On May 19, 1960 this cheery Disney film was released to the public. It is the story of an orphaned girl raised by missionaries who arrives in a town fraught with feuds, and transforms the community with her positive attitude. Pollyanna’s shining quality is that she can always find the good in something.
Yes, it is as saccharine as it looks, but it is quite cute, and it was a real charmer for me when I first saw it as a child. This movie was also on repeat on my daughter’s DVD player for quite a while. I’m convinced these 1960’s Disney movies are timeless, and this one is pure goodness.
Debuting in her first Disney film, Hayley Mills was the perfect fit for Pollyanna and won the Academy Juvenile Award for her performance in the film. Pollyanna was adapted from the novel by Eleanor Porter and was written and directed by David Swift. Swift also wrote and directed what would be Hayley Mills’s next crowning achievement and the second of six consecutive Disney films for Mills, playing the double role of twins in The Parent Trap a year later in 1961. Pollyanna also stars Jane Wyman, Karl Malden, and Richard Egan.