HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Penny Slinger: Out of the Shadows
Girls Town
Burning
Hitchhikers, The
For All Mankind
Glass Key, The
Captor, The
Hide in Plain Sight
Wildlife
X2
Rolling Thunder Revue: A Bob Dylan Story by Martin Scorsese
Heiress, The
Cold Pursuit
Firestorm
Dogs of War, The
Holy Mountain, The
Piercing
Under Fire
Jennifer on My Mind
People on Sunday
Lethal Weapon 4
Downhill Racer
Emily
Odette
Escape Room
Across the Pacific
Madeline's Madeline
You're Gonna Miss Me
Iron Sky: The Coming Race
Derby
Mortal Engines
Union City
Knife+Heart
Little Stranger, The
Sauvage
Watermelon Man
Wandering Earth, The
Good Fairy, The
Killer Party
Holmes & Watson
   
 
Newest Articles
Woo's the Boss: Last Hurrah for Chivalry & Hand of Death on Blu-ray
Get Ahead in Showbiz: Expresso Bongo and It's All Happening
Outer Space and Outta Sight: Gonks Go Beat on Blu-ray
Tucked: The Derren Nesbitt Interview
Locomotion Pictures: The Best of British Transport Films on Blu-ray
Roman Scandals: Extreme Visions from Ancient Rome
Spider-Wrong and Spider-Right: The Dragon's Challenge and Into the Spider-Verse
Monster Dog: Cujo on Blu-ray
For Christ's Sake: Jesus Christ Superstar and The Last Temptation of Christ
Not In Front of the Children: Inappropriate Kids Movies
Deeper into Ozploitation: Next of Kin and Fair Game
Between the Wars: Babylon Berlin Series 1&2 on DVD
Hard Luck Story: Detour on Blu-ray
Oh, What Happened to You? The Likely Lads on Blu-ray
Killer Apps: The Rise of the Evil 60s Supercomputers
   
 
  Moon-Spinners, The Hayley goes crazy in CreteBuy this film here.
Year: 1964
Director: James Neilson
Stars: Hayley Mills, Eli Wallach, Joan Greenwood, Irene Papas, Peter McEnery, John Le Mesurier, Sheila Hancock, Michael Davis, Pola Negri
Genre: Comedy, Thriller
Rating:  7 (from 1 vote)
Review: Young English girl Nikky (Hayley Mills) and her Aunt Francis (Joan Greenwood) arrive at the Moon-Spinners, a hotel on Crete, to a less than enthusiastic welcome. The owner, Sophia (Irene Papas) didn’t receive Nikky’s telegram and her cool demeanour is only out-done by the surliness of her brother Stratos (Eli Wallach). Recently back from London, he doesn’t want strangers hanging around, but the holidaymakers land a room. Partying amidst a Greek wedding, Nikky befriends handsome, mysterious English lad Mark (Peter McEnery) who promises to take her swimming, but he is shot at while investigating Stratos’ late-night activities on Dolphin Island. Nikky comes to the injured Mark’s aid and finds herself embroiled in adventure involving stolen jewels, nefarious criminals and the exotic Madame Habib (Pola Negri).

Disney family films from the fifties and sixties almost always instil warm and fuzzy feelings (Their live-action output throughout the 1980s is another matter entirely). However, often overlooked is their ability to lace such confections with thrills, spills and on occasion, a surprisingly dark edge. Darby O’Gill and the Little People (1959) and Emil and the Detectives (1964) are two fine examples, and so is The Moon-Spinners. A vehicle for the studio’s biggest star, the divine Hayley Mills, it’s a neat little thriller packed with tense sequences (Nikky hanging off a revolving windmill), strangeness (Stratos chased by hordes of angry cats), and well orchestrated action (Stratos trying to kill Mark with his speedboat). The film taps into teenage dreams: summer romance in exotic climbs, excitement, mystery and fun. Its Greek characters occasionally stray into caricature, which is perhaps inevitable given the genre and the period, but the film is never malicious and is mostly a warm portrayal of Crete. What’s more, as the conflicted Sophia, Greek actress Irene Papas delivers a very strong, committed performance considering this is a children’s film.

A strong supporting cast includes the wonderfully breathless Joan Greenwood, an urbane John Le Mesurier as the duplicitous Gamble, and Sheila Hancock who, in a rather touching scene, drunkenly confesses she’s trapped in a dreary marriage away from all her friends. Walt Disney himself coaxed silent screen siren Pola Negri out of her twenty year retirement. The actress worked many times with the great Ernst Lubitsch and is suitably arch and vampish in her final screen role. Neilson drives the action with skill, although the final confrontation is flatly staged. Peter McEnery has charisma, but appears too frail to tangle believably with tough guy Wallach. An almost fairytale like contrast is drawn between sweaty, shifty Stratos (Eli Wallach oozes menace) and Nikky’s fresh-faced innocence. Blonde, blue-eyed Hayley, blossoming into womanhood, is at her prettiest. She makes a plucky, resourceful heroine - always game enough to bamboozle baddies or bop them over the head. Mills and Negri share a sweetly funny scene where Nikki explains the whole breathless plot to an incredulous Madame Habib and winds up drinking too much of the brandy meant to calm her down. “You know something you’re rather a dear little thing!” she giggles at Madame Habib. That’s our Hayley in a nutshell.
Reviewer: Andrew Pragasam

 

This review has been viewed 2511 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star do you think makes the best coffee?
Emma Stone
Anna Kendrick
Michelle Rodriguez
Sir Patrick Stewart
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
  Rachel Franke
Andrew Pragasam
Enoch Sneed
  Derrick Smith
Paul Shrimpton
Darren Jones
George White
   

 

Last Updated: