In Search of the Castaways (1962)

In Search of the Castaways (1962)

Directed by: Robert Stevenson

Starring: Hayley Mills, Maurice Chevalier, George Sanders

I decided to do a couple of these “challenges” that I have piling up. Today, five Disney movies from the 60’s starring Hayley Mills, one of the first big preteen girl starlets that Disney would use in just about everything they possibly could. Great.

Upon receiving a note in a bottle from their father who was lost at sea, two kids and an insane Frenchman enlist the help of a wealthy sailor and his son to find the missing captain. First they go to South America and trek across the Andes, only to find out that they were completely wrong as to where the guy is. Then they go to Australia, but they face a mutiny and are marooned on an island where they find another marooned crazy guy, who helps them finally get to New Guinea, where the titular castaways are.

This movie is absolutely ridiculous, but there’s just something about it’s unabashedly imperialistic attitude that makes it kinda charming. It’s also just weird to see a movie where nobody seems to react to incredible danger with fear or worry, or really anything besides benign happiness and singing. And then there’s the French guy… good lord, if this wasn’t a sappy kid’s movie, that guy would be the scariest fucking character I’ve ever seen in a film. He’s just so incredibly insane, I certainly wouldn’t trust him with the care of children (unless that care extends to gourmet cooking of said children).

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