Movie at a Glance:
Movie Title: In Search of The Castaways
Movie Genre: Action, Adventure, Family, Sci-Fi
My Vote: 5 Thumbs Up: Don’t Wait for Santa – Get it Now!
Mary Grant played by Hayley Mills
Robert Grant played by Keith Hamshere
Professor Jacques Paganel played by Maurice Chevalier
Lord Glenarvan played by Wilfrid Hyde-White
John Glenarvan played by Michael Anderson, Jr.
Movie in a Minute
In the 1962 musical adventure, In Search of the Castaways, Mary Grant and her younger brother Robert are desperate to find their long lost father, a sea captain who was lost at sea. When a professor shows up at their door with a message in a bottle from their father, this new lead on his whereabouts rekindles their hopes - but they must convince sea captain Lord Glenarvan and his uppity son to help them out. When they find Lord Glenarvan having a party aboard ship - where only invited guests are allowed on board, what will they do? Will they get kicked off and give up? Or will they persevere and find a way...where there seemingly is no way? ©MegsMinutes.com
In Search of the Castaways was fantastic! How I never saw this as a kid, I don’t know. But I’m super happy to have come across it now. So – how did I find it?
Well, I was looking through my library’s movie catalog and I saw the cover art. I thought it looked interesting so I investigated, still unsure of what the movie was about.
Then I saw that the cast list included Hayley Mills and Maurice Chevalier…and I was shocked – I thought I had seen all of Hayley Mills’ Disney era movies…but turns out I haven’t! 😀
In Search of the Castaways is a 1962 full color musical adventure in the same category as The Swiss Family Robinsons and Treasure Island – but better!
I say better because the movie was not as dark as Treasure Island and at times had some of the same feelings as Summer Magic. Take for instance, the scene where they are climbing the mountain and Professor Paganel (Maurice Chevalier) gives the kids stellar life advice. It was a great movie moment for me and a perfect moment to find in a care-free summer afternoon children’s movie. I wondered how many kids took the Professor up on his advice when they first saw this movie in the theaters.
Some folks who watch this movie don’t like the special effects. However, I thought they were good considering when this movie was made. I also thought they had quite a few imaginative special effects – the far away view on that tree in the flood was awesome.
Now, I did use the term musical earlier, but if that made you grimace – don’t let it. This movie only has 4 musical numbers. Far less and far shorter than other Disney musicals (Take Summer Magic for instance which has 7 much longer songs). I never felt that the songs in In Search of The Castaways ever overtook the plot. They complemented the storyline and the overall message nicely. They also helped convey what the characters were thinking (i.e. when they sing Enjoy It while being stranded in a great big tree revealing how the small group was dealing with a rather precarious situation!).
The song list includes: The title song, Castaway, a brief version of Merci Beaucoup, and My favorites Let’s Climb and Enjoy It.
Music Note: The four songs in the movie do not appear to be available at this time, but I did find this album on Amazon that has Castaway and Enjoy It. It looks like a compilation of movie tunes all by the Sherman Brothers. 🙂
There are a few action scenes that could be frightening to young children. The way the plot works out was unpredictable to me and kept me interested as their adventure took new twists and turns. If you use your imagination while you watch the movie, I think you will enjoy it.
A light subplot in this movie is how Mary Grant and John Glenarvan get off on the wrong foot but slowly grow to like each other.
In Search of The Castaways could hold the interest of any age group (as long as they keep in mind this is a fun film from the 60s). This is a cool movie to play in the background in the summer. It has a high re-watchability factor and would be a great addition to any movie library.
Meg’s Content Cautions:
Overall, this is a fun, action-filled, family-friendly adventure movie with several awesome messages interwoven into the plot. It makes for a great movie to watch in the summer and might even be a good choice to watch in your backyard under the stars! 😉
V - Lots of violence, in the classic Disney sense of the word. While there isn’t blood, etc, there is fighting, manhandling, battling the elements, as well as guns and a fire or two.
L - None.
S - None. Mary and John like each other as the adventure goes on and watching their relationship grow from conflicted to courting is great.
D - They get kidnapped or imprisoned a time or two. They deal with avalanches, fires, floods, animals, hostile tribes, etc. Content could be too intense and/or disturbing for younger children (maybe view it first by yourself? Trust me, it is cool enough to watch more than once! ;) ).
For more information on the Meg’s Content Cautions rating system, please check out the FAQs page.
Movie Character Notes:
Mary Grant is the eldest teenage daughter of Captain Grant, who was lost at sea. She believes that he is still alive - but where can he be? Mary is played by Hayley Mills.
Robert Grant is Mary's younger brother. When a message from their dad is located Robert, along with his sister, becomes determined to use the message to find his dad - no matter how odd the story is behind the message. Robert is played by Keith Hamshere.
Professor Jacques Paganel started his current adventure long before meeting the Grant children. After all, he found the message from Captain Grant in a bottle inside a fish! (Reminds me of Peter in the Bible). He comes along with Mary and Robert to help them persuade Lord Glenarvan - an old friend of Captain Grant - to go off around the globe in search of the beloved sea captain. Professor Jacques is brought to life by Maurice Chevalier.
Lord Glenarvan has a ship he is proud of, owns a successful shipping company and has a good reputation in his community. He also has a maritime routine he is quite comfortable with, enjoying what he considers to be the perfect British existence. When two uninvited children attempt to crash his shipboard gala, he isn't impressed - and neither is his teenage son. After all, whoever heard of finding a message in a bottle inside of a fish! No fish would ever eat a bottle, would they? Is there any hope of convincing this man their story has merit? Lord Glenarvan is played by Wilfrid Hyde-White.
John Glenarvan is the son of Lord Glenarvan. While Mary Grant catches his eye, her story about her father seems a bit…fishy. Is she and her brother telling the truth? Or are they just after a hot meal and some pocket change? John is played by Michael Anderson, Jr.
General Movie Information
Movie Genre: Action, Adventure, Family, Sci-Fi
Movie Year: 1962
Movie Format: Color
Movie Runtime: About 98 minutes
How I Found It: I found this movie while searching for something to watch at the library.
Part of a Series: No
Series Name: n/a
Movie Director: Robert Stevenson
Movie Studio: Walt Disney Productions
Movie Writer: Lowell S. Hawley
Movie Rating: G
Where to Rent and Buy:
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