The Parent Trap (1961)

129 mins | Comedy | 21 June 1961

Director:

David Swift

Writer:

David Swift

Cinematographer:

Lucien Ballard

Production Designers:

Carroll Clark, Robert Clatworthy

Production Company:

Walt Disney Productions
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HISTORY

Principal photography commenced 19 Jul 1960 at Walt Disney Studios in Burbank, CA, under the working title Petticoats and Bluejeans, according to a 19 Aug 1960 DV production chart. Filming was still underway as of mid-Oct 1960, as stated in a 17 Oct 1960 DV brief. Five days of location shooting took place in Carmel, CA, according to an article in the 30 Oct 1960 LAT, which also noted that teenage actress Hayley Mills’s family accompanied her to Carmel. Mills’s work days reportedly began with a 7:30 a.m. ride to set and a 5 p.m. return home.
       A preview screening of the film, then titled The Parent Trap, was held for Walt Disney Productions stockholders on 16 May 1961, following a stockholders’ meeting in Burbank, according to a DV item published that day. The film was set to be released on 4 Jul 1961 at Radio City Music Hall in New York City, as noted in a 22 Feb 1961 DV brief. However, the picture ultimately debuted on 21 Jun 1921 at the Capitol Theatre in New York City, and opened two days later at the Vogue Theatre in Los Angeles, CA, where it showed exclusively for an unspecified amount of time, as stated in the 18 Jun 1961 LAT and NYT. A national release was slated for early Jul 1961, according to the 14 Jun 1961 DV.
       Disney reportedly protested Columbia Pictures’ plans to release a film called The Male Trap, as stated in a 14 Jun 1961 DV news brief, claiming ... More Less

Principal photography commenced 19 Jul 1960 at Walt Disney Studios in Burbank, CA, under the working title Petticoats and Bluejeans, according to a 19 Aug 1960 DV production chart. Filming was still underway as of mid-Oct 1960, as stated in a 17 Oct 1960 DV brief. Five days of location shooting took place in Carmel, CA, according to an article in the 30 Oct 1960 LAT, which also noted that teenage actress Hayley Mills’s family accompanied her to Carmel. Mills’s work days reportedly began with a 7:30 a.m. ride to set and a 5 p.m. return home.
       A preview screening of the film, then titled The Parent Trap, was held for Walt Disney Productions stockholders on 16 May 1961, following a stockholders’ meeting in Burbank, according to a DV item published that day. The film was set to be released on 4 Jul 1961 at Radio City Music Hall in New York City, as noted in a 22 Feb 1961 DV brief. However, the picture ultimately debuted on 21 Jun 1921 at the Capitol Theatre in New York City, and opened two days later at the Vogue Theatre in Los Angeles, CA, where it showed exclusively for an unspecified amount of time, as stated in the 18 Jun 1961 LAT and NYT. A national release was slated for early Jul 1961, according to the 14 Jun 1961 DV.
       Disney reportedly protested Columbia Pictures’ plans to release a film called The Male Trap, as stated in a 14 Jun 1961 DV news brief, claiming the title infringed on        The Parent Trap.
       The picture was an overwhelming commercial success. An article in the 24 Oct 1961 DV listed The Parent Trap as one of the top ten highest-grossing first run attractions in Los Angeles that year, with a regional gross of $687,266. By 4 Oct 1962, LAT reported that The Parent Trap had become Disney’s “all-time moneymaker.” The 12 Jan 1962 LAT stated that Disney’s earnings for the previous fiscal year had been the “best in the company’s 23-year history,” lowering the studio’s long-term debt from $32.1 million to $15 million.
       Critical reception was largely positive, with routine praise going to Hayley Mills, who had received an honorary Academy Award for Most Outstanding Juvenile Performance the previous year for her work in Pollyanna (1960, see entry), also a Walt Disney production directed by David Swift. The 28 May 1961 LAT review noted that the title was “the one unattractive detail about this treasure of a movie,” and commented on its length, but stated it was “extra fine.” Meanwhile, a review in the 3 May 1961 DV critiqued the 129-minute running time, stating the picture “would benefit from judicious snipping.” Mills won Best Juvenile Female Performance from Film Daily’s annual poll of U.S. entertainment critics, as noted in the 15 Jan 1962 LAT. Film editor Philip W. Anderson was nominated for an Academy Award for Film Editing and won an ACE Award for Best Film Editing Achievement from the American Cinema Editors, according to the 23 Feb 1962 LAT. The Parent Trap was also nominated for an Academy Award for Best Sound. It was named “outstanding family film of 1961” by the Federation of Motion Picture Councils, and received Parent magazine’s gold medal for “outstanding family entertainment” for the month of Jun 1961, according to items in the 28 Apr 1961 DV and 16 Apr 1962 DV.
       According to an item in the 12 Apr 1962 DV, actress Maureen O’Hara won the “annual gag ‘Poscar’ poll,” in which an actor or actress deemed responsible for the most “popcorn-munching in theatres” received his or her weight in popcorn from Tennessee’s popcorn growers. Although O’Hara claimed she weighed only 124 pounds, she received 125 pounds of popcorn, which she handed out to patients at a children’s hospital.
       A comic book based on the film was released by Dell Publishing in 1961. The original song “Let’s Get Together,” originally designed for Haylely Mills as “a teenage song with a beat,” was released by Buena Vista Records, and set a record for the label by selling 200,000 units in its first two weeks of release, as noted in the 20 Sep 1961 DV. By 18 Oct 1961, DV reported the record had sold over 800,000 copies.
       Disney produced three made-for-television sequels: The Parent Trap II (1986), The Parent Trap III (1989), and Parent Trap: Hawaiian Honeymoon (1989, see entry), in which Mills reprised her dual roles. In 1998, the studio produced a feature film remake, also titled The Parent Trap (see entry), which starred Lindsay Lohan in her theatrical feature film debut.
More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
19 Aug 1960
p. 8.
Daily Variety
17 Oct 1960
p. 1.
Daily Variety
22 Feb 1961
p. 4.
Daily Variety
28 Apr 1961
p. 7.
Daily Variety
3 May 1961
p. 3.
Daily Variety
16 May 1961.
---
Daily Variety
9 Jun 1961
p. 3.
Daily Variety
14 Jun 1961
p. 6.
Daily Variety
14 Jun 1961
p. 8.
Daily Variety
20 Sep 1961
p. 6.
Daily Variety
18 Oct 1961
p. 2.
Daily Variety
24 Oct 1961
p. 96.
Daily Variety
24 Oct 1961
p. 146.
Daily Variety
18 Jan 1962
p. 2.
Daily Variety
9 Feb 1962
p. 2.
Daily Variety
12 Apr 1962
p. 2.
Daily Variety
16 Apr 1962
p. 3.
Los Angeles Times
30 Oct 1960
Section B, p. 4.
Los Angeles Times
28 May 1961
Section B, p. 3.
Los Angeles Times
18 Jun 1961
Section B, p. 2.
Los Angeles Times
26 Jun 1961
Section C, pp. 9-10.
Los Angeles Times
12 Jan 1962
Section C, p. 9.
Los Angeles Times
15 Jan 1962
p. 26,
Los Angeles Times
23 Feb 1962
Section C, p. 13.
Los Angeles Times
4 Oct 1962
Section C, p. 13.
New York Times
18 Jun 1961.
---
New York Times
22 Jun 1961
p. 23.
New York Times
14 Jan 1962.
---
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXT
A Walt Disney Production
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
PRODUCERS
Assoc prod
WRITER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
Set dec
COSTUMES
Cost des
MUSIC
SOUND
Sd supv
Music ed
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec photog eff
MAKEUP
Makeup
Hairstyles
PRODUCTION MISC
Seq cons
Dial coach
Special titles
Special titles
Special titles
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the novel Das doppelte Lottchen by Erich Kästner (Vienna, 1949).
SONGS
"The Parent Trap," "For Now for Always" and "Let's Get Together," music and lyrics by Richard M. Sherman and Robert B. Sherman, sung by Tommy Sands and Annette Funicello.
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
Petticoats and Bluejeans
Release Date:
21 June 1961
Premiere Information:
New York opening: 21 June 1961 at the Capitol Theatre
Los Angeles opening: 23 June at the Vogue Theatre
Production Date:
began 19 July 1960
Copyright Claimant:
Walt Disney Productions
Copyright Date:
14 April 1961
Copyright Number:
LP19429
Physical Properties:
Sound
RCA
Color
Technicolor
Duration(in mins):
129
Country:
United States
Language:
English
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

Sharon McKendrick and Susan Evers are identical twins whose parents were divorced when the girls were infants. Sharon has lived with her mother, Maggie, while Susan has lived with her father, Mitch; neither knows of the other's existence. Now, after 14 years, the twins are accidentally reunited when they are sent to the same summer camp. They take an initial dislike to each other (Sharon is a proper Bostonian while Susan is a rowdy Californian), but before long they discover their relationship, and as the summer progresses they become close friends. They decide to get their parents together again, and when camp is over, they switch places in order that each may meet the parent she has never known. Neither parent is aware of the deception until Sharon learns their father is planning to marry a conniving gold digger, Victoria Robinson. The two children then reveal their true identities and force Maggie to bring Susan back to her California home. In their efforts to get rid of their father's fiancée, the girls enlist Maggie's aid and then proceed to make life so miserable for Victoria that she abandons all thoughts of marrying Mitch. Goaded on by the scheming youngsters, Mitch and Maggie resolve their marital differences and decide to make a second trip to the ... +


Sharon McKendrick and Susan Evers are identical twins whose parents were divorced when the girls were infants. Sharon has lived with her mother, Maggie, while Susan has lived with her father, Mitch; neither knows of the other's existence. Now, after 14 years, the twins are accidentally reunited when they are sent to the same summer camp. They take an initial dislike to each other (Sharon is a proper Bostonian while Susan is a rowdy Californian), but before long they discover their relationship, and as the summer progresses they become close friends. They decide to get their parents together again, and when camp is over, they switch places in order that each may meet the parent she has never known. Neither parent is aware of the deception until Sharon learns their father is planning to marry a conniving gold digger, Victoria Robinson. The two children then reveal their true identities and force Maggie to bring Susan back to her California home. In their efforts to get rid of their father's fiancée, the girls enlist Maggie's aid and then proceed to make life so miserable for Victoria that she abandons all thoughts of marrying Mitch. Goaded on by the scheming youngsters, Mitch and Maggie resolve their marital differences and decide to make a second trip to the altar. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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