HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Dolce Vita, La
Pig
I Am Belmaya
Lodger, The
Show, The
Beta Test, The
Medium, The
John and the Hole
Survivalist, The
Ape Woman, The
Black Widow
Cop Secret
Dark Eyes of London, The
V/H/S/94
Fay Grim
Night of the Animated Dead
Freshman Year
Escape Room: Tournament of Champions
Anne at 13,000 Ft.
Even Mice Belong in Heaven
Death Screams
Freakscene: The Story of Dinosaur Jr.
Demonia
East, The
Mandabi
Seance
Green Knight, The
Beasts of No Nation
One of Our Aircraft is Missing
Picture Stories
Another Round
Tape, The
Limbo
Supernova
Man Who Sold His Skin, The
Sweetheart
No Man of God
Gaia
Oliver Sacks: His Own Life
Scenes with Beans
   
 
Newest Articles
Fable Fear: The Singing Ringing Tree on Blu-ray
Gunsight Eyes: The Sabata Trilogy on Blu-ray
Bloody Bastard Baby: The Monster/I Don't Want to Be Born on Blu-ray
Night of the Animated Dead: Director Jason Axinn Interview
The ParaPod: A Very British Ghost Hunt - Interview with Director/Star Ian Boldsworth
On the Right Track: Best of British Transport Films Vol. 2
The Guns of Nutty Joan: Johnny Guitar on Blu-ray
Intercourse Between Two Worlds: Twin Peaks Fire Walk with Me/The Missing Pieces on Blu-ray
Enjoy the Silents: Early Universal Vol. 1 on Blu-ray
Masterful: The Servant on Blu-ray
70s Sitcom Dads: Bless This House and Father Dear Father on Blu-ray
Going Under: Deep Cover on Blu-ray
Child's Play: Children's Film Foundation Bumper Box Vol. 3 on DVD
Poetry and Motion: Great Noises That Fill the Air on DVD
Too Much to Bear: Prophecy on Blu-ray
Truth Kills: Blow Out on Blu-ray
A Monument to All the Bullshit in the World: 1970s Disaster Movies
Take Care with Peanuts: Interview with Melissa Menta (SVP of Marketing)
Silent is Golden: Futtocks End... and Other Short Stories on Blu-ray
Winner on Losers: West 11 on Blu-ray
Freewheelin' - Bob Dylan: Odds and Ends on Digital
Never Sleep: The Night of the Hunter on Blu-ray
Sherlock vs Ripper: Murder by Decree on Blu-ray
That Ol' Black Magic: Encounter of the Spooky Kind on Blu-ray
She's Evil! She's Brilliant! Basic Instinct on Blu-ray
   
 
  Moon-Spinners, The Hayley goes crazy in Crete
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, ThrillerBuy from Amazon
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 3671 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 probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Darren Jones
Jason Cook
Enoch Sneed
Andrew Pragasam
  Desbris M
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt
   

 

Last Updated: