The Parent Trap (1998 Film)
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The Parent Trap 1998 Film
The Parent Trap
Theatrical release poster
Directed byNancy Meyers
Produced byCharles Shyer
Screenplay by
Based onLottie and Lisa
by Erich Kästner
Music byAlan Silvestri
CinematographyDean Cundey
Edited byStephen A. Rotter
Distributed byBuena Vista Pictures Distribution
Release date
  • July 29, 1998 (1998-07-29) (United States)
  • December 11, 1998 (1998-12-11) (United Kingdom)
Running time
128 minutes[1]
CountryUnited States[2][3]
Budget$15 million[4]
Box office$92.1 million[5]

The Parent Trap is a 1998 American romantic comedy film co-written and directed by Nancy Meyers, and produced and co-written by Charles Shyer. It is a remake of the 1961 film of the same name and an adaptation of Erich Kästner's German novel Lottie and Lisa (Das doppelte Lottchen).

Dennis Quaid and Natasha Richardson star as a divorced couple who separated shortly after their identical twin daughters' birth; Lindsay Lohan stars (in her film debut) as both twins, Hallie Parker and Annie James, who are fortuitously reunited at summer camp after being separated at birth. David Swift wrote the screenplay for the original 1961 film based on Lottie and Lisa. The story is comparable to that of the 1936 Deanna Durbin film Three Smart Girls.[6] Swift is credited along with Meyers and Shyer as co-writers of the 1998 version.


In 1986, American winery owner Nicholas "Nick" Parker and British wedding gown designer Elizabeth "Liz" James meet, fall in love, and get married over the course of a transatlantic crossing on the Queen Elizabeth 2. However, shortly after the birth of their identical twin daughters, Annie and Hallie, they get divorced and each has sole custody of one girl. Nick raises Hallie in Napa Valley, California and Elizabeth raises Annie in London, England.

Eleven years and nine months later in the summer of 1998, Nick and Elizabeth coincidentally send their daughters to Camp Walden, a girls' sleep away camp in Maine. Annie and Hallie, who do not know each other, take an immediate dislike to one another.

After a series of pranks, the two are isolated together as punishment until camp is over. They ecstatically discover that they are twins and hatch a plan: for each girl to switch and meet the parent she has never met and reunite them. After a makeover, where Annie gets a haircut and pierces her ears, Hallie imitates Annie's British accent and flies to London to meet their mother, maternal grandfather Charles, and the James' butler Martin.

Annie imitates Hallie's American accent, and flies to Napa Valley to meet their father, Hallie's nanny Chessy and their dog Sammy. Eventually the plan unravels, as Charles catches Hallie sneaking out to a phone booth to call Annie in California, and gets her to confess that she is Hallie over a walk in the park. Soon after, Chessy is suspicious of "Hallie's" behavior, and Annie confirms her suspicions. After discovering that their father is engaged to the child-hating gold digger Meredith Blake, Annie and Hallie plot to reunite Elizabeth and Nick by falsely telling Elizabeth that Nick wants to meet her in San Francisco. Chessy, Martin, and Charles decide to help the girls' plan, and want to help them get their parents back together. Nick is shocked, but delighted to see Elizabeth for the first time in years, and to learn that he's had Annie in his care since the end of camp. Meanwhile, Chessy and Martin grow romantically attracted to each other.

The girls' pull out all the stops, including recreating the night their parents met, by having Charles pay to rent out a yacht for an evening, and having Chessy and Martin act as a waitress and sommelier respectively. However, they ultimately fail to rekindle Nick and Elizabeth's relationship. The twins resort to a last-ditch effort, by demanding a three-day family camping trip, refusing to reveal which twin is which until after they return; Elizabeth tricks Meredith into taking her place on the camping trip.

Annie and Hallie play a number of pranks on Meredith, who becomes enraged after waking up in the middle of the lake on her air mattress and gives Nick an ultimatum; choose either the girls or her. Nick, finally seeing Meredith for who she truly is, chooses the girls over Meredith much to her dismay, and as a result, she angrily breaks off the engagement. Being a responsible father, Nick punishes the girls for their mischief; however, he comments to Elizabeth that he will have to thank them one day.

Nick shows Elizabeth his wine collection, including the one from their wedding. Both realize they still have feelings for one another, but decide it is better to go their separate ways. Elizabeth and Annie later board a flight for London, but when they arrive, they find Nick and Hallie waiting for them (having taken a faster flight on the Concorde). Nick realizes his previous mistake of not going after Elizabeth when she left him and proposes to her. Elizabeth yields to Nick's unwavering confidence and tearfully accepts. Photos show Nick and Elizabeth getting remarried aboard the Queen Elizabeth 2, with Annie and Hallie as bridesmaids, while Charles also presenting, and Martin proposing to Chessy.

Cast and characters

  • Lindsay Lohan as Hallie Parker and Annie James, eleven-year-old twin sisters who were separated after birth. Following their parents' divorce, they were raised separately with no knowledge of each other's existence -- until they meet at summer camp by chance. Erin Mackey was Lohan's acting double for the scenes where the twins appear together.
  • Dennis Quaid as Nicholas "Nick" Parker, Annie and Hallie's father, a wealthy American vineyard owner.
  • Natasha Richardson as Elizabeth "Liz" James, Annie and Hallie's mother, a famous British wedding gown designer.
  • Elaine Hendrix as Meredith Blake, a 26-year-old child-hating publicist who is planning to marry Nick for his money.
  • Lisa Ann Walter as Chessy, Nick's housekeeper and Hallie's nanny. She meets and falls in love with Martin. She also discovers that "Hallie" is actually Annie after noticing her strange behavior.
  • Simon Kunz as Martin, the James family's butler, who falls in love with Chessy.
  • Polly Holliday as Marva Kulp Sr., the owner and director of Camp Walden.
  • Maggie Wheeler as Marva Kulp Jr., Marva Sr.'s daughter and assistant.
  • Ronnie Stevens as Charles James, Elizabeth's wealthy father and Annie and Hallie's maternal grandfather. After he catches Hallie on the phone with Annie, she tells him about switching places.
  • Joanna Barnes as Vicki Blake, Meredith's mother.
  • J. Patrick McCormack as Les Blake, Meredith's father.

Lohan's mother, Dina, and siblings, Michael, Aliana and Cody, all appear in uncredited cameos at the airport.


Principal photography started on July 15, 1997, in London, United Kingdom, and continued in Napa Valley AVA, San Francisco, Lake Arrowhead, and Los Angeles, California.[7]


The song used in the opening sequence in which glimpses of Nick and Elizabeth's first wedding is seen is Nat King Cole's "L-O-V-E". The song used in the end credits, in which photos of Nick and Elizabeth's second wedding is seen, is his daughter Natalie Cole's "This Will Be (An Everlasting Love)".

The instrumental music featured prominently in the hotel scene where the girls and their parents cross paths serendipitously is "In the Mood", which was previously made famous by the Glenn Miller band. Later in the hotel, Hallie sings a few bars of "Let's Get Together", a tune from the first version of the film that was a hit for its star, Hayley Mills. The song is also quoted over the Walt Disney Pictures logo, and at the end of Alan Silvestri's closing credits suite.

When Hallie shows up at Annie's poker game at Camp Walden, the music used is "Bad to the Bone" by George Thorogood and the Destroyers.

The background song heard in the campfire scene is "How Bizarre" by the music group OMC.

The tune playing as Hallie and Annie are making their way up to the Isolation Cabin is the main theme from "The Great Escape" by Elmer Bernstein.


The Parent Trap
Soundtrack album by
Various artists
ReleasedJuly 28, 1998
The Parent Trap (Original Soundtrack)
No.TitleWriter(s)Recording artistLength
1."L-O-V-E"Bert Kaempfert; Milt GablerNat King Cole2:32
2."Do You Believe in Magic"John SebastianThe Lovin' Spoonful2:05
3."There She Goes"Lee MaversThe La's2:43
4."Top of the World"Fred Busby; John BettisShonen Knife3:56
5."Here Comes the Sun"George HarrisonBob Khaleel3:08
6."(I Love You) For Sentimental Reasons"Deek Watson; William BestLinda Ronstadt3:44
7."Soulful Strut"Eugene Record; Sonny SandersYoung-Holt Unlimited3:00
8."Never Let You Go"Christian Berman; Frank Berman; Gabriel Gilbert; Jeff Coplan; Matthias Hass; Nick Laird-ClowesJakaranda3:07
9."Bad to the Bone"George ThorogoodGeorge Thorogood & The Destroyers4:49
10."The Happy Club"Bob Geldof; Karl WallingerBob Geldof4:05
11."Suite from The Parent Trap"Alan Silvestri 7:13
12."This Will Be (An Everlasting Love)"Chuck Jackson; Marvin YancyNatalie Cole2:49
13."Dream Come True[1]"Milton DavisTa-Gana3:50
14."Groovin'[2]"Eddie Brigati; Felix CavalierePato Banton & The Reggae Revolution3:50
15."Let's Get Together[3]"Richard M. Sherman; Robert B. ShermanNobody's Angel3:08
Total length:54:08

Film score

The Parent Trap
Film score by
ReleasedSeptember 1, 1998
Alan Silvestri chronology
The Odd Couple II
''The Parent Trap
Practical Magic

All tracks are written by Alan Silvestri.

The Parent Trap (Original Score)
1."The Disney Logo"0:16
2."Suite from The Parent Trap"7:12
3."Annie and Martin"1:00
4."Shake Hands, Girls"0:34
5."Like Twins"3:39
7."Hallie Meets Mom"3:43
8."Annie Meets Dad"2:11
9."Vineyard Suite"1:38
10."I Am Annie"1:17
11."Dad's Getting Married"1:01
12."Hallie Breaks the News"1:49
13."You'll Kill in It"0:53
14."Table for Two"1:51
15."She's Gone"2:05
16."Where Dreams Have No End"2:18
17."We Actually Did It"1:38
Total length:39:46


1.^ Not featured in the motion picture.


Critical response

The review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes reported an 86% approval rating with an average rating of 6.8/10 based on 50 reviews. The website's consensus states: "Writer-director Nancy Meyers takes the winning formula of the 1961 original and gives it an amiable modern spin, while young star Lindsay Lohan shines in her breakout role."[8]Metacritic gave the film a score of 64/100, based on reviews from 19 critics, indicating "generally favorable" reviews.[9]

Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert each gave the film three stars.[10] Critic Kenneth Turan called Lohan "the soul of this film as much as Hayley Mills was of the original", going on to say that "she is more adept than her predecessor at creating two distinct personalities".[11]

Lohan won a Young Artist Award for best performance in a feature film.[12][13][14]

Box office

In its opening weekend, the film grossed $11,148,497 in 2,247 theaters in the United States and Canada, ranking #2 at the box office, behind Saving Private Ryan. By the end of its run, The Parent Trap grossed $66,308,518 domestically and $25,800,000 internationally, totaling $92,108,518 worldwide.[5] The film was released in the United Kingdom on December 11, 1998, and opened on #3, behind Rush Hour and The Mask of Zorro.[15]


In February 2018, it was revealed that remakes of several films are in development as exclusive content for Walt Disney Studios' upcoming streaming service Disney+; with one of those named in the announcement being The Parent Trap.[16]


  1. ^ "The Parent Trap: 128 minutes (Starz 01/2010 Schedule, Page 4)" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on May 26, 2015. Retrieved 2017.
  2. ^ "The Parent Trap". AFI Catalog. American Film Institute. Retrieved 2018.
  3. ^ "The Parent Trap (1998)". British Film Institute. Retrieved 2018.
  4. ^ Knott, Matthew Hammett (May 29, 2014). "Heroines of Cinema: These 10 Female Filmmakers Prove Why Hollywood Studios Should Change Their Tune | IndieWire". IndieWire. Retrieved 2016.
  5. ^ a b "The Parent Trap (1998)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved .
  6. ^ Kawano, Kelley (June 26, 2012). "Let's Get Together: An In-Depth Look at the Ongoing Appeal of Hayley Mills' 'The Parent Trap'". Retrieved 2014.
  7. ^ "The Parent Trap - Production Notes - About the locations". Retrieved 2013.
  8. ^ "The Parent Trap (1998)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 2014.
  9. ^
  10. ^ Siskel, Gene (July 31, 1998). "Parent Trap Repeat a Worthy Trip". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 2017.
       Ebert, Roger (July 29, 1998). "The Parent Trap". Retrieved 2017.
  11. ^ "Kenneth Turan: The Parent Trap". Los Angeles Times. July 29, 1998. Archived from the original on August 4, 2012.
  12. ^ "Celebrity Central: Lindsay Lohan". Archived from the original on January 31, 2010. Retrieved 2010.
  13. ^ "Lindsay Lohan: Biography: Rolling Stone". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on January 31, 2010. Retrieved 2014.
  14. ^ "20th Annual Awards". The Young Artist Foundation. Retrieved 2009.
  15. ^ "Weekend box office 11th December 1998 - 13th December 1998". Retrieved 2017.
  16. ^ "Disney Planning Another 'Muppets' Reboot for Its Streaming Service (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. February 21, 2018. Retrieved 2018.

External links

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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