Review: ‘The Moon-Spinners’

With a mixture of American, English and Greek talents, engaged in a silly but zestful tale of villainy undone, told against some photogenic landscapes, Moon-Spinners naturally concentrates on Hayley Mills. With action the keyword in the loosely-knit script [from Mary Stewart's novel] this keeps the young lady perpetually on the move. Her adventures into first-puppy-love and feats of derring-do are accomplished with equal amounts of energy. She's never still long enough for her virtue or her life to be in danger.

With a mixture of American, English and Greek talents, engaged in a silly but zestful tale of villainy undone, told against some photogenic landscapes, Moon-Spinners naturally concentrates on Hayley Mills. With action the keyword in the loosely-knit script [from Mary Stewart’s novel] this keeps the young lady perpetually on the move. Her adventures into first-puppy-love and feats of derring-do are accomplished with equal amounts of energy. She’s never still long enough for her virtue or her life to be in danger.

Tale chiefly concerns two English females (Mills and Joan Greenwood) becoming involved in a jewel-theft adventure that concerns the Moon-Spinners, the Cretan inn where they’re staying. The intrigue includes an odd but colorful assortment of local types headed by Eli Wallach, a most hissable villain, his sister (Irene Papas) and a young, mysterious Englishman (Peter McEnery).

Wallach comes off best by playing his villainy straight # vicious, unfeeling and rotten to the core. He’d willingly shoot his nephew to keep the boy’s mother from ratting on him. Irene Papas, a superb Greek actress with a wonderfully expressive face, gives more dignity and feeling to her tiny role than it deserves.

The Moon-Spinners

UK

Production

Walt Disney. Director James Neilson; Producer Bill Anderson; Screenplay Michael Dyne; Camera Paul Beeson, John Wilcox, Michael Reed; Editor Gordon Stone; Music Ron Grainer; Art Director Tony Masters

Crew

(Color) Available on VHS, DVD. Extract of a review from 1964. Running time: 118 MIN.

With

Hayley Mills Eli Wallach Peter McEnery Joan Greenwood Irene Papas Pola Negri
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