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Summer Magic [VHS] (1963)

Hayley Mills , Dorothy McGuire , James Neilson  |  G |  VHS Tape
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (220 customer reviews)

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Frequently Bought Together

Summer Magic [VHS] + Pollyanna [VHS] + The Moon Spinners (The Hayley Mills Collection, Vol. 4)
Price for all three: $25.44

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Product Details

  • Actors: Hayley Mills, Dorothy McGuire, Burl Ives, Deborah Walley, Una Merkel
  • Directors: James Neilson
  • Writers: Kate Douglas Wiggin, Sally Benson
  • Producers: Ron Miller, Walt Disney
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC
  • Rated: G (General Audience)
  • Number of tapes: 1
  • Studio: Walt Disney Video
  • VHS Release Date: March 3, 1998
  • Run Time: 110 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (220 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 0788811207
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #292,549 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

The past beckons in this enchanting and nostalgic tale. The irrepressible Haley Mills stars in a lighthearted Disney film about young love, mysterious family secrets, and small-town summer nights. When financial ruin forces the Careys to leave Boston, their teenage daughter Nancy (Haley Mills) hatches a plan to resettle them in a tiny New England hamlet, with hilariously delightful consequences for both her family and their new neighbors! An indispensable addition to any Disney library, this timeless and wondrous adventure will thrill children of all ages for a long time to come.

This classic 1963 Disney film features child icon Hayley Mills as Nancy Carey, a teenage girl whose family moves from Boston to the New England countryside as a result of their father's untimely passing. Nancy writes to the kindly Mr. Poppem (Burl Ives) and single-handedly convinces him to rent the family a charming, if run-down, house for a mere $60 a year. Ever the optimist, Nancy brims with excitement at the family's new life, but this "perfect world" has its problems--notably an absentee landlord who knows nothing about the Carey family's rental agreement. Through hard work and Mr. Poppem's continuing generosity, the Careys fix up the house and find life in the rural Maine town quite satisfactory. Things become tense when their cousin Julia arrives for an extended visit, but eventually Nancy and Julia grow from one another's experiences and become good friends. You'll never guess what happens when the absent landlord returns unannounced during the family's Halloween housewarming party!

One section that may sit poorly with modern audiences features Nancy and Julia discussing how to emphasize one's femininity at the expense of hiding the real you--an indication of how much American thinking has changed in a relatively short period of time. Nevertheless, this is a charming tale featuring toe-tapping ragtime music, wonderful songs by Richard M. Sherman and Robert B. Sherman including "Summer Magic" and "The Ugly Bug Ball," and the incomparable talents of Mills and Ives. Take a trip down memory lane and don't forget the kids. (Ages 7 and older) --Tami Horiuchi

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
92 of 93 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Classic Hayley Mills February 17, 2005
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Definitely one of Hayley Mills best films. Her fans definitely love it. Burl Ives, Dorothy McGuire, and Michael Pollard are wonderful in their roles as well as Hayley. The sets and music are delightful in this movie about an earlier time when life was simpler and although challenging, much kinder. Hayley does a fine job playing a young lady that is always full of optimism. In some respects like the optimism of Bing Crosby in "The Bells of St. Mary's". She charms her way to get what she wants. This color movie doesn't seem to age, since if you didn't know when it was made, you would think it could have been recently. Amazingly families today still find this an enjoyable movie, but then it is an amazing movie. Full of warmth and values of the heart. I recommend it to all, but especially to anyone that enjoys the older Disney classics.
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100 of 107 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Disney Magic January 2, 2005
When Disney studios brought together a talented cast, a simple but effective script, and their family oriented production values, the result was often magic. Such was the case with this film, one of Hayley Mills' best.

When we join the movie the Carey family is under difficult times. Margaret Carey's (Dorothy McGuire) husband has recently passed away. Stock investments made by Mr. Carey have added to the family's fiscal woes. As Mrs. Carey struggles to figure out how the family will survive, headstrong Nancy Carey (Mills) has taken matters into her own hands by writing to Mr. Ossium "Osh" Popham (Burl Ives in one of his best roles) to ask whether a certain yellow house was available for rent. That Nancy exaggerated the extent of the family's financial need is temporarily overlooked, but not forgotten. Mr. Popham is more than happy to help the family and invites them to move into the yellow house for a modest rent.

The yellow house turns out to need a fair amount of work to make it livable, and Osh, who is also the owner of the local general store, continues to aid the Careys as they make improvements. We soon find out that Osh has not communicated with the owner of the house, Tom Hamilton (Peter Brown), with respect to all the various happenings related to the yellow house, and we know that at some point there will likely come a reckoning.

Adding to the family oriented fun is younger brother Peter Carey (Jimmy Mathers), who finds a creative way to get his hair cut, and then adopts a dog for the family. Cousin Julia Carey (Deborah Walley) is forced to move in with the Carey's due to financial circumstances with the family she has been living.
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35 of 36 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Wonderful Film August 11, 1999
Format:VHS Tape
After "The Parent Trap", this is Hayley Mills' best movie. It's funny, warm, and will leave you feeling good about life. Hayley Mills and Burl Ives deliver great performances, as does all the cast. This is a Disney classic, a must-see and must-own!
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27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Flitterin', Flitterin', Flitterin' January 12, 2000
Format:VHS Tape
For anyone who enjoys a good, heartwarming movie - this is the one for you! This is a wonderful story of a family who leaves the city and pursues a life in the country at "the yellow house". This is a movie that I not only enjoyed watching as a kid, but still enjoy as an adult! The happy songs will stick in your head, and you will wish you could live in the same town with Hayley Mills and her family! This is a wholesome, family worthy movie that you will want to watch over and over! I promise! Enjoy the movie - I think it's a Disney classic! If you are a Mills fan as I am, then I would also suggest watching "That Darn Cat".
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars magic "Summer" finally comes to DVD! May 13, 2005
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
SUMMER MAGIC, Disney's sunny nostalgia-fest, makes it's DVD debut in a crisp anamorphic transfer.

Hayley Mills never looked more lovelier than as Nancy Carey, a young girl who helps her newly-bankrupt family move to the small town of Beulah, Maine, and into `The Yellow House'. The arrival of Cousin Julia (Deborah Walley) causes some fireworks, with both Nancy and Julia fighting over the affections of the new schoolmaster, before Nancy falls in love with the mysterious Thomas Hamilton. The story is loosely based on "Mother Carey's Chickens" by Kate Douglas Wiggin.

Burl Ives, Dorothy McGuire and Una Merkel co-star in good supporting roles. Other roles are taken by Eddie Hodges, Michael J. Pollard, Peter Brown, Wendy Turner, James Stacy and Jimmy Mathers (younger brother of Jerry 'Beaver' Mathers)

Hayley Mills and the cast sing the entertaining Sherman Brothers score, including "Flitterin'", "The Ugly Bug Ball", "The Pink of Perfection", "On the Old Front Porch", "Femininity" and the Title Song.

Disney has been `kind enough' to give SUMMER MAGIC the full anamorphic treatment. The 16:9 image is good, if unspectacular. With the studio in the bad habit of releasing most of it's back-catalogue titles in fullscreen, SUMMER MAGIC (one of the most-anticipated DVD releases) in widescreen should be quite an event for fans of this delightful movie.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Magic Finally Comes to DVD May 12, 2005
A summertime treat for lovers of old-fashioned movies about people and their relationships to one another instead of innumerable scenes of overwrought special effects. And, hurrah, Disney has released it in widescreen in a beautiful, colorful new version.

The Carey family, left nearly penniless by the death of Mr. Carey and some bad business investments, move lock, stock and player piano to the small town of Beulah, Maine, after lively Nancy Carey, played with all her adolescent charm by Hayley Mills, spins a hard-luck story to the caretaker of the house, softhearted grocer Ossian (Osh) Popham. Even after learning the Careys aren't quite as badly off as Nancy painted--a very funny scene with Burl Ives!--Osh rents them the house and proceeds to help them through the coming weeks, giving son Gilbert (Eddie Hodges) a job and helping little Peter (a bit-sweet Jimmy Mathers) get a boyish haircut so the town kids won't tease him any more.

Just as things are going well, the Careys must take in their cousin Julia (Deborah Walley), a stuck-up miss who refuses to help with the chores and becomes Nancy's rival for the attentions of the new schoolmaster.

This is a lemonade-and-sit-on-the-porch type movie just made for a Sunday afternoon. Ives, Mills, Walley as the "pink of perfection" Julia, and Dorothy McGuire as Mrs. Carey particularly shine, and Ives is very funny as he plays interference between his forthright wife who wants to tell the Careys the truth about their rental of the house.

Oh, and that "controversial" song about femininity? It's actually very funny, because in an age where women didn't have many rights, the girls know exactly how to twist "the system" so they enjoyed more freedom than society allowed!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars I love Haley Mills a super whole lot. Rent first, then buy if you like...
I love Haley Mills from her younger years as an actress in the 1960's. I love the singing in this movie. I was surprised that Eddie Hodges was a piano player. Read more
Published 3 days ago by jackiepapertracer
5.0 out of 5 stars Love it.
Love this movie.
Published 4 days ago by monica gonzalez
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Our whole family loves this one!
Published 7 days ago by Daniel Gibson
5.0 out of 5 stars Great.. super fast delivery
Great..super fast delivery!
Published 7 days ago by Paula Seymour
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely loved the innocence of this movie - just as I ...
Such a nostalgic trip!! Absolutely loved the innocence of this movie - just as I remembered it from nearly 50 years ago. Really well reproduced.
Published 12 days ago by KATHY WADHAM
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Very good quality.
Published 17 days ago by Heather Feuz
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Love this movie! Brings back childhood memories of watching Classic Disney!
Published 18 days ago by Molly J. Sawyer
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Just like I remembered it. I have always loved Hayley Mills.
Published 20 days ago by Glenda
5.0 out of 5 stars I love this movie
I love this movie. It's sweet, simple, family fun. If you're looking for a movie you can watch with your kids, this is a good one. Read more
Published 21 days ago by Pamela A Stewart Wells
5.0 out of 5 stars Great show
Great kids movie
Published 28 days ago by Barbara
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