The Original “Parent Trap:” Two Sisters, Two Houses

by hookedonhouses on January 31, 2010

The Parent Trap movie poster

Disney’s original Parent Trap movie premiered in 1961 with Hayley Mills playing both of the leading roles. If one Hayley Mills had been so good in Pollyanna, then two of her had to be even better, right? The Parent Trap had her playing twin sisters Susan and Sharon. Separated at birth, they rediscovered each other at a summer camp and then plotted to get their parents back together.

After I covered the 1998 remake with Lindsay Lohan, I got a lot of requests to post photos of the original. It was fun to watch it again and see how well it has held up over the years. Yes, some of the effects are cheesy (like when they “walk through a park” while fake-looking footage of the park rolls behind them on a screen), but the story and characters are still a pleasure to watch.

The Boston Townhouse

townhouse-exterior

We don’t spend a lot of time in the Boston townhouse that Sharon lives in with her mother and grandparents. This is the most we see of the exterior–a brief glimpse of the street as Susan pulls up to it for the first time.

townhouse 2

The luminous Maureen O’Hara plays their mother Maggie, who inexplicably gave up one of her twin daughters at birth to her ex-husband Mitch (Brian Keith in his first comedy).  It’s one of those “suspension of disbelief” things…

townhouse-Maureen O'Hara staircase

Hayley Mills says that at times she would be so confused about which girl she was playing from scene to scene that “I was only saved by the wig.” If she had the short wig on, she knew she was Susan, the “tomboy” twin from California. Her real hair was long like the “proper” twin Sharon’s, but, she points out in the movie commentary, in some scenes it looks as bad as a wig.

After Susan chops Sharon’s hair off at summer camp so they’ll “match,” they both have the short wig on for the rest of the movie. It became even harder for Mills to remember who she was playing from scene to scene.

townhouse 1

In the remake, one of the twins lives in London instead of Boston. Natasha Richardson was perfect in Maureen O’Hara’s role.

townhouse dining room

They struggled to find the right title for the movie. It was originally supposed to be His and Hers, but that was already taken by another studio. They resorted to running a contest and thousands of titles came in. None of them worked, either.

Some of the titles that almost made the cut:

  • Susan and I
  • We Belong Together
  • For Now, For Always
  • Petticoats and Blue Jeans

Hard to imagine the movie with any of those, isn’t it? It just wouldn’t have been the same. Writer-director David Swift recalls that one day, Walt Disney walked in and announced that they were going with The Parent Trap, and that was that. Discussion over.

townhouse-chess

The upstairs hallway (look at that red carpet!):

townhouse-upstairs hallway-Hayley

The movie especially struck a chord with children of divorce. Hayley Mills says that she still hears from fans who tell her that watching the girls work to get their parents back together was “empowering” for them because they felt so helpless in their own lives when their parents separated.

townhouse-Maureen O'Hara bedroom vanity

The Ranch:

Parent Trap Ranch exterior 1

Welcome to Golden Oak Ranch, where Mitch (Brian Keith) and his daughter Susan lived in the Carmel Valley.

This was actually some land owned by Disney south of Carmel on Placerita Canyon Road. They built a shell of a house on the property with nothing but exterior walls and a roof. The interiors were all created on a soundstage.

Parent Trap Ranch exterior-front

Parent Trap Ranch exterior 2

Parent Trap Ranch exterior-car

Ranch porch

The Great Room:

ranch-great room 1

Sharon–posing as Susan–explores the ranch for the first time. She’s understandably awestruck by it all.

ranch-living room

There was a scene on the golf course in which her real-life father John Mills played Mitch’s caddy, but it ended up on the cutting-room floor.

ranch-living room-stairs-wide

The fireplace is huge:

Ranch-great room fireplace

Ranch-great room

One of the great things about the house is how it’s connected to outdoor living spaces. The doors always seem to be open to the courtyard and covered patio:

Ranch-great room sofa

Ranch-great room 2

The Hallway Leading to the Courtyard:

ranch-hall to courtyard

The girls covered the doorway to the courtyard while they planned the private dinner and “show” for their parents. Who can forget the charmingly awful duet, “Let’s Get Together”? (Warning: Once you hear the song, it’ll be stuck in your head all day long!)

The Dining Room:

ranch-dining room

Susan’s Bedroom:

Ranch-Susan's bedroom 1

Ranch-Susan's bedroom 2

Ranch-Susan's bedroom 3

Ranch-Susan's bedroom 4

Master Bath:

Ranch-master bath

June Parker Beck, who edits Maureen O’Hara’s official website, tells me: “I get so many letters from people who want to go to California and see the house where it was filmed. Maureen doesn’t remember much about the structure. Stars are just taken to the shoot for that day–do their thing and go home.”

Ranch-master bath 2

I read a comment on a message board that questioned why everyone apparently had to share this bathroom. Didn’t a house this size have more than one?

Ranch-master bath 3

The Kitchen:

Ranch-kitchen

I love this kitchen with all the big windows overlooking the courtyard.

Ranch-kitchen 2

Ranch-kitchen 3

How charming was Brian Keith in this role? Swift says Keith was nervous about it because he’d never done comedy before, but he was perfect as Mitch:

Ranch-kitchen 4

In the DVD commentary, director David Swift says he has always regretted that he didn’t have wardrobe give Maureen O’Hara something “sexier” to wear in this scene. He felt it made her look a little plain, and too much like a “housewife.”

Ranch-kitchen 5

I only wish I looked this “homely” while cooking dinner in my kitchen…

Ranch-kitchen 8

Ranch-kitchen 6

Ranch-kitchen 9

O’Hara was 41 when she shot this movie. Joanna Barnes, who played Mitch’s younger girlfriend Vicki, was only 27. But Vicki almost looked older because of the way they styled her hair and clothes:

Joanna Barnes-Vicki

Joanna Barnes went on to become an accomplished writer. She also appeared in the Parent Trap remake, playing Meredith’s mother Vicki (Meredith is the younger woman in the newer version).

Joanna Barnes (Vicki) today

The Courtyard:

Ranch courtyard 1

Ranch courtyard 2

Ranch-courtyard from overhead

The back of the house with the balcony (I would’ve killed to have a balcony like this off my bedroom when I was a girl–heck, I still would!):

Ranch-back exterior balcony

The screenplay was written by David Swift, who also wrote Pollyanna. Disney had bought the rights to a short story published in Germany called “Lisa and Lottie” by Erich Kästner and asked Swift to adapt it for American audiences.

Lisa and Lottie cover

One of the challenges of making Parent Trap was finding an actress who looked enough like Hayley to play her twin in scenes where she’d only be seen from the back or side.

Susan Henning was cast and had to sign a contract promising to never tell anyone she was in the movie. Years later, Henning was interviewed for the Special Features on the Parent Trap DVD and was allowed to tell her story. She appeared in scenes like this (that’s the back of her head):

Ranch-Family by stairs with double

Susan had the same dress and shoe size as Hayley, but they gave her a rubber nose to wear. She says they also put a roll of tissue paper under her lip to make it stick out a little and padded her bra. After a few days of filming, however, they decided that the girls looked enough alike that the “extras” weren’t really needed.

Here’s a photo taken on set that shows the girls filming a scene together (Susan is on the left; Hayley on the right):

Susan Henning-Hayley Mills

After filming each scene, they would switch places and do it again–this time with Hayley acting out the other twin’s role. Susan Henning as she looks today (via the Special Features on the DVD):

Susan Henning today

Henning says that she taught Mills how to talk with American slang, and Mills recalls how close the two of them became both on and off the set.

There is a wonderful commentary on the DVD with Hayley Mills and writer-director David Swift reminiscing about the making of The Parent Trap. Swift died a few years later, so we’re fortunate to have so many of his stories recorded.

David Swift-writer and director

Swift said that Disney spoiled him for working with other studios. They gave him free reign on both Pollyanna and The Parent Trap to do what he wanted.

The other thing that comes out in the interviews and commentary is what a lovely and gracious person Mills is.

Hayley Mills today

She says she grew up hanging out on movie sets because her father is the famous British actor Sir John Mills. “Studios were my playground.” Her mother was a successful playwright. Mills says that “Walt Disney loved my mother. She made him laugh.”

Ranch-wedding

Brian Keith, who died in 1997, once said:

“I’ve made I don’t know how many pictures. Forty, I guess. I’ve seen only about a half dozen of them. We made Reflections in a Golden Eye (1967) in Rome last spring. I really enjoyed working with Liz and Brando and that great director, John Huston.

“But the kind of picture I enjoy seeing is something like The Parent Trap (1961). That was a charming thing with Hayley Mills playing my twin daughters. I saw that four times. I even took my wife’s parents to see it. I like it so much I forgot I was in it, as a matter of fact.”

wedding-final shot-twins

The final shot of the movie has the girls as bridesmaids in their parents’ wedding, with the ranch in the background.

I hope you enjoyed this post as much as I enjoyed researching it! If you have any requests for other movies or TV shows, leave them here.

Visit my TV/Movie Houses page for links to all the others I’ve featured, from Pollyanna to the Parent Trap remake.

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black eyed susans kitchen January 31, 2010 at 5:43 pm

I saw them both…the original when I was a kid, and the remake with my kids. Honestly, for me the story never gets old…twin girls duping their parents….cracks me up. I loved the house that the father lived in, but then I am a sucker for the 1950′s California ranch style.
Susan
.-= black eyed susans kitchen´s last blog ..SETTING A THEME =-.

Jo January 31, 2010 at 5:57 pm

I agree about the balcony outside the girls bedroom. There was one like it in the movie Bye Bye Birdie, too! So glad that you featured this movie. It is a treasure!

rebecca January 31, 2010 at 5:59 pm

Thank you for doing this movie. This has to be one of my favorite movies disney made. When ever I watch it I feel very nostalgic. The ranch has to be my favorite, I would never have thought all the interiors were created on sound stages. Love your web site, always look forward to seeing what you have new.

Kate at Centsational Girl January 31, 2010 at 6:10 pm

I really like both versions of this movie, especially the parents cast in both. Dennis Quaid, huge crush ! I was asked the other day to name some of my favorite movie interiors and I almost said “the original Parent Trap’ so I am so glad you featured this !!! Thanks so much for doing all of this reasearch, it really is a pleasure to read. You really should be writing a book, my dear !

I adore Susan’s room with the furnishings andd that mirror and chain holding up the desk like shelf. Fabulous ! The lamps ? Not so much. And that staircase in Sharon’s house is stunning ! And isn’t Maureen O’Hara the most gorgeous woman, I always liked her in everything, but of course, I adore feisty Irish red heads.

Thanks again, what a pleasure to read on a Sunday afternoon. :-)
.-= Kate at Centsational Girl´s last blog ..Please Welcome =-.

Kim @ Everything Etsy January 31, 2010 at 6:19 pm

I love the ranch house and the balcony! I really enjoyed reading this post, Julia! I learned so much and the photos were great! :)

~Kim
.-= Kim @ Everything Etsy´s last blog ..Everything Etsy Readers Know How to Organize! =-.

Karrie @ The Brick Cottage January 31, 2010 at 6:36 pm

I LOVE this movie! I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen it. Thanks for featuring it and sharing the interesting commentary from those who helped make the film. Some of my favorite scenes are the hair cutting scene, the camping scene and the song! Yes, it’ll be stuck in my head for a while, but I won’t mind.
.-= Karrie @ The Brick Cottage´s last blog ..Let It Snow! =-.

Ashley L. January 31, 2010 at 6:36 pm

I almost cried when I saw you featured this—it’s one of my favorite movie sets of all time! My dad and I even tried to draw out the floorplan once. I’m sending this to him. Thank you a million!!
.-= Ashley L.´s last blog ..Evy and Modern Art =-.

Ms. Bright January 31, 2010 at 7:37 pm

Thanks you so much for posting this! One of my all time faves that I grew up with and was fascinated by the set even as a kid. Just like Ashley L. above me, I tried to draw the floorplan of the Carmel ranch house!

This was so much fun to see!!! I’ll definitely be linking back to this soon!
.-= Ms. Bright´s last blog ..Weekend Wishes =-.

Laura Ann January 31, 2010 at 7:41 pm

Thank you so much for posting this, the 1961 Parent Trap house (although not real) was the very first house I sketched in a drawing pad when I was a young teen because I LOVED the flow of the house. I was actually a little upset when I found out it wasn’t real. I enjoyed seeing this post.

Daily laying it at the Master’s feet!
Laura Ann
.-= Laura Ann´s last blog ..Can’t help but Dream . . . . . . . =-.

Sunshine January 31, 2010 at 7:43 pm

Love that movie and the houses! I awarded you the Sunshine Award! Check out my blog to grab the award and send it off to those who inspire you!
.-= Sunshine´s last blog ..The Sunshine Award!!! =-.

Carmen January 31, 2010 at 7:54 pm

This definitely makes me want to watch the original again. It’s been a long time since I’ve seen it. We have the newer version. Thanks for posting this! The ranch is gorgeous.
.-= Carmen´s last blog ..An Outward Display =-.

Nancy Hood January 31, 2010 at 7:55 pm

I love coming here :) and thoroughly enjoyed this post. My parents would have most likely divorced, had they not four kids! haha I loved the movie and imagined being able to change places with a twin :)
.-= Nancy Hood´s last blog ..Flashback Friday ~ January, 2009 =-.

susan said so January 31, 2010 at 8:04 pm

This is such a great movie (made the year I was born). I love everything about it; thanks so much for the great back-story, and all the stunning pics.

Your entire blog is a wonderland of fun. LOVE it!!

xox,
Susan
.-= susan said so´s last blog ..the sight of the blue =-.

Sharla January 31, 2010 at 8:08 pm

Loved this post! This was my favorite movie as a kid- (I had the entire thing memorized) ? And I loved seeing it again here and learning so many fun facts- great angle-loved the houses.
.-= Sharla´s last blog ..Baby Bibs & Backing Fabrics =-.

Heather January 31, 2010 at 8:17 pm

That was a great post love your details!

Kim January 31, 2010 at 8:32 pm

Thanks for posting this movie. I was excited when I came here and saw the title “The Parent Trap.”

I love the staircase in the town house and the sets of the ranch. When Hailey Mills came to the ranch house, one of the first things I noticed was the balcony. How I would have loved to have had a balcony like that when I was kid.

Jessica at Lavender & Lilies January 31, 2010 at 9:05 pm

What a great house tour!
.-= Jessica at Lavender & Lilies´s last blog ..Recipe: Chocolate and Strawberry Stuffed French Toast =-.

Richella at Imparting Grace January 31, 2010 at 9:05 pm

Julia! I think this is my favorite of all the movie house posts of yours I’ve read! I’ve never seen the re-make of The Parent Trap, but the original movie was one of my favorites. I loved this movie when I was a girl, along with the other Hayley Mills films (remember That Darn Cat?).

You must have done a lot of work on this post, and I really appreciate it. You are wonderful!
.-= Richella at Imparting Grace´s last blog ..Planning center =-.

desiree January 31, 2010 at 9:11 pm

my all time favorite movie! thanks for sharing it. I also enjoyed the remake and would love to see both of those homes too. This movie I believe is when my obsession with twins started. How I wished I was a twin and later I wished I would have twins–and I did! I love it!
.-= desiree´s last blog ..Prairie-Style House Gets Modern Makeover =-.

hookedonhouses January 31, 2010 at 9:45 pm

Desiree–

You can see photos from the remake with Lindsay Lohan here:

http://hookedonhouses.net/2009/03/29/the-parent-trap-houses-in-napa-valley-london/

-Julia

Melinda January 31, 2010 at 9:31 pm

Love this…..
I just saw Extraordinary Measures last night with Brendan Frasier and Harrison Ford. the million plus house in Portland on top of the hill is worth seeing again and again…the property is spectacular. I can’t wait for you to feature this home.

angela | the painted house January 31, 2010 at 9:49 pm

Wow, the ranch looks so now, doesn’t it? I could take it just as it is. I’ve been renting Brady Bunch seasons from Netflix for the kids lately and I love looking at the ol’ Brady house once again–though it is nothing like this. And the clothes. The first house Mike lived in in the first episode is awesome!
.-= angela | the painted house´s last blog ..Duo Boots on Sale! =-.

Ellen Baker January 31, 2010 at 10:22 pm

Thank you! I was such a Hayley Mills fan growing up. That so shows my age! I watched every movie over and over again.
.-= Ellen Baker´s last blog ..Forbidden Gardens Katy, TX =-.

Vanessa January 31, 2010 at 10:45 pm

Julia – what a lovely, well-researched post! Thanks.
.-= Vanessa´s last blog ..I’m Feeling Blue (in a good way) =-.

Art by Karena January 31, 2010 at 11:18 pm

A movie you never forget, and I adored Hayley Mills!!
.-= Art by Karena´s last blog ..Keep Pushing On =-.

The Summer Kitchen Girls February 1, 2010 at 12:00 am

So loved this post Julia! I’d have to say that anytime this movie comes on I get sucked into watching it – never tired of it! Fascinating trivia – thanks!
Had to laugh about that red carpet…when we moved into our house it was EVERYWHERE – and up the stairs…..the only bit left is – up the stairs…but that should be gone by the end of the year :)
Funny!
.-= The Summer Kitchen Girls´s last blog ..Taking A Back Seat To Shadows =-.

Lesley @ The Design File February 1, 2010 at 12:01 am

So cool. I love these old scenes. Both staircases are really pretty. And I adore Susan’s bedroom, especially those huge lamps on either side of the bed!
.-= Lesley @ The Design File´s last blog ..Sunday roundup: Game art, wallpapers & more =-.

Nita February 1, 2010 at 12:06 am

I loved this movie. I think Mills did a movie, can’t remember the same, with a French boy I have never forgotten, by the name of, I think, Gilles Payon. Pronounced Jill Payon. I know the last name spelling isn’t right. I loved Hayley, all her movies. I can’t believe how old we are, but have to say I think we both have lived in interesting times. :)

Annie@A View on Design February 1, 2010 at 12:15 am

oh yes, I love it – what great sets, really educational too!
.-= Annie@A View on Design´s last blog ..Swan River front home in Perth =-.

Kerin February 1, 2010 at 8:04 am

Thanks SO much for spotlighting “Parent Trap”!! I am bummed out though, because I have totally dreamed about living in the ranch house.
I have always LOVED the original movie, and my children have grown up watching it ; first on VHS, and now on DVD.
I fondly refer to the movie as ” Double Trouble Twins” , and my kids know exactly what movie we will be watching.
Thanks again!
.-= Kerin´s last blog ..These and Those. =-.

June Parker Beck February 1, 2010 at 8:16 am

I edit and design Maureen O’Hara’s official website and have for the past 16 years. I think you did an incredible job on reviewing the original “Parent Trap.” I get so many letters from people who want to go to California and see the house where it was filmed in that State. Maureen doesn’t remember a lot about the structure. Stars are just taken to the shoot for that day – do their thing and go home.

I’d like very much to link to your feature page on “The Parent Trap” – and would appreciate any comments you have on the layout in general. Maureen owned several homes in the Los Angeles area and is amazed when she reads what they are worth in this decade. One house was next door to Greer Garson and Maureen’s daughter used to sneak through the bushes that divided their yards and Greer and Bronwyn would have pretend tea parties. I have one photos of the back porch area of one of her homes on Stone Canyon Road, I think.

I am an avid fan of “HG-TV” and constantly watch “House Hunters” and “Curb Appeal” in particular.

Again, I’d love to be in touch with you and I’ll see if I can find those photos of one of Maureen’s home. Have you ever seen the one in St. Croix? There’s a link to that on line also.

Bonnie Morscher February 1, 2010 at 8:41 am

Oh, Julia!

I still have a warm place in my heart for this movie. My sister and I used to act out the scenes over and over, daily for more than a year. It was our favorite movie and we would make ourselves paper wigs so one “twin” could cut the hair of the other! I always got to be Sharon since my sister fancied herself more of a tomboy. Thanks for transporting me back almost 50 years!

Lauren Liess February 1, 2010 at 8:58 am

i’m so glad you posted on this!! the ranch house is one of my all-tijme favorites and i think of it often… love susan’s headboard and would go crazy if i had a beautiful courtyard at my house.
xoxo
.-= Lauren Liess´s last blog ..In New York… =-.

Amanda @ Serenity Now February 1, 2010 at 9:39 am

Fun post, Julia! I like the original version more than the LL one. The fireplace in the ranch house is just amazing. I love how you really research a film when doing these posts. You go so much deeper than “look at the room in this scene.” :) Thanks for all the hard work you put into it so we can enjoy a good read. :)
.-= Amanda @ Serenity Now´s last blog ..The Fastest Wreath in the East =-.

Stephanie February 1, 2010 at 10:33 am

Cute ranch house and balcony!!
.-= Stephanie´s last blog ..Geezees Census, Who are you people? And a bit about me =-.

bungalowbliss February 1, 2010 at 11:26 am

Julia! What are the chances? My first blog-hopping indulgence in far too long, and you showcase one of my favorite childhood movies. (I couldn’t bring myself to watch the remake…) How I love my Hayley Mills flicks! What a great, thorough post…thanks for behind-the-scenes details. I’ve missed reading your posts. :-)
.-= bungalowbliss´s last blog ..Bidding Adieu =-.

the BLAH BLAH BLAHger February 1, 2010 at 11:41 am

I LOVED this movie!!! Thanks for profiling those beautiful houses. :-)
.-= the BLAH BLAH BLAHger´s last blog ..Friday Favorites =-.

Rick February 1, 2010 at 11:57 am

Julia, as always I love your site.
The ranch house is credited as the Golden Oak Ranch – 19802 Placerita Canyon Road, Newhall, California, USA. On BING you get a view of the pond seen in front of the house but no house. I guess a shell doesn’t last long.
The same location/road has been used in many films.
rick

Bailey February 1, 2010 at 1:34 pm

I have always thought that the styling in the new parent trap was some really spectacular eye candy. Though watching LaLohan pre-adolescence and melt down does make me a bit sad! She was such a dumpling!
.-= Bailey´s last blog ..Clifford: The Entryhall =-.

Jackie W. February 1, 2010 at 1:48 pm

Don’t think Maureen O’Hara needed anything sexy to wear. She had natural sex appeal. Sexy clothes might have been too much.

I read her biography.

Brandy February 1, 2010 at 3:01 pm

oh my absolute favorite movie of all times. I watched it over and over and still do. I find it ironic that I loved it so much, its about twins ya know and I always wanted to be a twin, I now have twin boys.

Amy February 1, 2010 at 3:04 pm

I love this movie so much! I actually looked for it at Blockbuster recently and they were out. I can’t wait for my 8 year old to watch it because I know she’ll love it too.

The ranch was always my favorite. I’m always bummed when I find out a favorite movie house was just a shell.
.-= Amy´s last blog ..The End =-.

Kim February 1, 2010 at 4:49 pm

There’s actually 3 other sequels to the The Parent Trap, The Parent Trap II, The Parent Trap III, and Parent Trap: Hawaiian Honeymoon. Hayley Mills was in all of them. I grew up watching the 2nd one. Personally, the other sequels didn’t live up to the original, but isn’t that the way with most sequels?

JONI WEBB February 1, 2010 at 6:27 pm

i was born in 1954, so you can imagine what an impact this movie had on me. I can still remember going – seeing it in the theatre – it was my favorite movie of all time. my most unfavorite – the one i hated to most? to kill a mockingbird! torture! of course – as a teenager and now an adult – to kill a mockingbird is probably my most loved movie! things change!!!!

loved this!
Joni
.-= JONI WEBB´s last blog ..Prisoner Makes Unusual Request =-.

Beach Vintage February 1, 2010 at 9:15 pm

That house is just so timeless. I love the white car.
.-= Beach Vintage´s last blog ..Back from Heaven =-.

Rocio @ Casa Haus February 1, 2010 at 9:49 pm

I can’t believe it! I was just looking for pics of the houses in this movie, and I saw you just posted about it a day ago! How amazing! Such a lovely house. Thanks for all the research!

Courtney @ Nesting Instincts February 1, 2010 at 11:18 pm

I love all the backgroud info you gave…this was one of my favorite movies when I was a kid. It’s kind of a shame that the ranch was just a set…what a waste…it looked like such a beautiful home! (And you’re right – just READING your post got that song stuck in my head! HELP!) Thanks for all your hard work just to keep us entertained…we love it. :-)
.-= Courtney @ Nesting Instincts´s last blog ..fairies are afoot – a fairy-themed birthday party =-.

Holly February 2, 2010 at 10:14 am

Love that ranch house and all the open to the outdoors spaces!
Just the other day I caught a few minutes of the LL remake on tv and wondered again about the whole twin thing…you’re right, you just have to suspend reality and go with it. Who would split up their twins and keep it a secret?
.-= Holly´s last blog ..Who’s Copying Who? =-.

Beck February 2, 2010 at 3:10 pm

Thank you, thank you, thank you……The ranch house is still my favorite of all time movie/tv houses! The only thing I would change about it today is put in a gas stove and remove the electric stove! LOL I have been looking for photos of this house for a long time….Thanks again!

Ann February 2, 2010 at 9:54 pm

Oh my!!!! This movie lives on very vividly in my dreams…like so many others who have posted here! What a superb post! I dearly love the California house in this movie, and the fantasy of Brian Keith and Maureen O’Hara as parents. This house set the bar HIGH for California ranch style. Everything about it seemed perfect and luxurious..and it still does on film! THANK YOU for this post..it really made me smile.

Cristy February 2, 2010 at 10:10 pm

Hi! I really love both of these movies. I’m so glad you put them up. Could you please do the Lass house from Dead Like Me? I love that house so much. Your blog is great!

Cristy February 2, 2010 at 10:11 pm

Sorry, I mean from the series, not the movie. It’s a beautiful home.

Jessica S February 3, 2010 at 10:51 am

I really do love the windows in the ranch kitchen!

Carol February 3, 2010 at 11:38 pm

Thanks for all of the beautiful pictures. I love both of these movies, although I’ve seen the remake most often recently. My family lived just a few miles from the Disney property used for Golden Oak Ranch in the original–I never realized that! It’s in Canyon Country, CA, quite a bit south of Carmel–about 300 miles. I sure wish I’d know about it when I lived there.

I love your blog–it’s so fun to check out all of the houses.

Leslie February 4, 2010 at 8:18 pm

I’ve always had a thing about the entry hall in the London flat of the remake with Lindsay Lohan. The orange is perfect.

allison February 6, 2010 at 1:55 am

This was my favorite movie growing up! I think the remake is cute too, but nothing beats the classic. I cant remember what the movie is called but it has hailey mills as an adult as a stepmom of triplet teens, and hailey has a twin in the movie again. I havent seen it in years, if you know what its called…let me know!!
thanks for great posts :)
allison
.-= allison´s last blog ..DECORATING MY NEW IKEA SHELVES =-.

Kelsey February 11, 2010 at 10:55 am

Awesome post! I loved this movie! The courtyard and kitchen!!!! Amazing! Thanks for taking the time to research this! It is great to be able to study the photos and see details of the rooms that you miss in the movie!

randee March 4, 2010 at 12:20 pm

as soon as i saw the photo – i knew the movie!

not only is that my all-time favorite movie but hayley mills was my very favorite actress when i was a girl. in fact, “the trouble with angels” where she became a nun, made me want to be one for a short time (& i’m not catholic!).

of course, i also loved kathy lennon & used to pretend i was her & that i had a horse named lady but it was really just a bike. & i was crazy about dale evans, too.
.-= randee´s last blog ..i love you a latte =-.

kara March 15, 2010 at 4:15 pm

I have been obsessing over Mitch and Susan’s Spanish revival ranch house forever. I am shocked to learn it was all actually built on a soundstage. Whomever the set designer was did an amazing job. It is like my dream house. Amazing post, amazing site. Thanks!
.-= kara´s last blog ..Time, Eminent Domain, Marches on and Into Lofts. =-.

Ajumma May 8, 2010 at 1:57 am

I have been waiting for a post like this for over a year! Yours is even better than I could have wished for. I love Mitch’s house too. I suspected it was a Cliff May until I read about it being constructed for the movie. I hope you don’t mind me using one of your pics from the movie. :-) I’ve added you as one of my Favorites.

Barbara October 14, 2010 at 4:47 pm

Incredible! We were trying to find excellent examples of Cliff May houses in film, and to have this complete write-up is a great source to direct our friends to!

Penny November 11, 2010 at 1:03 pm

I remember growing up and watching Disney on Sunday nights. This movie would come on every summer and me and my sister would sit in front of the TV and bought it. I now own it on VCR and hope to get the DVD as well. I have all ways treasured this movie as being a vital part of my childhood. Thank you.

ui December 25, 2010 at 10:36 pm

That kitchen is amazing!!!!

Amanda February 23, 2011 at 11:40 am

I have loved that ranch house since I first saw the movie when I was very young. Thank you for doing such a well though out and researched post and for all the wonderful photos!

Marline March 10, 2011 at 11:14 am

I just had to look this over, Julia, as I’m going to MEET Hayley Mills at the TCM Film Festival this year (2011) and I was looking for ideas on the vintage dress I’ll be making to wear to attend the screening of this all-time favorite. If she mentions anything about the set or the houses, I’ll surely report back. Thanks for the marvelous screen caps–this was an annual must-watch at our house as my kids were growing up. We even used to quiz each other on Parent Trap trivia! Thanks again, Karen N., Rochester, NY

Deb March 30, 2011 at 2:35 pm

I was a huge fan of Maureen O’Hara and love this movie. The rooms – like a dream – I so enjoyed seeing them again – yea, yea, yea!

Jeanine April 1, 2011 at 12:03 pm

I really love this film and it’s one of my favorite Disney movies. I’ve watched this movie so many times and it never gets old. About 2 months ago I MADE my husband watch it just to show him the house on the ranch. Even though he did not admit it, I knew that he loved the home as well. How beautiful, even now!! So now that I almost forty, this is the 1st time I ever looked up any information about the movie, and must admit that I am very pleased to know that the parents actually got married! Yes I know, I always thought that Sharon or Susan was picturing the wedding at the end and that it never quite happened! In some sort of way I always wanted this movie to just continue on and on…….

Nikki May 4, 2011 at 1:36 pm

Wonderful Website, though their is one error Maureen wasn’t 41 while making the movie she 39/40. but not a big difference

hookedonhouses May 4, 2011 at 3:31 pm

I got that number from the IMDb.com website, which says she was born in 1920 and the movie came out in 1961.

Stephanie May 12, 2011 at 3:30 pm

this is one of my favorite movies. my sister and I used to watch this movie so much! I was disappointed to learn that the house in California was just a shell and mostly on set. I always loved the way the house blended the outdoor and indoor space!

LucaBella June 12, 2011 at 11:17 pm

Loved Loved Loved this post!!!

I always remembered the “ranch in carmel” and while I’m bummed it didn’t exist, your pictures are amazing! I loved everything about this movie, thanks so much for your dedication to it!

Jenny June 27, 2011 at 12:51 pm

Thank you for such a wonderful post! Loved it!!!

Deb August 22, 2011 at 2:16 pm

I just watched the original movie the other night – for the umpteenth time – I never get tired of either the 1961 or the 1998 films. Maureen O’Hara is the most stunningtly beautiful actress ever. The casting in both movies was perfect. Thanks for this great website with the photos and commentary.

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