CLASSIC REEL : Mary Poppins
Cast: Julie Andrews, Dick Van Dyke, David Tomilson, Glynis Johns, Karen Dotrice and Matthew Garber
Directed By: Robert Stevenson
Year of Release: 1964
Plot: After the nanny in the Banks household leaves in a huff, a very strange young woman appears from the sky in answer to the children's advertisement for a replacement, leading them to wonderful adventures.
The Walt Disney musical adaptation of P.L Travers' fantasy series was Julie Andrews' film debut after beginning her acting career on stage; accepting to play the 'firm but fair' English Nanny after being robbed of the chance to reprise her role of cockney flower girl Eliza Dolittle in the film adaptation of the stage musical-My Fair Lady- she starred in with Rex Harrison (who reprised his role of Professor Higgins in the film).
"I've seen it once or twice, and I've learned to live with it. It's glamorous and it's a good film on its own level, but I don't think it is very like my books."
The story begins when the nanny of Jane (Karen Dotrice, sister of Michelle who played Michael Crawford's loyal but long suffering wife in Some Mothers Do 'Ave Them) and Michael Banks (Matthew Garber) resigns after an annoying afternoon with the children- who actually ran to catch their kite.
Mary Poppins, along with Bert, not only gives the children new experiences but lessons, including learning to understand their father a bit more and George understanding them far more and being a better father and husband. The ending was especially touching, with him, his wife Winifred (Glynis Jones) and the children dashing off to the park to the song, "Let's Go Fly A Kite".
The film, as earlier mentioned, contained fabulous songs- "A Spoonful of Sugar", ''I Love To Laugh", "Feed The Birds", "Stay Awake", 'Jolly Holiday" and the unforgettable "Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious".
Fun for the whole family!
Julie Andrews won the Oscar for Best Actress for her role, beating Audrey Hepburn, who replaced her in the film version of 'My Fair Lady'. Happily, it didnt cause a rivalry between the two actresses.