Monday, August 9, 2010

#47 - The Parent Trap - 1961

The 5th movie I chose to watch this week was the Disney classic The Parent Trap and no not the one with Lindsey Lohan! Anything with the word classic wouldn't involve that individual. This was the 1961 Disney hit starring Haley Mills, Maureen O'Hara, and Brian Keith. Easily the oldest film I watched this week and probably since the beginning of the marathon but one that I am glad I chose! Below is my detailed review.

The story is pretty simple and very entertaining. Haley Mills stars as both Susan Evers and Sharon McKendrick. They are twins who don't know they are sisters until meeting at a camp one year. After figuring out they are sisters and were separated when they were younger they came up with a plan to pull a little switercheroo. Sharon would go back and live with her Dad in California while Susan would go to Boston and live with her Mom. It was quite the devious plan but would unite the daughters with the parents they never really knew.

All went well at first when they got to spend time with the parents they never really knew. They enjoyed the time they spent with them and were dedicated to find out information about their parents and why they split. Things were going well at first but then that all changed pretty quickly. Their Dad Mitch (Keith) had met someone named Vicky and had quickly become quite smitten with her to the point of talking marriage and everything. This deeply disturbed Sharon and she quickly had to call Susan to advise her of what was taking plan and they needed to put in place a plan of action and do it quickly. Obviously this is exactly what happened and when Susan brought out her Mom to be reunited with Mitch things got quite comical but ended up having quite the happy ending.

Being an older film, almost 50 years old in fact I was a little suspect at first and wondering if I should have chosen another film to enjoy this week but after seeing the first 10 minutes I was reminded of why I liked it so much way back when I originally saw it for the first time. I loved the campy atmosphere and outdoor settings this film had to offer. Starting out with those scenes reminded me of when I went to camp one year only difference being mine was obviously not an all girls camp, haha. The classic tent cabins, large dining halls, and midnight pranks were such a reminder of what makes camps so great! The prank scene itself was awesome and those girls pulled off quite the prank if I might say so myself. I will however have to admit that the revenge prank was pretty darn good as well and much more embarrassing. I mean having the back of your dress cut off for your underwear to be exposed while at the big dance would be pretty mortifying! This all led to an extravagant fight that marred the dance and had cake and punch flying in the air like bullets.

It was after these back to back pranks that Susan and Sharon were forced to the Isolation Cabin and what I thought was even funnier, the Isolation Table while at the dining hall. At first the girls were still angry with each other but soon after they began to conversate with each other through which they discovered they were sisters. In the cabin and during their meals at the dining hall is where they conceived up the devious plan to switch places. In one of the scenes in the cabin one of them (cant remember which one at that time) was snacking on a fig newton. Call me crazy but I didn't even know those things were that old. I thought maybe they were a circa 1970's snack.

After the camp scenes and when the sisters go back home to see the parents it gets quite interesting especially for Sharon who is visiting and spending time with her father Mitch for the first time. Mitch's love interest Vicky is basically a money hungry gold digger as one would say who is only interested in Mitch for his money and Sharon can see right through her even if her Dad cannot. One thing I found incredibly creepy was the voice of Vicky's mother, Ms. Robinson when she first met Sharon at the golf course. She sounded like the wicked witch of the west in the Wizard of Oz, it was downright creepy!! Right from the get go Sharon was suspect of Vicky and she had good reason to be. She talked Susan into explaining to their Mom what was taking place and Susan and Margaret "Maggie" decided to head out to California to see for themselves what was taking place.

After arriving in California the girls tell their father what is taking place and immediately try to push their Mom and Dad back together but there is one problem and her name is Vicky. Vicky and her mother actually had arrived back home with Mitch and a pastor and were planning on Vicky and Mitch getting married right then and there that day. Plans obviously changed when Vicky realized that Maggie was in town. Mitch was quite confused and after a camping trip that was planned to reunite the two parents was disrupted by Vicky the game plan quickly changed from reuniting their parents to breaking up Vicky and their father. The camping trip included some of my favorite scenes.

When they went camping it was quite obvious Vicky was not much of an outdoors' type of person. The girls took advantage of this in every way possible including placing a lizard on her cantina, urging her to walk into the "shallow" lake even though it was quite deep, and pranking her with strings, honey, and toothpaste in her tent. When Vicky awoke to a small bear cub licking the honey off her toes it was quite hilarious. The camping trip pretty much sealed the deal for Mitch with Vicky especially after seeing her slap the daughters in the face after the prank. Mitch had enough of her and after recreating their romantic first date the daughters performed the famous "Lets Get Together" song and dance which made this movie famous. Their very adorable rendition of this song and their dedication to get their parents back together eventually worked as this film, like most Disney ones, had a very happy ending. I found it very unique that the final thing you see as the film ends is a sign that read's "Bless Our Broken Home". The dance that my wife and I first danced to at our wedding was "Bless the Broken Road" by Rascal Flatts so that just reminded me of that. Overall I really enjoyed this film and for it being a movie that was almost 50 years old and one that had a run time of 129 minutes that actually surprised me. With all that being said I would easily give this movie an A-!

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