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The Parent Trap (1961)

Teenage twin sisters swap places and scheme to reunite their divorced parents.

Director:

David Swift

Writers:

Erich Kästner (book), David Swift (written for the screen by)
Reviews
Popularity
4,057 ( 857)

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Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 2 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Hayley Mills ... Susan Evers / Sharon McKendrick
Maureen O'Hara ... Maggie McKendrick
Brian Keith ... Mitch Evers
Charles Ruggles ... Charles McKendrick (as Charlie Ruggles)
Una Merkel ... Verbena
Leo G. Carroll ... Rev. Dr. Mosby
Joanna Barnes ... Vicky Robinson
Cathleen Nesbitt ... Louise McKendrick
Ruth McDevitt ... Miss Inch (as Ruth Mc Devitt)
Crahan Denton ... Hecky
Linda Watkins ... Edna Robinson
Nancy Kulp ... Miss Grunecker
Frank De Vol ... Mr. Eaglewood
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Storyline

Hayley Mills plays twins who, unknown to their divorced parents, meet at a summer camp. Products of single parent households, they switch places (surprise!) so as to meet the parent they never knew, and then contrive to reunite them. Written by Stewart M. Clamen <clamen@cs.cmu.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

It's Strictly a Laugh Affair See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Family | Romance

Certificate:

G | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Disney's Official Site

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

21 June 1961 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Operación Cupido See more »

Filming Locations:

Santa Clarita, California, USA See more »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$25,150,385, 31 December 1961

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$29,650,385
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Walt Disney Productions See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound Recording)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.75 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The actor who plays "Mr. Eaglewood", the director of the boy's camp, is Frank De Vol. He was not only a gifted character actor, but he was also a composer. He did the soundtracks for many great films and TV shows. See more »

Goofs

In the isolation cabin, whilst the twins are getting acquainted, Susan's shoes change from white sneakers to blue flats (that Sharon had been wearing). See more »

Quotes

Mitch Evers: Would you mind putting on something decent?
Margaret 'Maggie' McKendrick: I'm dressed perfectly decent.
Mitch Evers: Yeah, running around in my bathrobe. The priest could come in here any minute, it looks like we just...
Margaret 'Maggie' McKendrick: Like we what?
Mitch Evers: Just go upstairs and put on some clothes!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Black-ish: The Peer-ent Trap (2015) See more »

Soundtracks

Reveille - Bugle Call
(uncredited)
Traditional
See more »

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User Reviews

Sassy, warm and genuinely funny
2 October 2001 | by TJBNYCSee all my reviews

"Family" movies usually make me cringe. Saccharine plots, cloying kiddie actors, goopy dialogue...no, thank you! But "The Parent Trap" succeeds admirably as both children-friendly fare and reasonably witty, sophisticated comedy.

The high-class production values don't hurt, and neither does the superb cast, right down to the character roles. The ever-dependable Una Merkel is a gem as the smart-talking maid, having lost none of her streetwise timing since her brassy blonde days in the 1930's. Charlie Ruggles is extraordinarily lovable as the grandfather, and Cathleen Nesbitt plays wonderfully against type as the domineering grandmother. Leo G. Carroll once again benefits a film simply by his appearance, and even Nancy "Miss Hathaway" Kulp is on board as a butch camp counselor (quite a stretch).

Of course, at the heart of it all, is the bravura performance of Hayley Mills as twins Susan and Sharon. She's never revoltingly sweet--there's a winning streak of spice in her personality that separates her from all other child stars. Plus, her kicky pre-Beatles British accent and snub-nosed beauty lend her a more worldly air than her contemporaries.

The ravishing Maureen O'Hara, in one of her last major roles as the twins' mother, Maggie, begins the film as a nondescript cipher, but her glamorous metamorphosis in the latter half of the film shows just how funny and sexy she can be. Mitch, the twins' father, is played by the ruggedly handsome Brian Keith, who generates the right mixture of roughneck toughness and paternal warmth.

And the criminally-overlooked Joanna Barnes plays Vicki, the predatory golddigger looking to sink her claws into Mitch. Vicki's verbal duels with Maggie and the twins are surprisingly catty for a children's film, and delivered with perfect villainy.

The very 1961 flourishes are priceless: the hopelessly tone-deaf Tommy Sands and Annette Funicello "singing" the theme song; the "formal" dance, with the girls all decked out in crinolines and laces; Susan plastering her bungalow wall with pictures of her favorite pin up boys (Rick Nelson!); and, my personal favorites, Sharon and Susan showing each other their parents' photos: hyper-posed, glamorous Hollywood 8x10 glossies!

The plot actually plays like a highly sanitized Rock Hudson/Doris Day bedroom farce, except that Susan and Sharon direct the course of action. You know what the ending will be even before you watch the movie, but it doesn't really matter. This is a delicious bon-bon of a flick, as irresistible to adults as to their children.


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