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British musicologist Frances Ferris (Joan Greenwood) and her late teen niece Nikky Ferris (Hayley Mills) are travelling through Crete recording Greek folk songs for the BBC. In the usually quiet coastal town of Aghios Georgios, they manage to get a room at an inn called "The Moon-Spinners", despite the people at the inn being busy preparing for a wedding, and no one there, except Alexis (Michael Davis), the young teen son of the proprietress Sophia (Irene Papas), he who is fond of spouting current popular Americanisms in his slightly broken English, seeming to want them there. Frances and Nikky learn from Alexis that the unwelcoming feeling is all because of his maternal Uncle Stratos (Eli Wallach), who has become a man suspicious of anyone ever since his recent return from London after being away for fifteen years. Beyond those there for the wedding, the only other guest at the inn is a young Englishman named Mark Camford (Peter McEnery), who they befriend. Nikky is too preoccupied ...Written by
No classic, but very pleasing, old-fashioned, middlebrow entertainment of a kind we used to take for granted. A little comedy, a little romance, a lot of action, plenty of eye-filling locations, and, in particular, a trio of wonderful women. Hayley's charming in one of her first puppy-love roles; Joan Greenwood, of the delicious voice, is, as always, indispensable; and Pola Negri does some spirited scenery-chewing in a prominent cameo. They thoroughly outclass the men, including a hammy Eli Wallach and a pallid Peter McEnery.
Nothing about it is exceptional, but everything about it is at least competent. The direction is a little obvious: Every time a Maguffin appears in the script, Neilson pulls in for a close-up. Perhaps that's a sop to help the kiddies follow the story, though, despite the Disney imprimatur, it's not really a little-kids' film. On the contrary, it's one of Disney's least cloying, and one of the most appealing for grownups.
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