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The Parent Trap is a 1961 Walt Disney film. It stars Hayley Mills, Maureen O'Hara and Brian Keith in a story about teenage twins and their divorced parents. The screenplay by the film's director David Swift was based upon the book Lottie and Lisa (Das Doppelte Lottchen) by Erich Kästner. Kastner derived his version from a Deanna Durbin film Three Smart Girls. The Parent Trap was nominated for two Academy Awards, was broadcast on television, saw three television sequels, was remade in 1998 with Lindsay Lohan, and has been released to VHS and DVD. The original film was Mills' second of six films for Disney.


Identical twins Susan Evers and Sharon McKendrick (Hayley Mills) meet at summer camp, unaware that they are sisters. Their identical appearance initially creates rivalry, and they continually pull pranks on one another. Eventually, their mischief ruins the camp dance. As punishment, they must live together in an isolated cabin for what remains of the summer. After both admit they come from broken homes, they soon realize they are twin sisters and that their parents, Mitch and Maggie (Brian Keith and Maureen O'Hara), divorced shortly after their birth, with each parent having custody of one of them. The twins, each eager to meet the parent they never knew, switch places. While Susan is in Boston masquerading as Sharon, Sharon goes to California pretending to be Susan.

Sharon telephones Susan in Boston with news that their father is planning to marry a gold-digger, and their mother needs to be rushed to California to prevent the union. In Boston, Susan tells her mother the truth about the switched identities and the two fly there.

With all four in California, the twins set about (with mild approval from their mother) sabotaging their father's marriage plans. Mitch's money-hungry, and much-younger, fiancée, Vicky Robinson (Joanna Barnes), receives rude, mischievous treatment from the girls and some veiled cattiness from Maggie. One evening, the girls recreate their parents' first date at an Italian restaurant with a gypsy violinist. The former spouses are gradually drawn together, though they quickly begin bickering over minor things and Vicky.

To delay Maggie's return to Boston with Sharon, the twins dress and talk alike so their parents are unable to tell them apart. They will reveal who is who only after everyone goes on the annual family camping trip. Mitch and Maggie reluctantly agree, but when Vicki objects to the plan, Maggie tricks her into taking her place. The girls effect the coup de grace: Vicky spends her time swatting mosquitoes and being awakened in terror by two bear cubs licking the honey the twins put on her feet. Exasperated, Vicky angrily slaps one of the girls, and Mitch ends the relationship. Mitch and Maggie rekindle their love, and the two remarry in the final scene with the twins in the wedding party.


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