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|Index||35 reviews in total|
From Walt Disney, an overly-involved story of jewel thieves and a young girl swept away by intrigue while vacationing in Crete. I understand why some say the film is sluggish or dull; it does drag, and has one too many plots going on, not to mention far too many characters who may-or-may-not be what they seem. However, Hayley Mills is enchanting as intrepid Nikky Ferris. She gets her ire up, gets to be silly, trades quips with Pola Negri (looking regal). Also fabulous: the dizzying sequence where Mills escapes villainous Eli Wallach by jumping from a windmill (beautiful camera-work and direction). Not a taut Hitchcockian mystery, but a good attempt at one. Terrific Terry Gilkyson theme song, fine supporting work from Wallach, Joan Greenwood and young Peter McEnery, who gives Hayley her first screen kiss. *** from ****
This movie is one of my favorites from the 1960's and I watch it again every once in a while. It's also one of my favorite Hayley Mills movies. The locations are beautiful, interesting and different. The story is a solid mystery with sympathetic characters, and Mills plays a feisty, strong young woman. The production values are a bit wanting, however, especially during the windmill scenes. There's delightful humor, also, especially in some unexpected sights. And Pola Negri gives a fine performance. I love this movie and recommend it for anyone who likes a good mystery or Hayley Mills or Crete.
No classic, but very pleasing, old-fashioned, middlebrow entertainment of a
kind we used to take for granted. A little comedy, a little romance, a lot
of action, plenty of eye-filling locations, and, in particular, a trio of
wonderful women. Hayley's charming in one of her first puppy-love roles;
Joan Greenwood, of the delicious voice, is, as always, indispensable; and
Pola Negri does some spirited scenery-chewing in a prominent cameo. They
thoroughly outclass the men, including a hammy Eli Wallach and a pallid
Nothing about it is exceptional, but everything about it is at least competent. The direction is a little obvious: Every time a Maguffin appears in the script, Neilson pulls in for a close-up. Perhaps that's a sop to help the kiddies follow the story, though, despite the Disney imprimatur, it's not really a little-kids' film. On the contrary, it's one of Disney's least cloying, and one of the most appealing for grownups.
I guess the script wasn't top-notch... Okay, it wasn't, but there are plenty of other things to concentrate on here. Pretty good performances from Eli Wallach as the villian, Hayley Mills and Peter McEnery as the detectives/romantic leads, and Irene Papas as the villian's nervous sister, who dosen't have much to do but makes an impression. Also, funny comic performances from Joan Greenwood as Mills' aunt and the appearence of Pola Negri, the silent screen star, as the jewel collector Madame Habib. The gorgeous scenery of Crete is also a big asset. I found the film to be pretty suspenseful and engaging throughout. I really wasn't sure just what was going to happen next. It did keep me on the edge of my seat in some spots. The only weak link was a very rushed and uneventful conclusion, but otherwise very well-done. This was Disney's answer to Hitchcock, and also an apparent attempt to get his young star, Miss Mills, into more adult roles after four years of excellent but very "kiddie" films for the studio. Unfortunately, she didn't get any more roles like this at Disney; her next and last was in "That Darn Cat!", a very enjoyable and funny film but still aimed more at kids. She ended up having to leave the studio, do a nude scene in another film, and have an affair with an older man in order to become more adult in the eyes of the world. Still, this was her starting point, and while Hitchcock could easily have topped this and any other suspense/mystery film, it's still fun to watch and suspenseful, never boring. See it; you won't be sorry.
The Moon-Spinners, which takes Hayley Mills to the island of Crete, is an exciting adventure story that's appropriate for children of all ages. Mills is Nikki Ferris, a young woman on vacation with her aunt. "Moon-Spinners" moves quickly into action and is definitely better than Mills' previous film, Summer Magic, because of its expansion and explanation of different characters' backgrounds. If you like Hayley Mills' Disney films, you'll love The Moon-Spinners".
I loved this movie. I first saw it when I was seven years old, so I developed my first crush on Haley Mills. I remember staring at a full moon and being transported to the Greek isles and holding hands with her and going on all sorts of adventures......sigh. and then there is The Truth About Spring and Search for the Castaways....a little boys heart was just a fluttering. Back to the Moon...I so wanted to be on that island to help her and her friend. I was all in knots during the wind mill adventure...wow for a seven year old that was very intense, especially for a country boy. I remember yelling at the movie screen when things got too intense, and I was very relieved when everything turned out OK. Yes the movie was very good and still would be good with another leading lady, but I am glad that Mr Disney found Haley Mills!
I enjoyed the story and the Hitchcock-like suspense in this film. Haley Mills was excellent and very beautiful, and she still is! Eli Wallach's acting was also very good, although he was better in The Good, The Bad and The Ugly. Too bad there was never a Moon Spinners sequel.
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
First off, I am a fan of Hayley Mills. That is why I saw this film in
the first place. I like her work and this Disney film has a certain
draw that I enjoy.
The setting (actually filmed there) is great and the music a nice backdrop. McEnery adds a nice romantic flair. What can I say? I liked him. I'll admit that the film has its faults, and it is not on any of my top film lists. The film drags on in several chunks of the story. You can read more on the plot from others, this is just my opinion overall.
But, if you like Hayley in late Disney style, off the coast of Greece somewhere helping McEnery against jewel criminals,... then this flick is for you.
:) GRADE: Low B
A passable time-filler from Disney. No great shakes in terms of script or direction, but it does feature some pretty well-executed stunts, and an extremely winning performance by Hayley Mills. Though sometimes sluggish, this thriller manages to remain reasonably absorbing most of the time and you can spend a fairly pleasant afternoon watching it.
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