Pollyanna

Pollyanna

4.3 12
Director: David Swift

Cast: David Swift, Jane Wyman, Hayley Mills, Richard Egan

     
 

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Eleanor H. Porter's story of Pollyanna, "The Glad Girl," was first filmed in 1920 by Mary Pickford. While entertaining, the Pickford version tended to reduce the supporting characters to stereotypes. Disney's 1960 remake of Pollyanna wisely offers three-dimensional characterizations, enhancing the charm and believability of the story. In her first Disney filmSee more details below

Overview

Eleanor H. Porter's story of Pollyanna, "The Glad Girl," was first filmed in 1920 by Mary Pickford. While entertaining, the Pickford version tended to reduce the supporting characters to stereotypes. Disney's 1960 remake of Pollyanna wisely offers three-dimensional characterizations, enhancing the charm and believability of the story. In her first Disney film (indeed, her first American film), Hayley Mills stars as Pollyanna, an orphan girl sent to live with her wealthy aunt Polly (Jane Wyman). A humorless sort, Aunt Polly is taken aback by Pollyanna's insistence upon seeing the happy side of everything. With her best friend and fellow orphan, Jimmy Bean (Kevin "Moochie" Corcoran), Pollyanna spreads her sunshine all over town, transforming such local curmudgeons as hypochondriac Mrs. Snow (Agnes Moorehead), hellfire-and-brimstone Reverend Ford (Karl Malden), and reclusive Mr. Pendergast (Adolphe Menjou) into positive, life-affirming sorts. This she does not by being simpering or syrupy, but by applying common sense and refusing to indulge anyone's self-pity. Only Aunt Polly refuses to warm up. As the owner of the town orphanage, Aunt Polly will not hear of having a new, more modern facility built, and when handsome Dr. Chilton (Richard Egan) stages a charity bazaar in defiance of Aunt Polly, Pollyanna is forbidden to attend. She escapes to the bazaar by climbing down the tree next to her upstairs window; but when trying to return home, Pollyanna falls and injures her legs. Facing possible permanent paralysis, the "Glad Girl" is for the first time disconsolate and pessimistic. Her spirits are uplifted by the townsfolk whom she's helped, and finally by Aunt Polly, who's realized the folly of her stubbornness. Ebulliently optimistic once more, Pollyanna leaves town for an operation, as the townsfolk cheer her up and cheer her on. Possibly because it was perceived as having only little-girl appeal (a false perception indeed), Pollyanna was not the big hit that it should have been in 1960. Its latter-day reputation as one of Disney's finest features rests primarily on its many successful television showings. The film was remade for television with an all-black cast as Polly in 1989.

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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Donald Liebenson
Although Walt Disney's legacy is to a great extent based on his studio's animated features, the company produced many live-action family films in the 1950s and '60s, many of which remain dearly beloved today. Pollyanna is one such film, and it shines anew on DVD in this definitive two-disc "Vault Disney" edition that includes a treasure trove of archival goodies plus fun and fascinating features. Based on the book by Eleanor H. Parker, Pollyanna is a timeless portrait of turn-of-the-century small-town America. Hayley Mills, in her screen debut, earned a special Academy Award for her disarming performance as Pollyanna, a recently orphaned girl sent to live with her Aunt Polly (Jane Wyman), a stern, patrician woman who has the townspeople under her thumb. The spirited and optimistic Pollyanna, though, melts hearts like no one since Shirley Temple. Her "glad game" transforms the lives of a self-pitying hypochondriac (the wonderful Agnes Moorehead), the town recluse (Adolph Menjou), the chandelier-rattling preacher (Karl Malden), and eventually, Polly herself. Kevin Corcoran, one of Disney's most popular child stars, costars as mischievous Jimmie Bean, a fellow orphan whom Pollyanna befriends. Disc One contains warm audio commentary with Mills and director David Swift as well as a bonus Mickey Mouse cartoon, "The Nifty Nineties." The second disc boasts segments about the making of the film and Walt Disney's folksy introduction for the film's television broadcast. The "Vault Disney" collection also includes Old Yeller, Swiss Family Robinson, and The Parent Trap.
All Movie Guide - Craig Butler
American audience came to know (and adore) Hayley Mills from her star-making turn in Pollyanna, and even decades later it's easy to see why. Mills is a total delight as the title character, using her considerable charm and appeal to its full without ever becoming cloying. Indeed, although Pollyanna has a reputation as an insufferable do-gooder, that reputation is entirely unearned. She may be a "glad girl" who always tries to see the bright side, but she's not annoying about it; she doesn't come across as a goody two-shoes but as someone who sincerely loves life and people and sincerely wants everyone to appreciate the everyday joys that surround them. Mills makes all of this perfectly clear, creating a character that is entirely winning. As a result, as cornball as the ending is, it's still effective and guaranteed to bring a tear to the eye. The rest of the cast, from the steely Jane Wyman to the crabby Agnes Moorehead and the reclusive Adolphe Menjou, are all quite good. David Swift's direction is solid, creating a charming portrait of bygone Americana, and his screenplay artfully avoids many of the pitfalls that this kind of picture can fall into. The result is a sweet, engaging family film that keeps its corn to a minimum.

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Product Details

Release Date:
02/04/1997
UPC:
0786936028621
Original Release:
1960
Rating:
G
Source:
Walt Disney Video

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Jane Wyman Aunt Polly Harrington
Hayley Mills Pollyanna
Richard Egan Dr. Edmund Chilton
Karl Malden Reverend Paul Ford
Nancy Olson Nancy Furman
Adolphe Menjou Mr. Pendergast
Donald Crisp Mayor Karl Warren
Agnes Moorehead Mrs. Snow
Kevin Corcoran Jimmy Bean
James Drury George Dodds
Reta Shaw Tillie Lagerlof
Leora Dana Mrs. Paul Ford
Anne Seymour Mrs. Amelia Tarbell
Edward Platt Ben Tarbell
Mary Grace Canfield Angelica
Jenny Egan Mildred Snow
Gage Clarke Mr. Murg
Nolan Leary Mr. Thomas
Edgar Dearing Mr. Gorman
Harry Harvey Editor
William Newell Mr. Hooper
Ian Wolfe Mr. Neely

Technical Credits
David Swift Director,Screenwriter
Gertrude Casey Costumes/Costume Designer
Carroll Clark Art Director
Robert Clatworthy Art Director
Walt Disney Producer
George Golitzen Producer
Frank Gross Editor
Russell Harlan Cinematographer
Ub Iwerks Special Effects
Chuck Keehne Costumes/Costume Designer
Emile Kuri Set Decoration/Design
Fred MacLean Set Decoration/Design
Pat McNalley Makeup
Walter Plunkett Costumes/Costume Designer
Paul J. Smith Score Composer

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