Monday, March 02, 2009

2/25/09: The Three Lives of Thomasina (1964)

A relentlessly charming pussy-cat movie, The Three Lives of Thomasina tugs at the heart while pulling out all of the familiar Disney themes and scenarios. Like Aunt Polly from 1960's Pollyanna, Andrew McDhui (Patrick McGoohan) is basically a good person whose heart has gone a bit cold—and it's going to take the near-tragedy of a young relative to restore his humanity. McDhui is a Scottish veterinarian whose main specialty seems to be euthanasia, which doesn't bode well for his cat-loving daughter Mary (Karen Dotrice) or her cat. Both Mary and her beloved feline, Thomasina, will be knocking on death's door in this fanciful tale concocted by Paul Gallico (famous for The Poseidon Adventure). But this is Walt Disney territory, where every Sleeping Beauty and Snow White eventually come back to life again—it's right there in the title, for heaven's sake. It's a winning, family-friendly heartwarmer that has lost none of its ability to put a lump in the throat nearly half a century after its release. The adorable Susan Hampshire helps give McGoohan a second chance at romance. This is one to show to my nieces. Rating: 5/5.


Joan said...

I remember watching this movie on TV with my parents when I was a kid. I don't remember much about it, except that I really liked it.

To me, Paul Gallico is famous for writing a wonderful book called "The Silent Miaow" -- written in first person (first feline?) by a female cat, and translated into English by Paul Gallico. Mr. Gallico obviously knew cats so well, that the reader can believe that the book was, in fact, written by a cat, as a manual teaching kittens how to train their human owners and wrap them around their little paws.

Brett said...

Pivotal moments of "Thomasina" are also narrated by the cat herself.