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
Mr. Hamilton wants a favor in return.
A favor? From us?
Yes, he wants you to find a suitable place for his dear mother's picture.
Of course! Portrait of a lady! Where is it, Osh?
Well, he hid it. He hid it away someplace safe. He wrote it down real clear, but it's just gone right out of my head.
Well, if you'll bring the letter, we'll follow the instructions to the last detail. She'll have a place of honor!
Well, that's the idea. He wrote something about a simple little vase with flowers on her...
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I have fond memories of watching this movie on TV when I was about 7 years old. Looking back on it now, it's pretty typical Disney family-fare from the early 60s. Hayley Mills is cute, as usual, as the older sister in the Carey family. Eddie Hodges is not bad either as her brother. Burl Ives is enjoyable. His "Ugly Bug Ball" sequence with little Jimmy Mathers is cute, corny and memorable. Deborah Walley is fun as cousin Julia, and it's fun to see her and Mills irritating each other. There are some cute songs in here, by the Sherman brothers, but you have to wonder what they were thinking when they wrote them. In addition to the aforementioned "Ugly Bug Ball", we have two of the oddest inclusions in the Disney catalog: "Femininity" (where Walley and Mills teach Wendy Turner how to act like a woman!) and "The Pink of Perfection" (Mills' and Hodges' duet, in reference to Walley's snooty character).
Harmless, good, clean fun for the most part, but not in the same league as "Mary Poppins".
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