AFI Catalog of Feature Films
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Mary Poppins
Director: Robert Stevenson (Dir)
Release Date:   1964
Duration (in mins):  140
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Cast: Julie Andrews  (Mary Poppins)
  Dick Van Dyke  (Bert/Mr. Dawes, Senior)
  David Tomlinson  (Mr. [George] Banks)
 

Summary: London banker George Banks advertises for a nanny in the Times when his wife, a suffragette, has difficulty finding a governess firm enough to handle their children, Jane and Michael. The children also write an advertisement, asking that a compassionate person apply, but Mr. Banks throws their note into the fireplace. The next morning, a number of severe-looking women apply for the job, but a strong wind blows them away; Mary Poppins glides down from the sky on her umbrella and, while being interviewed by Mr. Banks, informs him she will give the family a trial period. She gets the children to clean up the nursery, making the task enjoyable with her magic, and then takes them for a walk. They enter a picture of the countryside that her friend Bert has chalked on the sidewalk. After having tea served by dancing penguins, they ride on a merry-go-round, leave the carousel on their horses, and trot off to a fox hunt. When rain washes the sidewalk drawing away, Mary rushes the children home. The following day, Mary takes the children and Bert to visit her Uncle Albert, whose incessant laughter causes him to float in the air; soon they are all laughing and floating on the ceiling. Mr. Banks, meanwhile, refuses to believe his children's stories and wants to fire Mary, but adopts her suggestion that he bring his children to the bank and show them how he spends his day. Michael is to open an account, but instead he attempts to retrieve his money to buy birdseed from The Bird Woman, thus creating panic in the bank. The children escape, and Bert takes them home. Mary appears; and she, Bert and the children travel across the rooftops of London. When they return home, their gaiety spreads throughout the household, and Bert points out to Mr. Banks how damaging his severity can be. When Banks is fired from his job, he tells chairman of the board Dawes a joke he learned from Michael, then leaves to take his children to fly kites in the park. Dawes, who has not laughed in 90 years, dies happy, while laughing at the joke, and Banks is offered a position on the board. Feeling that her job is complete, Mary opens her umbrella and flies away. 

Distribution Company: Buena Vista Distribution Co., Inc.
Production Company: Walt Disney Productions
Director: Robert Stevenson (Dir)
  Arthur J. Vitarelli (Live action 2nd unit dir)
  Joseph L. McEveety (Asst dir)
  Paul Feiner (Asst dir)
Producer: Walt Disney (Pres)
  Bill Walsh (Co-prod)
Writer: Bill Walsh (Scr)
  Don DaGradi (Scr)

Subject Major: Children
  Chimney sweeps
  Family relationships
  Governesses
  London (England)
  Magic
 
Subject Minor: Admirals
  Bankers
  Banks
  Brothers and sisters
  Classified advertisements
  Dismissal (Employment)
  Drawings and sketches
  English
  Family life
  Fox hunts
  Great Britain--History--Social life and customs
  Great Britain--History--20th century
  Horseracing
  Kites
  Levitation
  Merry-go-rounds
  Money
  Penguins
  Pigeons
  Promotions
  Suffragettes
  Tea parties
  The Times (London)
  Transformation
  Umbrellas
  Uncles

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.
 
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