Director: Robert Stevenson
Original Release: 1964
Choice: Our Girl's
My Overall Rating: 4 stars out of 5
Mary Poppins is, of course, a film classic. It's become an important story for our family as well. The audiobook of the original P.L. Travers novel, charmingly narrated by Sophie Thompson, has been a favorite on road trips. Also, Our Girl's dance studio used the story as its central theme for a recital a few years back. Our Girl was one of the dancing penguin waiters. She knows the movie well enough to know when "her part" is coming up.
Mary Poppins is also an essential chapter in one of the great career-launch stories. Julie Andrews was already a Broadway legend by the time she made her film debut as Mary. However, the only reason she was available was that she'd been passed over for the role of Eliza Doolittle in the film version of My Fair Lady, the very part which had carried her to stardom on stage. The producers at Warner Bros. felt she wouldn't be a big enough draw. They cast Audrey Hepburn instead with Marni Nixon dubbing the songs. While both films were enormously successful, Andrews surely had the last laugh. She won the Oscar for Best Actress and Poppins was Disney's biggest box office hit to that point. The following year, she starred as Maria in The Sound of Music, cementing her place as ruling queen of the Hollywood musical pantheon.
- Our Girl claims to like the film version better but I prefer the book and I'm pretty sure My Wife does, too. If anything, the book has enhanced my appreciation for the movie.
My Rating System:
5 = The best of the best. These are the films by which I judge other films.
4 = High quality films which I feel could hold up well in repeated viewings.
3 = The vast majority of films. They're fine. Once was enough.
2 = I wasn't even sure I wanted to finish it. It's not a 1 because I'm not prepared to say it's a terrible film - just not my cup of tea.
1 = A terrible film. An insult to the art form.