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The Moon-Spinners (1964)

British musicologist Frances Ferris and her late teen niece Nicky Ferris are traveling through Crete recording Greek folk songs for the BBC. In the usually quiet coastal town of Aghios ... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Sophia
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Lambis
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Alexis
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Yacht Captain (as Andre Morell)
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Police Lieutenant
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Orestes
Steve Plytas ...
Hearse Driver
Harry Tardios ...
Bus Driver
Pamela Barrie ...
Ariadne
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Storyline

British musicologist Frances Ferris and her late teen niece Nicky Ferris are traveling through Crete recording Greek folk songs for the BBC. In the usually quiet coastal town of Aghios Georgios, they manage to get a room at an inn called the Moon-Spinners, despite the people at the inn being busy preparing for a wedding, and no one there, except Alexis, the young teen son of the proprietress Sophia, he who is fond of spouting current popular Americanisms in his slightly broken English, seeming to want them there. Frances and Nicky learn from Alexis that the unwelcoming feeling is all because of his maternal Uncle Stratos, who has become a man suspicious of anyone ever since his recent return from London after being away for fifteen years. Beyond those there for the wedding, the only other guest at the inn is a young Englishman named Mark Camford, who they befriend. Nicky is too preoccupied with her own suspicions and mistrust of Stratos truly to see that there is something more ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

WALT DISNEY'S surprise in suspense! See more »


Certificate:

G | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

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Release Date:

8 July 1964 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A holdsugár-szövők  »

Filming Locations:

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Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording)

Color:

(Technicolor)
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Known for being a child star at the time actress Hayley Mills had actually turned eighteen years of age around the time that this picture was made and released. See more »

Goofs

Nikky mentions she'll try the periscope out on the terrace. It's a telescope, not a periscope. See more »

Quotes

Stratos: Well, you just remember this... If either of those two get away, it means the finish of you and your whole cosy setup. You'll be sorry you did not stay at home and stick to your knitting.
Anthony Gamble: I don't knit. It so happens I do extremely fine petit point.
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Soundtracks

Stratos in Pursuit
Written by Ron Grainer
Performed by The Ron Grainer Orchestra
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User Reviews

 
Routine Light Thriller with Charismatic Young Actress
7 December 2004 | by (Tunbridge Wells, England) – See all my reviews

In some of her early films, such as 'Tiger Bay' or 'Whistle Down the Wind', Hayley Mills revealed herself to be one of Britain's most remarkable child actresses, but as an adult her films were generally unremarkable. The light family films she made in her teenage years for Disney and others can be seen as marking a stage in her decline to the ordinary from the extraordinary. Indeed, they were possibly a cause of that decline; had she been given more demanding roles during this period she might have matured into a bigger adult star. The studios' determination to fit her into the role of Teenage Virgin Queen occupied a few years earlier by Sandra Dee might also have made it more difficult for the public to accept her as an adult woman.

'The Moonspinners' is a typical offering from her Disney period. The teenage Nikky Ferris arrives for a holiday in Crete with her aunt, a musicologist who wants to make recordings of Cretan folk-music. The owner of their hotel, however, is unwelcoming and his behaviour soon arises Nikky's suspicions that he is involved in some criminal enterprise. Nikky meets and befriends a young Englishman, Mark, and the two soon find themselves involved in a search to recover some stolen jewels.

Several other reviewers compare this film to the work of Alfred Hitchcock. The film is a mixture of romantic comedy and thriller, although I felt that the romance and comedy elements predominate over the suspense elements to a greater extent than they ever do in Hitchcock, even in his lighter films. The scene where Nikki and Mark are rescued from the windmill, however, did strike me as very Hitchcockian; I wondered if it was intended as deliberate homage to the similar scene involving Joel McCrae in 'Foreign Correspondent'.

My general impression of the film was that it was, despite some attractive location photography, a fairly routine light thriller. Peter McEnery, as Mark, makes an uncharismatic leading man, and the principal baddies (Eli Wallach as suspicious, surly foreigner and John Le Mesurier as smooth but hypocritical English gentleman) are drawn straight from the Official Hollywood Scriptwriter's Guide to Stock Villainous Characters. There is an amusing cameo from Sheila Hancock as Le Mesurier's alcoholic wife, but the best thing about the film is the presence of Hayley herself. She reminded me of Audrey Hepburn whose charisma and presence frequently enabled her to make memorable what would otherwise have been very ordinary thrillers or romantic comedies. Hayley was, of course, considerably younger than Audrey and (in my view) less classically beautiful, but shared with her the ability to carry a film through charm and charisma. 'The Moonspinners' is not in the same league as Hayley's best films, but it is worth watching for a chance to see this fine young actress. 6/10


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