Cast & Crew
Vacationing in Crete with her Aunt Frances, a musicologist, 17-year-old Nikky Ferris learns that their reservations at the Moon-Spinners Hotel have not been recognized, but hostile owners Stratos and his sister, Sophia, reluctantly give them a room. They meet Mark Camford, a young British expatriate, artist, and skindiver, apparently having a running feud with Stratos. Because of her attraction to Mark, Nikky becomes involved when she finds him wounded in a deserted church where he crawled after being ambushed and shot by Lambis, Stratos' cohort, the night before. Her complicity uncovered, Nikky is imprisoned by Stratos in a windmill. After being rescued by Mark and Sophia's son, Alexis, Nikky learns from Mark that he was sacked from his job as a messenger for a London bank because of a jewel robbery he believes Stratos to have committed. The couple then encounter Anthony Gamble, a self-styled British consul who as Stratos' partner is planning to sell the jewels to Madame Habib, a millionairess. These revelations send Mark on a chase after Stratos, while Nikky appeals to Madame. Following a struggle, the police board Madame's yacht, apprehend Stratos, and thereby exonerate Mark.
John Le Mesurier
A. G. Scott
Arthur J. Vitarelli
Hayley Mills, daughter of esteemed British actor Sir John Mills and author/actress Mary Hayley Bell, made her film debut in Tiger Bay in 1959. That performance impressed audiences and critics alike, earning the young actress a BAFTA Award for Most Promising Newcomer to a Leading Film Role. Her performance also caught the attention of Walt Disney, who cast her as the lead in his adaptation of Pollyanna (1960), which also earned her accolades, including a special juvenile Academy Award--putting Mills in excellent company alongside some of the greatest child actors, including: Judy Garland, Shirley Temple, Margaret O'Brien, Mickey Rooney and Bobby Driscoll. With the success of Pollyanna, Mills continued making one film a year for the next five years for Walt Disney, such as The Parent Trap (1961), In Search of the Castaways (1962), Summer Magic (1963), The Moon-Spinners and That Darn Cat! (1965), her final film for Disney.
By the early 1960s, Walt Disney had built a reputation for not only quality and groundbreaking animated feature-length films, but live-action family films--both original stories and literary adaptations. The Moon-Spinners sets itself apart from many of the Disney live-action films of the era as it's a bit more mature and darker, with Mills playing a young woman with a romantic love interest, rather than an adolescent girl. Also, The Moon-Spinners was one of the last films that Walt Disney was involved with as a producer before his death in 1966. One of the most impressive aspects of many of the live-action Disney films was the use of on-location photography. For the production of The Moon-Spinners, director James Neilson took the production on-location in Crete, as that scenery couldn't be realistically portrayed in a studio. The production also filmed in London, with interiors at Pinewood Studios in England.
The Moon-Spinners was one of the last film performances by Joan Greenwood, the highly-respected, husky-voiced British actress of stage and screen, starring in numerous costume dramas and comedies for Gainsborough Pictures and Ealing Studios, including: Saraband for Dead Lovers (1948), Kind Hearts and Coronets (1949), The Man in the White Suit (1951), The Importance of Being Earnest (1952) and Tom Jones (1963).
The Moon-Spinners was also the final on-screen performance for actress Pola Negri, who rose to stardom during the silent film era, continuing to act throughout the 1930s and eventually retiring in 1943 after her performance in Hi Diddle Diddle. Walt Disney, along with the film's co-producer Bill Anderson, both personally appealed to Negri to coax her out of retirement to appear in the film.
Director: James Neilson
Producer: Walt Disney
Screenplay: Michael Dyne
Cinematography: Paul Beeson
Editing: Gordon Stone
Cast: Hayley Mills (Nikky Ferris), Eli Wallach (Stratos), Peter McEnery (Mark Camford), Joan Greenwood (Aunt Frances Ferris), Irene Papas (Sophia), Michael Davis (Alexis), John Le Mesurier (Anthony Gamble), Paul Stassino (Lambis), Sheila Hancock (Cynthia Gamble) and Pola Negri (Madame Habib).
By Jill Blake
They cannot have lied. The stars cannot lie...- Stratos
Everybody lies when it serves their purpose, even the stars- Madame Habib
Locations filmed on Crete and in the town of Elounda, Greece. Opened in London in July 1964.
Released in United States 1964
Released in United States 1964