Disney musical about Mother Carey, a Bostonian widow and her three children who move to Maine. Postmaster Osh Popham helps them move into a run-down old house and fixes it up for them. It's not entirely uninhabited, though; the owner, a Mr. Hamilton, is a mysterious character away in Europe, but Osh assures them he won't mind their living there, since he won't be coming home for a long time yet. The children and a cousin who comes to live with them have various adventures before an unexpected visitor shows up. Written by
We're out in the sticks, all right.
The sticks? It's lovely! Land of promise, land of opportunity!
Opportunity for what?
Well, you got something there. You're the first folks to move into Beulah in more than five years. Most people move away to the city. That's where I'm gonna get as soon as I can.
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This being a Disney comedy of the '60s, naturally there's a turn-of-the-century hot-rodder--named Digby!
As the 1960s progressed, the Disney company got more and more desperate for a hipness factor in their family comedies, bringing in modern artifices to jazz up their relics (here it's Michael J. Pollard playing a hot-rodder). Considering everything else is so archaic, Pollard's appearance is rather odd...the presence of Burl Ives alone should tell you what you're in for. Advertised as a vehicle for sixteen-year-old Hayley Mills, the movie is actually an ensemble piece set during the ragtime era, and the cumbersome outfits and hairdos Hayley wears fail to suit her well; still youthful and spirited, she's heavier here and doesn't have much of a character to work with. Dorothy McGuire glows on cue as the (rather mature) widowed mother of three youngsters forced to move from Boston to a hick-town in Maine. Some of this is pleasant and it's all quite well-scrubbed (featuring yet another Shaggy Dog, and two nature-montages which aren't so much misplaced as they are artistically suspect). Definitely not the best place for one to introduce themselves to Hayley Mills' versatile talents, but as a corny Disney pic for the family it isn't too bad. ** from ****
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