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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
In its own charming (if dated) way, this movie shows the value of cooperation in trying to solve problems. Additional themes include communication and teamwork.
Positive Role Models
Susan and Sharon begin as archrivals who grow to love each other when they realize they're identical twins. They employ cooperation and creativity to try to reunite their family -- but they also deceive their parents and pull pranks on a woman they don't like.
Violence & Scariness
An angry woman slaps a tween girl in the face. Aside from this, mild comedic pratfalls and slapstick-style violence. A woman hits a man in the eye. Two girls slap and shove each other at a summer camp dance and fall to the ground while rolling around.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Very tame hints at sex, as a father thinks his tween daughter is about to have a "birds and the bees" discussion, but she tells him she already knows all about it. A maid thinks a girl is beginning to go through puberty and tries getting her to discuss what she's going through. A father finds a large bra on the doorknob of his bathroom.
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Characters drink wine at lunch and dinner, but do not act intoxicated. Cocktails are consumed during an informal gathering between potential future in-laws and a priest, but, again, no one acts intoxicated. Characters smoke cigarettes throughout the film. A man makes reference to his ex-wife by saying that she "married some drunk."
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this is the original 1961 version of The Parent Trap, in which long-separated twins (both played by Hayley Mills) join forces to try to reunite their divorced parents (the 1998 remake starred Lindsay Lohan). The roles men and women play in relationships are more than a little dated, despite the fact that the film was ahead of its time in addressing what was then the touchy subject of divorce. Some kids may be alarmed at the idea of the twins being split up, and divorced parents may need to remind kids that most couples don't get back together. An angry woman slaps a tween girl in the face, and there are comedic pratfalls and some slapstick-style violence (the twins are mischievous, but their intentions are good). Adult characters are shown smoking cigarettes and drinking cocktails and wine. Bottom line? The Parent Trap has stood the test of time and remains a charming movie that's entertaining for the entire family. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
Quaintly old-fashioned by today's standards, this classic still charms, thanks to heartfelt performances of stars Hayley Mills, Brian Keith, and Maureen O'Hara. The story line here is virtually the same as in the 1998 remake, with the main difference being Mitch and Maggie's rather dated notions about the war between the sexes. Hayley Mills believably plays both Susan and Sharon and shines in the movie's memorable musical number, "Let's Get Together," which the remake omits.
For kids who are willing to watch a movie that unfolds at a more leisurely pace, The Parent Trap is an entertaining relic from a time when kids were far less knowing. As an added bonus, parents will enjoy the interplay between the movie's adults, which is deeper and more dramatic than in the remake.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.