Fifty years ago this summer, Walt Disney’s “Mary Poppins” made its debut in theaters — making an instant movie star of 28-year-old Julie Andrews, for whom the title role was her first appearance in a feature film. (Best screen debut ever? I wouldn’t argue.) The movie — which is, of course, practically perfect in every way — became an instant classic, with generations of kids growing up warbling the songs. I was one of those kids, and a few years ago attended a jolly sing-along screening of the film; for a lot of us, it seems, those songs never leave our memories. Here’s the original trailer; it’s a charmer. See how many of these tunes you remember.
p.s. Dick Van Dyke, who plays Bert the chimney sweep, has received decades of good-natured grief for his rather unfortunate British accent in the film. In an interview with NPR’s “Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me” a few years back, he provided an excuse: The studio provided him with a dialect coach who was Irish, “and he didn’t do an accent any better than I did.”