Despite good reviews, and Hayley Mills' popularity with young audiences at the time, the film failed at the box office. Rather than being re-issued in theaters, it was initially shown two years later, in three parts, on the Disney Sunday night TV show.
The meaning and relevance of the film's "The Moon-Spinners" title is that it refers to a Cretan inn hotel owned by Sophia (Irene Papas) where Nikky (Hayley Mills) and Aunt Frances Ferris (Joan Greenwood) stay. In the movie, it is also referred by a character as being a Greek restaurant in Soho.
One of the most notable Hitchcockian style thriller scenes in the picture was the windmill suspense sequence. Alfred Hitchcock had previously directed one in 1940's Foreign Correspondent (1940) around a quarter of a century earlier.
This feature film was distributed in the USA with the forty minute Disney support short Yellowstone Cubs (1963) which had previously been released as part of a double-feature bill with Disney's Savage Sam (1963).
In the film's source novel of the same name by Mary Stewart the lead character of Nikky Ferris (Hayley Mills) travels alone but in this movie adaptation she is accompanied by her Aunt Frances Ferris (Joan Greenwood).