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Before a certain red-haired starlet wandered onto the scene in the latest remake of this fun classic, there was Hayley Mills playing the part of twins in The Parent Trap. The 1961 Technicolor treat is summery, sweet, and filled with fashion eye candy, plus kitschy musical numbers!
Let’s review, shall we?
At summer camp, Susan Evers and Sharon McKendrick (both Hayley Mills) bump into each other for the first time. The girls realize they have strikingly similar features, which doesn’t sit well with them, and a prank war ensues. To get them back in line, they’re forced to spend time together bonding. And while they’re brooding in their cute camp uniforms (replete with turquoise ties and matching leaf-shaped badges), they come to the conclusion that they are, in fact, identical twins separated by their divorced parents.
Image via Flick Facts
Susan very much wants to meet the mother she’s never known, and Sharon feels the same way about her father. The twins decide to capitalize on their similar looks, and they scheme to switch places once camp ends. After a few scissor snips, it becomes nearly impossible to tell the two apart.
Image via Imagineering Disney
Susan goes to Boston to meet mom, and Sharon goes to California to meet dad. This all happens while the girls don adorable, vibrant dresses and matching accessories.
With all the pretending, it’s not long before Susan and Sharon find themselves well in over their identical heads. Turns out, dad is set to marry a rather wretched woman, and they enlist mom Maggie (Maureen O’Hara) in their quest to stop the wedding, revealing the truth about their switched places.
Image via fanpop
Now, the entire family is reunited in California. It takes dad Mitch (Brian Keith) a little while to catch on, but once he does, magical musical happenings occur, with “Let’s Get Together” being the most memorable one by far (yeah, yeah, yeah). Susan and Sharon can finally let their true personalities shine, and if these outfits don’t say “1960s, here we come,” I don’t know what does.
Image via D23
So, we’re reunited, and it feels so good! Well, kinda. Mom, in a gorgeous aqua dress, and dad are getting along, falling into old patterns, but then they start to clash on opinions, and remember why they divorced in the first place. There’s also dad’s new fiancée, Vicky Robinson (Joanna Barnes) standing in the way.
Susan and Sharon, after so many years apart, are not willing to be separated again so easily, however. They want their family to be whole again, and in order to prevent mom from fleeing back to Boston, they confuse their folks by talking and acting the same. They want some more time together, and this stalling tactic, they say, will last until after everyone has gone on a family camping trip. Mom, in a chic green dress with a bold gold brooch and delicate white gloves, reluctantly agrees.
As it happens, the twins had to have inherited their penchant for trickery from somewhere, and apparently, it’s derived from mom’s genes. Mom manages to get the vicious Vicky to take her place on the camping trip.
Alas, Vicky doesn’t fare so well out in the wilderness. Susan and Sharon can’t help but utilize their propensity for pranks to terrorize the woman. Vicky ends up slapping one of the girls, which finally makes Mitch realize she’s not the person he thought she was. And really, he just wants to be with mom, that lovely lady whose fashion sense we adore.
In the end, the identical twins’ efforts to be together are rewarded. Mom and dad remarry with Susan and Sharon by their sides.
Image via fanpop
Have you seen the 1961 Parent Trap? Which scene or outfit is most memorable for you?
1960s, fashion in film
Oh, the scene at the camp dance! When I was a kid, I DROOLED over all the dresses.
My daughter (11) and I watched this together recently. I bought it at the Salvation Army. I liked Maureen O’Hara’s “Boston” clothes best, although I thought all the clothes were yummy! Ditto “The World of Henry Orient” and “All That Heaven Allows.”
This is my all-time favorite movie! I grew up watching it over and over and I still watch it often. Of course, I love all the old fashion, but I think my favorite thing is the California Ranch House… such a dream!!!
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