Hayley Mills (as Polly) goes on vacation with a rich, disagreeable aunt to Singapore. Frumpish, bespectacled and lumpily dressed, she timidly obeys her aunt’s constant demands for attention and looks suitably badgered.
But the relation dies from taking a swim too soon after a heavy lunch, and this sparks off the transformation scene. Polly is encouraged by an Indian acting as guide and helpmate to have her hair done, exchange her glasses for contact lenses,and indulge in a riot of makeup. She emerges as a siren.
Derived from a Noel Coward short story – itself written in the vein of Somerset Maugham – the script goes all out for sentiment, and, on its undemanding level, achieves it.