The Parent Trap

The data on "The Parent Trap" below was taken from two of the Maureen O'Hara Fan Club Journals that was headed by the late John Kolcun.  Mr. Kolcun chronicled a vast store of information on Ms. O'Hara during his tenure as fan club president that included just about everything printed on Maureen in the major newspapers, periodicals, fan magazines, etc.  It is because of his hard work and dedication during the height of Maureen's career in the 50's and 60's that I am able to share with you the information he acquired on "The Parent Trap" - one of the most popular of Ms. O'Hara's films.

Critics' Comments on Maureen in "The Parent Trap"

Paul V. Beckley, in the N.Y. Herald Tribute - "Miss O'Hara is imposing enough in her role of the very proper Bostonian, but does look much more at home in the less formal atmosphere of Carmel.

Boston Daily Record - "Pretty redheaded Miss O'Hara is at her best, visually and histrionically, as the mother in a dilemma."

Catholic Preview of Entertainment - "Maureen O'Hara has sly restraint as mother."

Nadine M. Edwards in a Los Angeles paper - "Maureen gives a notable Performance."

Hazel Flynn in a Los Angeles paper - "Maureen O'Hara as the mother is as attractive and as capable an actress as ever, and that's saying a bookful."

Edward Southern Hipp, in the Neward, N.J. News - "Miss O'Hara looks more beautiful than ever."

George H. Jackson, in the Los Angeles Herald Express - "Maureen O'Hara, who has never looked more beautiful for the color cameras, plays the other, a staid Boston type on the surface but with an inner fire which comes out when she discovers her x-husband is about to make a fatal plunge with a fortune hunter."

Dorothy Masters - in the N.Y. Daily News - "Maureen O'Hara and Brian Keith perk up the amusement as unwitting candidates for the parent trap.

Walter Winchell, in the N.Y. Daily Mirror - "Maureen O'Hara, who is igniting 'The Parent Trap' with her flame-haired beauty, began taking acting lessons when she was five years young.  After seven years of learning how to act, she was offered the lead in a drama produced by Ireland's famed Abbey Theatre. She turned it down for a screen test. The results was a role in 'Jamaica Inn' --which made her a star.

Dick Williams, Entertainment Editor of a California paper - "Miss O'Hara remains a gorgeous creature - just as good looking and slim as when she first starred in the film 'Jamaica Inn' with Charles Laughton 22 years ago.

Archer Winsten in a New York City newspaper - "Maureen O'Hara walks that narrow line between matron and beauty and she succeeds in being attractive on both counts.

Cobina Wright in the Los Angeles Herald Express - "Maureen O'Hara, as the twins' mother, is breathtakingly lovely and has an opportunity to utilize her fine voice."

Early Box-Office Reports on "The Parent Trap"

The Parent Trap opened at the Capitol Theater in New York on June 21, 1961.  In the initial round at the theater it did a nice start business of  $36,000 for the first week. The pic had great matinees but sluffing off some at night.

Variety of /28/61 said that the pic was winding up 7th at the boxoffice, and likely would be heard from in the future.  (Little did they know - try the next century).  The same week it did a boffo and mighty business in Chicago, a smash business in Philadelphia and a shopping business in Los Angeles.

Variety charted the success of the film from 7/12 to 8/2.  It played in 21 key cities and won a 3rd place slot at the box-office.  As weeks passed it wavered between 7th and the week of 8/2/61 climbed back to 4th spot.  In Toronto it did a rousing $60,000 wham business in a 122-house tie-in!!!

The Press Book Reports on "The Parent Trap"

Miss O'Hara, considered one of the most beautiful women in the United States, proves to be sensationally effective as a comedienne in her drawing-room repartee with Keith

The red-headed Miss O'Hara was a beauty and a dexterity with dialogue that rates her a latter-day Irene Dunne.

Maureen O'Hara, whose sunburn-haired beauty is only matched by her gorgeous singing voice, proves to be a drawing-room commedienne in the famed Irene Dunne tradition. She traded barbs, innuendo and fisticuffs with husky brian Keith in a series of usually delightful, sometimes side-splitting situations.  Maureen is an extremely youthful mom to Keith's youngish papa in this charming story.

Strolling through a Boston Park, Maureen does a wonderful job of singing "For Now For Always."  Once it is heard on this Disney sound track all of America will be reminded of what a beautiful and lovely voice she has--a voice she spent most of her brilliant acting career trying to sell to producers.   But no one would give her  a chance, until Perry Como put her across on one of his television shows in 1958.

Tie-in "Parent Trap" Items Sold by Disney

Don't forget to purchase an album on Vista long-play from THE PARENT Trap.  Album No. BV-3309 - Monaural is $3.98.  On Medallion records (a produce of Kapp records) you may purchase Maggie's Theme" from "The Parent Trap", featuring the Vardi and the Medallion STrings.  Also, the New London Long-Play album presents music by The Cambridge Strings, features "Maggie's Theme from "The Parent Trap."

Other top tunes on Vista singles are: F-376, H. Mills and H. Mills sings "Let's Get Together" backed by "Cobbler, Cobbler."  F-377, Camarata conducts "Maggie's Theme from The Parent Trap (For ow For Always).  F-380, Bob Brabeau, with the Camarata Orchestra sings "For Now For Always" backed by "Miracle at Lourdes." F-378, a vocal chorus rendition of The Lilting Novelty song from the film, "Whistling at the Boys." And Tommy Sands and Annette sing out with their version of THE PARENT Trap and "Let's Get Together." Available in both 45 and 33 RPM. Single No. F-803 (45 RPM) and Single No. C-803 (33RPM). The Olympic Dist. Corp. of 614 W. 51st St. is the Disneyland Record Distributor in the NY City area.

The Dell Publishing Co. has released a colorful 10-cent comic book on the merry story of The Parent Trap in the kid's favorite reading form.  It was distributed by over 800 independent magazine wholesalers.  Please get a copy from your local magazine dealer.

And have you been following the King features syndicate in the Sunday color comic series of "The Parent Trap"?  This is a delight in print for the whole family.  It is scheduled for 13 family weeks beginning on July 2, 1961. The series appears from coast to coast in 55 newspaper with a combined readership in excess of 40,000.

How nice it was to see a full-page ad of The Parent Trap in the April 19th issue of Variety. A Los Angeles paper had one of the biggest photos of this movie yet, size 10x12 and the NY Sunday News of June 25th had a really beautiful 6 x 8 colored photo of Maureen in a scene from this really funny movie.

Dateline Boston
John L. Steele, Jr.


July 25, 1961 in downtown Boston, the marquee of the Metropolitan Theater announces that Maureen O'Hara and Brian Keith are starring in "The Parent Trap!  Not many blocks away, the Pilgrim Theater was in an uproar over the opening of "The Deadly Companions," starring Maureen O'Hara and Brian Keith. Across the street and a few doors down a record store window contained a display of the sound track recording from "The Parent Trap"

Alan Frazer, in his "My Boston" column of June 30th issue of the Boston Eve. American said that Boston takes a gentle ribbing in this film.  People are laughing happily at his Disney picture and are almost unable to believe that one child star, H. Mills, is playing both girls.  Her cleverness is matched by camera tricks.  The twins are depicted together innumerable times. Those aren't the only tricks; because Maureen O'Hara and Hayley Mills, who are shown in a long sequence in the Public Garden, never came to Boston at all for these shots. during the taking of the Boston scenes, Linda Sherry of Scottsdale, Ariz., formerly of Boston, acted as a stand-in for H. Mills.

Boston American 7/31/61.  Another story remains about Maureen O'Hara on her recent visit to Boston. She was autographing hundreds of pictures at the Pilgrim Theater when an executive, to have a little fun with  her, slipped in a blank check. She signed it. BUT the name she signed was "Miriam Horowitz." There's a story about this name," said Maureen and when she had a breathing spell, she told it. She was making her first picture for RKO when a Hollywood columnist spied her and asked, "Who's the redhead?"..."That," said a wag, "Is Maureen O'Hara, but her right name is Miriam Horowitz and she's from the Bronx." THE columnist wrote and sent out a story about the new actress and her curious change of names. He learned too late that Maureen was from Ireland and that her real name was Maureen FitzSimons.