Mrs. Parkington (1944)

123-124 mins | Drama | November 1944

Director:

Tay Garnett

Producer:

Leon Gordon

Cinematographer:

Joseph Ruttenberg

Editor:

George Boemler

Production Designers:

Cedric Gibbons, Randall Duell

Production Company:

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Corp.
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HISTORY

Louis Bromfield's novel was first published in Cosmopolitan . According to the CBCS, European release prints of the film included characters not in the domestic version. Hugo Haas, playing a Balkan king, replaced Cecil Kellaway as "Edward, Prince of Wales" in the American cast, and Tala Birell, who plays "Lady Norah Ebbsworth" in the U.S. version, appeared as a countess in the European version. In addition, the CBCS lists at least three actors--Ann Codee, Frank Reicher and George Davis--who were not in the final U.S. version but may have been in the European version. They are listed as playing French characters, and it is possible that scenes set in France were shot but were cut from the final U.S. version or were shot only for the European version.
       HR news items and production charts add the following information about the production: Donna Reed was cast in a part, but did not appear in the completed film. Madeleine LeBeau tested for the role of Lady Norah. Nana Bryant and Dewey Robinson were listed as cast members in HR news items, but they were not in the released film. Another news item includes June Hillman in the cast, but her appearance in the final film has not been confirmed. Although HR reported that Peter Lawford's character, "Lord Thornley," was to "make love" to Greer Garson's in the story, his part was reduced to one line in the U.S. version. The production, which required six weeks of tests and costume fittings, was shot chronologically, beginning with the 1872 sequence. The fox hunt sequence was filmed at Morrison ... More Less

Louis Bromfield's novel was first published in Cosmopolitan . According to the CBCS, European release prints of the film included characters not in the domestic version. Hugo Haas, playing a Balkan king, replaced Cecil Kellaway as "Edward, Prince of Wales" in the American cast, and Tala Birell, who plays "Lady Norah Ebbsworth" in the U.S. version, appeared as a countess in the European version. In addition, the CBCS lists at least three actors--Ann Codee, Frank Reicher and George Davis--who were not in the final U.S. version but may have been in the European version. They are listed as playing French characters, and it is possible that scenes set in France were shot but were cut from the final U.S. version or were shot only for the European version.
       HR news items and production charts add the following information about the production: Donna Reed was cast in a part, but did not appear in the completed film. Madeleine LeBeau tested for the role of Lady Norah. Nana Bryant and Dewey Robinson were listed as cast members in HR news items, but they were not in the released film. Another news item includes June Hillman in the cast, but her appearance in the final film has not been confirmed. Although HR reported that Peter Lawford's character, "Lord Thornley," was to "make love" to Greer Garson's in the story, his part was reduced to one line in the U.S. version. The production, which required six weeks of tests and costume fittings, was shot chronologically, beginning with the 1872 sequence. The fox hunt sequence was filmed at Morrison Ranch, Agoura, CA. Locations were scouted in Nevada, but it is not known if any scenes were actually shot there.
       Garson and Pidgeon appeared together as husband and wife for the fourth time in this film. Garson was nominated for an Academy Award as Best Actress, but lost to Ingrid Bergman in M-G-M's Gaslight . On 25 Nov 1946, Lux Radio Theatre broadcast a radio adaptation of the film, starring Garson and Pidgeon, and on 21 Oct 1948, Hallmark Playhouse broadcast a version starring Rosalind Russell. More Less

GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
23 Sep 1944.
---
Daily Variety
14 Sep 44
p. 3.
Film Daily
14 Sep 44
p. 9.
Hollywood Reporter
29 Nov 43
p. 1.
Hollywood Reporter
4 Jan 44
p. 9.
Hollywood Reporter
14 Feb 44
p. 16.
Hollywood Reporter
21 Feb 44
p. 16.
Hollywood Reporter
3 Mar 44
p. 43, 46
Hollywood Reporter
7 Mar 44
p. 5.
Hollywood Reporter
9 Mar 44
p. 15.
Hollywood Reporter
15 Mar 44
p. 8.
Hollywood Reporter
4 Apr 44
p. 5.
Hollywood Reporter
18 Apr 44
p. 21.
Hollywood Reporter
20 Apr 44
p. 5.
Hollywood Reporter
2 May 44
p. 5.
Hollywood Reporter
3 May 44
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
26 May 44
p. 18.
Hollywood Reporter
5 Jun 44
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
6 Jun 44
p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter
14 Sep 44
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
17 Oct 44
p. 6.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
8 Apr 44
p. 1835.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
16 Sep 44
p. 2101.
New York Times
13 Oct 44
p. 16.
Variety
20 Sep 44
p. 10.
CAST
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
Hans Conreid
Ruthe Brady
Chuck Hamilton
Johnny Berkes
Olga Borget
Joseph North
+
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
PRODUCER
WRITERS
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
Art dir
Greer Garson's portrait
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
COSTUMES
Cost supv
Men's cost
MUSIC
Mus score
SOUND
Rec dir
Unit, re-rec and eff mixer
Re-rec and eff mixer
Re-rec and eff mixer
Re-rec and eff mixer
Re-rec and eff mixer
Re-rec and eff mixer
Re-rec and eff mixer
Mus mixer
Mus mixer
Mus mixer
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff
Matte paintings cam
MAKEUP
Makeup created by
Hair styles created by
PRODUCTION MISC
Greer Garson's card trick instructor
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the novel Mrs. Parkington by Louis Bromfield (New York, 1943).
DETAILS
Release Date:
November 1944
Premiere Information:
New York opening: 12 October 1944
Production Date:
7 March--5 June 1944
retakes began early June 1944
Copyright Claimant:
Loew's Inc.
Copyright Date:
18 October 1944
Copyright Number:
LP12932
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Sound System
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
123-124
Length(in feet):
11,133
Length(in reels):
12
Country:
United States
PCA No:
10200
SYNOPSIS

On Christmas Eve, 1938, Susie Parkington, the eighty- four-year-old matriarch of a wealthy New York family, learns that her great-granddaughter, Jane Stilham, is about to elope with Ned Talbot, a former employee at her father Amory Stilham's investment firm. Susie presses Jane to introduce her to Ned before they depart and, while she is waiting for them, remembers the first time she met her now-deceased husband, Major Augustus "Gus" Parkington: In 1872, Gus, an infamous playboy tycoon, arrives in Leaping Rock, Nevada, to inspect his silver mine and spies eighteen-year-old Susie Graham in her mother's boardinghouse. Gus insists on staying at the full boardinghouse, and Susie eagerly gives up her room to him. Susie impresses Gus with her resourcefulness and beauty, and she is equally entranced by his wealth and power. When her mother is killed in an explosion at Gus's unsafe mine, however, Susie is overcome with grief. Feeling responsible for Susie, Gus convinces her to marry him and takes her back to New York City. As soon as they arrive there, Gus breaks the news of his marriage to his former lover, Baroness Aspasia Conti. Although hurt, the sophisticated French woman befriends Susie and teaches her how to act like a rich man's wife. Back in the present, Ned arrives at Susie's mansion, and Susie, sensing trouble, coaxes him into confessing that he quit his job because he knew that government agents were investigating Amory and were about to arrest him for theft and fraud. When Amory shows up, Ned confronts him with his crime, then prevents him from shooting himself. Feeling protective of her father, Jane denounces Ned, ... +


On Christmas Eve, 1938, Susie Parkington, the eighty- four-year-old matriarch of a wealthy New York family, learns that her great-granddaughter, Jane Stilham, is about to elope with Ned Talbot, a former employee at her father Amory Stilham's investment firm. Susie presses Jane to introduce her to Ned before they depart and, while she is waiting for them, remembers the first time she met her now-deceased husband, Major Augustus "Gus" Parkington: In 1872, Gus, an infamous playboy tycoon, arrives in Leaping Rock, Nevada, to inspect his silver mine and spies eighteen-year-old Susie Graham in her mother's boardinghouse. Gus insists on staying at the full boardinghouse, and Susie eagerly gives up her room to him. Susie impresses Gus with her resourcefulness and beauty, and she is equally entranced by his wealth and power. When her mother is killed in an explosion at Gus's unsafe mine, however, Susie is overcome with grief. Feeling responsible for Susie, Gus convinces her to marry him and takes her back to New York City. As soon as they arrive there, Gus breaks the news of his marriage to his former lover, Baroness Aspasia Conti. Although hurt, the sophisticated French woman befriends Susie and teaches her how to act like a rich man's wife. Back in the present, Ned arrives at Susie's mansion, and Susie, sensing trouble, coaxes him into confessing that he quit his job because he knew that government agents were investigating Amory and were about to arrest him for theft and fraud. When Amory shows up, Ned confronts him with his crime, then prevents him from shooting himself. Feeling protective of her father, Jane denounces Ned, who storms off in anger. Amory admits that he embezzled his investors' money in a desperate attempt to recoup Wall Street losses and asks Susie for a thirty-one million dollar loan to prevent his arrest. Noting that the money constitutes her grandchildren's inheritance, Susie orders all of her relatives to come to her home to discuss the situation. Before their arrival, Susie recalls more about her life with Gus: On their third wedding anniversary, Gus surprises Susie with a palatial house decorated by Aspasia, and Susie surprises him by announcing she is pregnant. Thrilled by the news, Gus decides to host an elaborate ball in Susie's honor. Only a few guests show up, however, and Susie learns from lawyer John Marbey that earlier in the day, Gus inadvertently insulted one of their invited guests, the influential George Beaumont, who then demanded that Gus be blackballed. Furious, Gus orders the hired musicians and servants to eat the prepared feast and drives the guests away. The upset Susie suffers a miscarriage, and Gus blames Beaumont and his friends for the loss and vows revenge. Four years later, Susie finally learns about Gus's plot to ruin everyone who stayed away from the ball and denounces him for it. Defying his orders, she then moves out and, with Marbey's and Aspasia's help, uses Gus's money to restore the fortunes of some of his victims. When Gus hears what she has done, he is at first enraged, but then admits he is impressed with her cleverness. The two reconcile and Gus pledges to make Susie his partner both in business and love. Back in the present, Susie's extended family meets to decide Amory's future, and all vote to deny him their inheritance. When Amory announces he is giving himself up, Jane, his only ally, embraces him. After Amory leaves, Susie comforts Jane and remembers a dark time in her own life: Overwhelmed with grief over the accidental death of her only son, Susie has become a recluse. Having just returned from Europe, a concerned Aspasia visits her one day and reports that Gus, from whom Susie has been separated for a year, is thriving in his English home and has become involved with Lady Norah Ebbsworth. Revived by jealousy, Susie sails immediately with Aspasia, first to France, where her daughter Alice lives, and then to England. Susie arrives at Gus's place unannounced, and while Gus engages in a fox hunt with the much-younger Lady Norah, Susie meets Edward, Prince of Wales. Taken with Susie, Edward helps her to win back Gus by asking Lady Norah to become his mother Victoria's new lady-in-waiting, an offer he knows she is socially obligated to accept. After Lady Norah makes a hasty departure, Aspasia tells Susie that she is returning permanently to France and confesses what Susie has long known--that she has always loved Gus. Gus and Susie then reunite and contemplate the future of their grandchildren. Inspired by her memories, Susie advises a weeping Jane to go after Ned and, after accusing her grandchildren of being weak and selfish, announces that she is going to repay Amory's debt with their inheritance and is moving back to Leaping Rock. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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