope.

  • CinemaSerf: Hayley Mills is pretty skilful in this spirited effort from David Swift. She plays posh sister “Sharon” and not so posh sibling “Susan” who meet at one of those summer camps that parents offload their unwanted children to during the long holidays. Needless to say, they cannot stand one another and after causing havoc for just about everyone else, are forced into isolation. It is during this confinement that things start to thaw between them and they realise they are twins – separated at birth when their parents divorced. They concoct a cunning wheeze – the wrong sister will go home to the wrong parent. “Sharon” to her father “Mitch” (Brian Keith) whilst “Susan” will go to her prim and proper mother “Maggie” (Maureen O’Hara). Their plan is to manipulate their parents into falling in love again and happy families will ensue. “Sharon” faces the bigger challenge when she discovers that his dad’s friend “Vicky” (Joanna Barnes) has designs on her father, so the girls have to fetch their mother from Boston to California if their cunning plan is to succeed! The premiss is far-fetched, but Mills juggles her two roles well; the dialogue at the start is entertaining and the mischief the girls get up to does raise a smile. Sadly, though, the adults drag it all down – especially a really out of sorts O’Hara, who just didn’t seem at all comfortable in her role. Keith, to be fair, was never the most versatile of actors – and here he pulls it off ok, but as the grown up melodrama starts to subsume the plot, I found myself just a bit weary as it really did start to plod towards the two hour mark.
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