HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Meg, The
Christmas Blood
Equalizer 2, The
1985
Mowgli
Ski School
Ant-Man and the Wasp
Age of Shadows, The
Mission: Impossible - Fallout
Othello
First Reformed
Red White and Zero
Death Wish
Cry Wilderness
Heiresses, The
Millhouse: A White Comedy
Skyscraper
Born of Fire
Teen Titans Go! To the Movies
Lucia
Yanks
Sweet November
Ballad of Buster Scruggs, The
Real Men
Shoplifters
Redeemer
Incredibles 2
Big House, The
Night Eats the World, The
War Bus
   
 
Newest Articles
A Name to Conjure With: David Nixon's Magic Box on DVD
Which 1950s Sci-Fi was Scariest? Invaders from Mars vs The Blob
The Empire Strikes Back: Khartoum vs Carry On Up the Khyber
Stan and Ollie's Final Folly: Atoll K on Blu-ray
The Big Grapple: Escape from New York and Its Influence
The Conquest of Everett: The Kenny Everett Video Show on DVD
Bout for the Count: Hammer's Dracula in the 1970s
Nopes from a Small Island: Mistreatment of American Stars in British Films
You Know, For Kids: Children's Film Foundation Bumper Box
If He Were a Carpenter and It Was the 80s: The Fog, Prince of Darkness and They Live
Tee-Hee, It's 80s Sci-Fi Horror: Night of the Comet, The Stuff and Night of the Creeps
Chance of a Ghost: The Uninvited and The Ghost and Mrs. Muir
3 Simian Slashers: Phenomena, Link and Monkey Shines
When is a Jackie Chan Movie Not a Jackie Chan Movie? Armour of God and City Hunter
Anytime Anywhere: The Complete Goodies at the BBC Episode Guide Part 2
   
 
  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 2336 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
Stately Wayne Manor
George White
Paul Smith
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
Aseels Almasi
Rashed Ali
   

 

Last Updated: