Pollyanna (1960 film) facts for kids

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Pollyanna
Pollyanna (1960 film) poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by David Swift
Produced by David Swift
Walt Disney
Associate Producer:
George Golitzen
Screenplay by David Swift
Starring Hayley Mills
Jane Wyman
Karl Malden
Richard Egan
Adolphe Menjou
Agnes Moorehead
James Drury
Music by Paul Smith (Score)
Cinematography Russell Harlan
Editing by Frank Gross
Studio Walt Disney Productions
Distributed by Buena Vista Distribution
Release date(s) May 19, 1960 (1960-05-19)
Running time 134 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $2.5 million
Money made $3.75 million (US and Canadian rentals)

Pollyanna is a 1960 live action drama Walt Disney Productions feature film, starring child actress Hayley Mills, Jane Wyman, Karl Malden, and Richard Egan, in a story about a cheerful orphan changing the outlook of a small town. Based on the novel Pollyanna (1913) by Eleanor H. Porter, the film was written and directed by David Swift. The film marks Mills's first of six films for Disney, and it won the actress an Academy Juvenile Award.

Plot

Pollyanna, a 12-year-old orphaned daughter of missionaries, arrives in the small town of Harrington to live with her rich and strict aunt, Polly Harrington, in the 1900s. Pollyanna is a very cheerful, talkative and radically optimistic youngster who focuses on the goodness of life and always finds something to be glad about, no matter the situation. In doing so, Pollyanna's positive outlook on everything results in her making a wide variety of friends in the community, including the hypochondriac and grouchy Mrs. Snow and the acidic recluse Mr. Pendergast.

Aunt Polly's wealth controls most of the town. When the citizens want a derelict orphanage razed and rebuilt, Aunt Polly opposes the idea, arguing that her father donated the building to the town and, as such, it is an important landmark. The townspeople defy her by planning a carnival to raise funds for a new structure. Because of the control Aunt Polly asserts over every facet of the town, however, many people feel reluctant to show their support.

A group of citizens led by Dr. Edmond Chilton, Aunt Polly's ex-boyfriend, tries to persuade the town's minister, Rev. Ford, to publicly declare his support for the bazaar by reminding him that "nobody owns a church." Rev. Ford is reminded of the truth of that statement when Pollyanna delivers a note from Aunt Polly with recommendations to his sermon content.

At church the following Sunday, having gained the gumption to defy Aunt Polly, Rev. Ford declares his support for the bazaar and encourages all to attend. Aunt Polly becomes furious about their audacity, forbidding Pollyanna to participate. On the evening of the carnival, Pollyanna is locked in her attic bedroom by Aunt Polly, but is "rescued" by playmate and fellow orphan Jimmy Bean, who reminds her that she will lead "America, The Beautiful" at the high point of the event. With Jimmy's help, she slips away and has a wonderful time at the carnival, winning a doll.

Upon returning home, she avoids Aunt Polly by climbing a tree to her attic bedroom. When trying to reach her bedroom window, she drops her new doll; Pollyanna then falls out of the tree and is knocked unconscious before being discovered by Aunt Polly and her maids. After realizing her legs are paralyzed and that she may not walk again, Pollyanna develops severe depression, jeopardizing her chance of recovery. Meanwhile, Aunt Polly feels extreme guilt when she realizes how her behavior has isolated her from the town and Pollyanna. While talking to Dr. Chilton, she admits that her niece needed love and it was something she never gave her. Dr. Chilton tells Aunt Polly that they can give Pollyanna the love together and help mend the isolation she put on the townsfolk. When the townspeople learn of Pollyanna's accident, they arrive at Aunt Polly's house with outpourings of love. Dr. Chilton carries the reluctant girl downstairs, where, one by one, the neighbors wish her health. Pollyanna's spirit gradually returns to its usual hopefulness and love of life, and she also learns that Jimmy has been adopted by Mr. Pendergast. Pollyanna is embraced by her aunt before they leave Harrington with Dr. Chilton for an operation in Baltimore, which will correct her injury.

Cast

  • Hayley Mills as Pollyanna Whittier
  • Jane Wyman as Polly Harrington, Pollyanna's aunt
  • Kevin Corcoran as Jimmy Bean, an orphan who is eventually adopted by Mr. Pendergast
  • Richard Egan as Dr. Edmond Chilton, Polly Harrington's ex-boyfriend
  • Karl Malden as Reverend Ford, the church minister
  • Agnes Moorehead as Mrs. Snow, a hypochondriac
  • Jenny Egan as Mildred Snow, Mrs. Snow's daughter
  • Adolphe Menjou as Mr. Pendergast, a recluse who eventually opens his heart and adopts Jimmy
  • Reta Shaw as Tillie Lagerlof, the cook
  • Mary Grace Canfield as Angelica, the upstairs maid
  • Nancy Olson as Nancy Furman, the downstairs maid and Pollyanna's new best friend
  • James Drury as George Dodds, Nancy's boyfriend
  • Leora Dana as Mrs. Ford, Reverend Ford's wife
  • Gage Clarke as Mr. Murg, the town mortician
  • Donald Crisp as Mayor Karl Warren, Dr. Chilton's uncle
  • Edward Platt as Ben Tarbell, Amelia Tarbell's husband
  • Anne Seymour as Amelia Tarbell
  • Ian Wolfe as Mr. Neely
  • Nolan Leary as Mr. Thomas
  • Edgar Dearing as Mr. Gorman

Director David Swift cameos as a fireman in an early scene.


Pollyanna (1960 film) Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.