Last weekend, I achieved 55 followers on 18 Cinema Lane! What a great way to start the new year! As I did last year, I will continue to review films that were released in the same amount of years as the number of followers I received. Because 55 is the number of followers I now have, this review will be about a film that was released 55 years ago (in 1964). I ended up choosing The Moon-Spinners because a) It happened to be on my DVR and b) it was a movie that I was meaning to watch last year, but never got around to it. Before last year, I had never heard of this movie or the Island of Crete. Because of this location and the story itself, I was really excited to see this film! I also have seen some of Hayley Mills’ other films, which were The Parent Trip, That Darn Cat, and pieces of Pollyanna. Because I have enjoyed those films, I had a feeling that I would probably enjoy The Moon-Spinners. Was I right in my prediction? Join me on my 11th review in my blog follower dedication series!
Things I liked about the film:
The acting: I really liked the cast of The Moon-Spinners! Everyone was so talented in this film, bringing the best of their acting abilities to their specific role. Hayley’s portrayal of Nikky was such a highlight in this film, making her performance as believable as possible. In the scene where Nikky has to escape from a windmill, the emotion of fear appeared so convincingly, that it truly made me believe that Hayley’s character was actually afraid of heights. I also liked Peter McEnery’s portrayal of Mark. Peter brought just as much believability to his role as Hayley did, helping me to stay invested in Mark’s involvement in the overall story. Whenever Mark was in pain, Peter affectively conveyed that emotion of pain on-screen.
The mystery story: In some mystery stories, the event that caused the mystery is usually shown within the first few minutes of the movie. This leads the rest of the movie to show how the characters solve the mystery. In The Moon-Spinners, the mystery unfolded as the story went along, allowing the audience to experience the surprises and react alongside the characters. I feel this was an engaging experience because it made me feel like I was on this journey alongside the protagonist, not just sitting in my seat and watching things happen on my screen.
The setting/scenery: The Moon-Spinners not only took place in Crete, but the movie itself was also filmed in Crete. The scenery that is found on this island was showcased very well in this film. What I liked about the scenery was how the different parts of Crete were incorporated into the story. While one part of the story took place at the beach, another part took place within ancient ruins. This showed the variety of locations that Crete had to offer, giving viewers a well-rounded depiction of this beautiful Greek location.
What I didn’t like about the film:
A small presence of musicology: In The Moon-Spinners, Nikky’s aunt, Frances, is a musicologist. This aspect of Frances’ character really fascinated me because I had never heard of this particular occupation before. I became more interested in musicology and how it could play a role in this film’s mystery story. However, there was only one scene that actually featured musicology in action. Also, musicology did not play a role within the mystery narrative. This was really disappointing because what I thought was such an interesting concept ended up becoming under-utilized.
Some of the night-time scenes: While watching this film, I noticed that some of the night-time scenes looked like were filmed in the day-time, but with a dark lens placed over the camera. I understand that film technology from the early to mid-60s is very different from the film technologies of the 2010s. However, this is just something that I noticed, with this knowledge staying in the back of my mind as these scenes played out on my television screen.
A limited presence of Greek culture: As I mentioned in my introduction, I had never heard of Crete prior to watching The Moon-Spinners. So, I was interested in seeing how the important parts that make up Crete (the people, customs, traditions, etc.) would be incorporated into this story. While this movie touched upon a wedding, a parade, and how The Moon-Spinners Inn acquired its name, the customs and traditions of Crete did not play as large of a role in the film as I had hoped. Plus, these things were not incorporated into the film’s mystery narrative at all.
My overall impression:
I really enjoyed The Moon-Spinners! Even though there were things about the film that could have better, I still thought the movie was good. The Moon-Spinners was an engaging and suspenseful mystery, with really good pieces incorporated into the film. Out of the two and a half films of Hayley Mills’ that I’ve seen, this movie is very different from those aforementioned movies. But, if you are a fan of Hayley Mills, I think you will enjoy The Moon-Spinners. I’m really glad I was finally able to see this film! It’s always great to discover new films, possibly find a hidden gem, and share them with others. Thank you to all of my 55 followers, as this review would not have been possible without you.
Overall score: 7.8 out of 10
What are your thoughts on my review? Which Hayley Mills film is your favorite? Share your thoughts in the comment section!
Have fun at the movies!