This Disney movie is based on a book by Mary Stewart.  Stewart is a good writer and I’ve enjoyed other of her suspense novels such as Thunder on the Right and This Rough Magic.

Teenaged Nikki (Hayley Mills) and her Aunt Francis (Joan Greenwood) are visiting Greece one summer, and stop in an isolated hotel, named the Moon-Spinners.  They are given an inhospitable greeting by the innkeeper and her brother but this does not deter them.   Nikki spies a young man named Mark and promptly falls into a crush with him.  But all is not well, as the innkeeper and her brother have secrets.

I was thoroughly disappointed by this movie, and parts of it annoyed me.

For example, the townspeople are celebrating a wedding with a traditional dance. Then Nikki and Mark decide to enliven the party with the most graceless version of the twist I have ever seen.

I like Hayley Mills in the Parent Trap, Pollyanna, and so on. Nevertheless…

Somebody really had it in for the poor woman because neither her costumes, makeup, nor the lighting is flattering to her. If that weren’t enough, she does this cringe-worthy screaming and crying and flopping about whenever anything happens. 

People in these categories should not watch this movie: Mary Stewart fans, Hayley Mills fans, mystery fans, or fans of well-paced movies with credible characters.

Everybody else is encouraged to try it.

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2 thoughts on “Moonspinners (1964)

  1. Hayley’s presence alone is enough to lift any movie up to the status of ‘must see’. I may be in the minority, but I thought Hayley looked very cute in this one.

  2. Hi Gene,

    Hayley is awesome. While I didn’t think she looked all that great in this movie, she behaved charmingly except when the script got in the way.

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