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Blossoms in the Dust (MGM 1941, Greer Garson, Walter Pidgeon)

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This hugely successful, glossy woman’s picture confirmed GREER GARSON as a superstar and underlined MGM’s box-office wisdom in teaming her with WALTER PIDGEON. The real life story of Edna Gladney (Garson) the founder and head of the Texas Children’s Home and Aid Society, formed the basis of the heavily romanticised screenplay by Anita Loos, based on the story by Ralph Wheelwright. While the facts were not always adhered to the result was dramatically effective, with Garson, rapidly wooed by Texan farmer Pidgeon. However the subsequent marriage and their idyllic happiness together is destroyed by the death of their young child in an accident.

Garson, inconsolable because of her inability to have more children, embarks on a feverish social whirl to assuage her grief until her doctor – who calls upon her in the middle of a party – asks if he can leave a little orphan girl with her for the night. As a result of that act Garson starts a day nursery and she and Pidgeon devote themselves to the cause of orphans, unwanted babies and, in particular, to those children who are illegitimate. But when Pidgeon’s business suddenly fails and he dies, Garson is left to ensure the good work continues. Donations pour in and, helped by doctor FELIX BRESSART, her work prospers and she succeeds in finding homes for the children in her care, and even, despite concerted opposition, manages to have the stigma of the entry of “’illegitimacy’ removed from the Texas State records.

Mervyn LeRoy’s sensitive direction was ideally suited to the subject and Blossoms in the Dust also earned an Academy Award nomination for Best Film.

production details
USA | MGM | 99 minutes | 1941

Director: Mervyn LeRoy
Script: Anita Loos, Hugo Butler, Dorothy Yost, Ralph Wheelwright,

cast
Greer Garson as Edna Gladney
Walter Pidgeon as Sam Gladney
Felix Bressart as Dr. Max Breslar
Marsha Hunt as Charlotte
Kathleen Howard as Mrs. Sarah Keats
John Eldredge as Damon McPherson
Clinton Rosemond as Zeke
Theresa Harris as Cleo
Charles Arnt as G. Harrington Hedger
Cecil Cunningham as Mrs. Marcus Gilworth
William Henry as Allan Keats
Oscar O’Shea as Dr. West
Will Wright as Senator
Fay Holden as Mrs. Catherine Kahly
Douglas Wood as Senator
Almira Sessions as Mrs. Brown
Emory Parnell as Senator
Marc Lawrence as Bert La Verne
George Lessey as Mr. Keats
Edith Evanson as Hilda
Samuel S. Hinds as Mr. George Kahley
Cy Kendall as Harrington
Henry O’Neill as Judge
Edward Fielding as Judge
Harry Hayden as Senator
Howard C. Hickman as Senator
Selmer Jackson as Senator
Clarence Kolb as Senator
Carroll Nye as Mr. Loring
Emmett Vogan as Joshua Bedlow

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