Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBB. USA, 1960. Walt Disney Productions. Screenplay by David Swift, based on the novel by Eleanor H. Porter. Cinematography by Russell Harlan. Produced by Walt Disney. Music by Paul J. Smith. Production Design by Carroll Clark, Robert Clatworthy. Costume Design by Walter Plunkett. Film Editing by Frank Gross. Academy Awards 1960.
A perennial family favourite, this delightful Disney film is about a sweet young orphan (Hayley Mills) who comes to live with relatives and ends up charming an entire town. The formula, which involves cheering up old ladies and assisting with social problems, has been repeated many times since (including by Disney), but few have been able to capture this one’s freshness. Mills is delightful, and became the last actor ever awarded the Special Academy Award for Outstanding Performance by a Juvenile.