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Tag Archives: Hayley Mills

The Trouble with Angels

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The Trouble with Angels

Image credit: The Trouble with Angels, 1966.

I’ve got the most scathingly brilliant idea. Let’s revisit the wonderful female-centric ’60s film The Trouble with Angels (Disc/Download) while drinking cocktails and worshiping at the altar of Rosalind Russell. I’m not a religious gal myself, but I’d still like to say a prayer of thanks to whoever made this movie happen. Without it, I might never understand the true greatness that occurs when men get the hell out of the way and let women take over.

Starring Hayley Mills and June Harding as precocious teens stuck at an all-girls Catholic boarding school, The Trouble with Angels is a story of friendship and finding one’s place in the world. As a lonely child watching this for the first time, I envied the friendship of Mary and Rachel like nothing else. To have a best friend that would be there for you through thick and thin (even if it means years of scrubbing pots), seemed like an impossible dream. Sure, these girls annoy the heck out of Mother Superior, played by the commanding Rosalind Russell, but it’s such a joy to watch them make mistakes, learn from them, and grow closer. For all the “good girls” out there like Rachel (and me),  we need a “bad girl” to show us that life is meant to be lived, and sometimes, rules are meant to be broken.

This film was one of my first forays into 1960s cinema, and I credit it with triggering a lifelong obsession. I wanted it all- the teased hair, the clothes, the pop culture references, and still do. Rachel’s teen dream is none other than Jack Lemmon, which made me love the actor before I ever saw him strain spaghetti through a tennis racket in The Apartment. Rachel loves Jack Lemmon, so I love Jack Lemmon. I also love this lemon cocktail that’s as fizzy, sweet, and tart as the film itself. While watching The Trouble with Angels, I recommend drinking a glass of Lemmon-ade.


1.5 oz vodka

1.5 oz Gabriello Lemon Cream Liqueur

½ oz simple syrup

½ oz lemon juice

Lemon Italian Soda

Lemon Twist

Combine vodka, lemon liqueur, simple syrup, and lemon juice over ice in a shaker. Shake until chilled, then strain into a glass filled with crushed ice. Top with Italian soda, and garnish with a lemon twist.


Watching this film as an adult, I’m delighted by how well it still holds up. I attribute this to the fact that it was directed by a woman (the trailblazing Ida Lupino), written by a woman, and starring all women. Their conversations don’t revolve around men, but around friendships, education, and self-discovery. For females of any generation, this is an important film that deserves to be toasted. Mothers, show it to your daughters—they’ll thank you for it someday. Cheers!

The Parent Trap

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The Parent Trap

Image Credit: The Parent Trap, 1961

Kid’s Month continues on Cinema Sips this week with the beloved Disney classic, The Parent Trap (DVD/Download).  I know a lot of people love the re-make, but for me it’s Hayley Mills 4Ever.  A great summertime movie filled with horseback riding, canoes, and mosquito bites, the original film will always be a favorite.

From the creepy stop-motion animation dolls in the opening credits to the obvious split screen special effects, this movie has vintage charm written all over it. As Susan and her “twin sister” Sharon get to know each other, they crush hard on Ricky Nelson and dance to Annette Funicello records. One can almost overlook the implausible plot that two loving parents would divorce and separate their twins, never telling the children about the fact that they have a sibling out in the world. Everyone is just so darn likable, that previous bizarre custody agreements get swept under the rug. Popsicles for everyone!

Susan and Sharon are miraculously reunited at summer camp, where they begin hatching a plan to get their parents back together. I myself was never a fan of camp (communal bathrooms and mildew… shudder) but 1960’s summer camp actually looks pretty fun. Even more fun is the eventual camping trip they take with hunky dad Brian Kieth, which is filled with fishing, cuddly bear cubs, and the villainous Miss Vicky. While watching The Parent Trap, I recommend drinking a Campfire Martini.

Campfire Martini

3 oz chocolate liqueur

½ oz vodka

2 ½ oz half-and-half

Crushed graham cracker crumbs

Chocolate syrup

Marshmallows (toasted)

To prepare glass, lightly dip the rim of a martini glass in chocolate syrup, then dip in graham cracker crumbs. To make drink, combine chocolate liqueur, vodka, and half-and-half in a shaker filled with ice. Shake until chilled, then strain into prepared glass. Garnish with toasted marshmallows, speared.

Campfire Martini

While most of the actresses in The Parent Trap have decidedly “old lady” haircuts (even teenaged Hayley Mills), Maureen O’Hara still stands out as a genuine stunner. Classy, funny, tough, beautiful- she’s a real woman. Who wouldn’t fall for her over a candlelit dinner at Martinelli’s? As a kid I came for Hayley Mills and Hayley Mills. As an adult, I stay for O’Hara (and hunky dad Brian Kieth). Cheers!