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Tag Archives: Maureen O’Hara

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!

 

Miracle on 34th Street

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miracle on 34th street

Image credit: Miracle on 34th Street, 1947

If you haven’t begun your holiday shopping yet, what in the world are you waiting for?? Smart folks like me start in November, but if you still need a little incentive, I suggest watching this week’s film Miracle on 34th Street (DVD/Download) to put you in the gifting mood.

Recently deceased acting legend Maureen O’Hara stars in this classic holiday film about a Macy’s department store Santa Claus who just might be the real deal. O’Hara plays an unlucky-in-love divorcee raising her daughter (played by a very young Natalie Wood) to be skeptical of all things intangible- including holiday miracles. Then Kris K. comes along (that’s Kringle, not Kardashian), and he seems like more than just a kind-hearted old man. Claiming to be Santa Claus, he attracts psych evaluators and small children alike. I love that this film from the 1940’s features a strong independent woman like O’Hara, her character an event director at the flagship store. Heck, that’s an impressive job even now. And the sappy message of the movie (Santa is real if you believe!) gets a much needed boost by terrific acting performances and sharp dialogue. At times, I feel like I’m watching a classic Howard Hawkes film, instead of one of the most beloved Christmas movies ever made.

One of my favorite scenes involves Kris Kringle showing off his impressive Santa skills while talking to a Dutch girl. He speaks to her in Dutch because, of course, Santa speaks the language of all children. This inspired my cocktail this week, using the Dutch spirit Genever, a stronger, early version of the typical gin we know today. While watching Miracle on 34th Street, I recommend drinking a Sinterklaas.

Sinterklaas

2 oz Genever

2 oz Apple Cider

½ oz honey syrup (equal parts honey and water)

1 dash Angostura bitters

Cinnamon stick for garnish

Combine ingredients in a small saucepan, and heat on the stove until it just barely simmers. Pour into a heat-safe glass or mug, and garnish with a cinnamon stick.

Sinterklaas

Your current thoughts about Santa Claus are probably dependent on your age (and I doubt I have many 6 year old readers of this blog), but this movie is so great that it makes me want to believe in Santa Claus. At the very least, it makes me long for the days when department stores were classy and sophisticated, instead of overrun with cheap merchandise and bad lighting. Best of luck with your holiday shopping, and if you find yourself in a Macy’s this Christmas, plan on having a cocktail afterwards- you’ll need it. Cheers!