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Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Mary Poppins 1964 [Special Edition 2004]


In 1964, Walt Disney Pictures, under the directorship of Robert Stevenson, released what became a timeless musical fantasy called "Mary Poppins". Starring Julie Andrews as the mysterious & magical Mary Poppins, the film is a fictional account of a dysfunctional family living in London circa 1910. The father, George W. Banks (David Tomlinson, who played Emelius Browne in "Bedknobs and Broomsticks" in 1971), is obsessed with his job at a prestigious Fidelity Fiduciary Bank and with maintaining a professional atmosphere at all times at home. The mother, Winifred Banks (Glynis Johns, whose film career began in 1938), is preoccupied with demonstrating as a suffragette and maintaining a clean home. Their young children, Jane (Karen Dotrice) and Michael (Matthew Garber, who died at the young age of 21 in 1977), are allowed minimal time with their parents, who prefer to have a nanny look after and raise their children for them. Unfortunately, Jane and Michael rarely like any of their nannies, who regularly quit after the children do something mischievous to each of them. Also working for Mr. & Mrs. Banks are the maid Ellen (Hermione Baddeley, who played Mrs. Cratchit in the 1951 classic "Scrooge") and the cook Mrs. Brill (Reta Shaw, who played in "Pollyanna" in 1960 and "The Ghost & Mr. Chicken" in 1966), neither of which have the time or the desire to look after Jane and Michael.

Following the departure of yet another nanny, George decides to hire an appropriate nanny himself. Jane and Michael write their own advertisement for a nanny, but George regards their innocent description as rubbish as he intends to find a nanny that will uphold his every professional expectation. Mysteriously, the children's advertisement, that George tossed out, comes to Mary Poppins. When a very lengthy line of perspective nannies are seen at the Banks' front door early one morning, all of them are blown away by a strong wind. Coming down from the sky via an umbrella is the magical Mary Poppins. Expecting a rush of perspective nannies to race through the door, only Mary Poppins waits to enter the Banks' home. George interviews Mary, but he is quickly confused by her wit and unexpectedly hires her. From that point on, nothing is quite the same in the Banks home and the children get a nanny that not only fulfills their expectations, but becomes something much more to them. Along the way, the children are also introduced to several interesting people, including the handyman Bert (Dick Van Dyke, who starred in his own 1961 TV show and starred in "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang"), Uncle Albert (Ed Wynn, who also played the toy-maker in "Babes in Toyland" in 1961) and the bird woman (Jane Darwell).

One of the most important aspects of "Mary Poppins" that transformed it into a timeless classic is its wonderful music as composed by Richard M. Sherman and Robert B. Sherman, as well as sung by its original cast.

Listen @ Amazon

Torrent: here (Disc 1 ONLY)

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