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Mary Poppins

film by Stevenson [1964]
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Mary Poppins, American musical film, released in 1964, that features the now-iconic screen debut of Julie Andrews. A children’s classic, Mary Poppins is considered to be among the finest of Walt Disney’s productions. It was adapted from the P.L. Travers book of the same name.

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The film concerns a magical London nanny (played by Andrews) who mysteriously appears at a troubled household to take charge of raising the two young children of a banker and a busy suffragette. Dick Van Dyke portrayed a musical chimney sweep who teaches the stern banker to appreciate the simple things in life.

Andrews won an Academy Award for her film debut, but leading man Van Dyke, as well as the acclaimed supporting cast, were also integral to the film’s appeal. The music by the Sherman brothers was a career highlight for the duo, with songs such as “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious” and “A Spoonful of Sugar” entering popular culture as classics. The unique combination of live action and animation was a stunning effect in 1964, though Travers is said to have despised it. Mary Poppins was a triumph at the 1965 Oscars, winning five awards and being nominated for eight others. So enduring is the film’s legacy that it inspired a hit stage production that opened in 2004.

Production notes and credits

Cast

  • Julie Andrews (Mary Poppins)
  • Dick Van Dyke (Bert/Mr. Dawes, Sr.)
  • David Tomlinson (George W. Banks)
  • Glynis Johns (Winifred Banks)

Academy Award nominations (* denotes win)

  • Picture
  • Director
  • Best actress* (Julie Andrews)
  • Score (adaptation or treatment)
  • Costume design
  • Screenplay
  • Sound
  • Cinematography (colour)
  • Art direction (colour)
  • Editing*
  • Music score (substantially original)*
  • Song*
  • Visual effects*
Lee Pfeiffer
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