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Coming of age story for two girls, Mary Clancy and Rachel Devery, who find themselves as students at the St. Francis Academy, a catholic boarding school for girls. The story spans three years and follows the girls and their many pranks including setting off fire alarms, smoking cigars in the basement and putting bubble baths in the nuns' sugar bowls. As the girls mature, they gain a greater respect for their teachers and the commitment and devotion required to be a nun, leading one of them to make a life changing decision. Written by
A halo appears over the A when the Columbia name appears on the torch lady logo. Then, Hayley Mills' "Angel" cartoon appears from behind the A, flies around the screen a bit, then blows out the Columbia torch. See more »
I absolutely love this movie. It is absolutely charming. Haley Mills does a great job as Mary Clancy, an orphaned teenage girl who is sent to a convent school by an uncle who thinks the nuns will "straighten her out" and who, in reality mostly doesn't want to be bothered by Mary or his own daughter. June Harding is a bit annoying as Rachel Devery, but I suspect that the character is supposed to be annoying (she's clumsy, a bit whiny and has a weird habit of licking her fingers and slicking down her bangs.) Her story is that her father was sick of the progressive school she was attending (aptly named "New Trends Academy"). The girls become friends immediately and a begin a four year "reign of terror" at the convent. And Rosalind Russell is great as Mother Superior, who in spite of her aggravation with Mary, comes to know that Mary NEEDS the convent school, whether Mary herself knows it or not.
What I like best about this movie is that the pranks the girls play and the scrapes that they get themselves into are funny without being malicious, violent or dangerous. My six year old has recently fallen in love with the original "The Parent Trap" and "Pollyana" and I plan to show her this soon. I was born the year this came out, so I don't know for sure, but I would guess that it was not marketed as a "kid" movie, and yet it is totally appropriate movie for young girls. The same certainly can't be said for most movies today that are marketed as "kid flicks". While I don't shield my daughter from all these movies today, it is nice to know that I can pop this movie in and she and I can snuggle up together and enjoy a movie with no violent or mean humor (Home Alone, Dennis the Menace), no vulgarity and really nothing offensive at all. I also find it refreshing that the characters grow and mature into better and wiser people by the end, which is rare in movies.
I'd just like to add that I have heard complaints that Haley Mills was too old to play the role of Mary. While it is true that Mary was probably supposed to be about 13 at the opening of the film, and around 17 or 18 at the end, and Haley was 20 when it was made, this never bothered me. When I first saw it, I didn't know her age, and she didn't look 20 to me!
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