Scandal at Scourie (1953)

89-90 mins | Drama | 12 June 1953

Director:

Jean Negulesco

Producer:

Edwin H. Knopf

Cinematographer:

Robert Planck

Editor:

Ferris Webster

Production Designers:

Cedric Gibbons, Wade B. Rubottom

Production Company:

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Corp.
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HISTORY

The working titles of this film were My Mother and Mr. McChesney and Vicki . The order of the cast in the end credits differs slightly from the that of the opening credits. According to a pre-production item in HR 's "Rambling Reporter" column, French actress Ketti Gallian auditioned for the role of a nun, and a 23 Jul 1952 HR news item adds Earl Lee to the cast. Neither actor's appearance in the final film has been confirmed, however. Director Jean Negulesco was borrowed from Twentieth Century-Fox for this film.
       According to information in the file on the film in the MPAA/PCA Collection at the AMPAS Library, the PCA was concerned that in dealing with the subject of religious intolerance, the script portrayed the Catholics much more sympathetically than the Protestants. Scandal at Scourie was the last film in which Greer Garson and Walter Pidgeon appeared together. The popular screen team had co-starred in eight previous M-G-M films, most notably Mrs. Miniver and Madame Curie ... More Less

The working titles of this film were My Mother and Mr. McChesney and Vicki . The order of the cast in the end credits differs slightly from the that of the opening credits. According to a pre-production item in HR 's "Rambling Reporter" column, French actress Ketti Gallian auditioned for the role of a nun, and a 23 Jul 1952 HR news item adds Earl Lee to the cast. Neither actor's appearance in the final film has been confirmed, however. Director Jean Negulesco was borrowed from Twentieth Century-Fox for this film.
       According to information in the file on the film in the MPAA/PCA Collection at the AMPAS Library, the PCA was concerned that in dealing with the subject of religious intolerance, the script portrayed the Catholics much more sympathetically than the Protestants. Scandal at Scourie was the last film in which Greer Garson and Walter Pidgeon appeared together. The popular screen team had co-starred in eight previous M-G-M films, most notably Mrs. Miniver and Madame Curie . More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
2 May 1953.
---
Daily Variety
29 Apr 53
p. 3.
Film Daily
7 May 53
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
23 Apr 52
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
29 May 52
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
11 Jul 52
p. 10.
Hollywood Reporter
14 Jul 52
p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter
23 Jul 52
p. 7.
Hollywood Reporter
15 Aug 52
p. 10.
Hollywood Reporter
29 Dec 52
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
29 Apr 53
p. 3.
Los Angeles Times
13 Jun 1953.
---
Motion Picture Daily
30 Apr 1953.
---
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
2 May 53
p. 1821.
New York Times
16 Jun 53
p. 24.
Variety
29 Apr 53
p. 6.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
PRODUCER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
Set dec
COSTUMES
Cost des
SOUND
Rec supv
VISUAL EFFECTS
MAKEUP
Hair style des by
Makeup created by
COLOR PERSONNEL
Technicolor col consultant
Col consultant
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the short story "Good Boy" by Mary McSherry in Good Housekeeping (May 1951).
AUTHOR
MUSIC
"Frère Jacques," traditional
"Greensleeves," traditional.
DETAILS
Alternate Titles:
My Mother and Mr. McChesney
Vicki
Release Date:
12 June 1953
Production Date:
14 July--mid August 1952
Copyright Claimant:
Loew's Inc.
Copyright Date:
28 April 1953
Copyright Number:
LP2540
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Sound System
Color
Technicolor
Duration(in mins):
89-90
Length(in feet):
8,054
Length(in reels):
9
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
16177
Passed by NBR:
Yes
SYNOPSIS

After a fire destroys a Catholic orphanage in the Canadian province of Quebec, the sisters find little Patsy hiding in the woods with her pet goldfish. Patsy tearfully explains that she accidentally started the fire when she awoke from a nightmare and knocked over a lantern, and is comforted by the sympathetic Sister Josephine. Without a dwelling that will accommodate all the orphans, the sisters and their charges board a train and travel the dominion seeking homes for some of the children. They stop in the drought-ravaged province of Scourie, Ontario, and Father Reilly, the local priest, informs Sister Josephine that most of the residents are Protestant. When the orphanage bully, Edward, threatens her goldfish, Patsy wanders to a nearby lake and is about to release her beloved pet when she is intercepted by Victoria McChesney, wife of the local shopkeeper and mayor. Drawn to the sweet-natured Patsy, the childless Victoria takes the girl to her husband Patrick's general store and suggests that they adopt her. However, Patrick, a staunch Protestant royalist, insists that Patsy be sent on her way. Even though Victoria tries to make Patsy miss her train, they reach the station just in time, prompting Victoria to tell Sister Josephine she wants to adopt the little girl. Father Reilly and some townspeople object because Victoria, who is from Northern Ireland, is Protestant, but Victoria promises that Patsy will be raised in the Catholic faith. That evening, when Patrick comes home from work, he is surprised to find Patsy there, but glumly tries to adjust to the situation. Soon after, Edward is adopted by the Catholic Swazey family, ... +


After a fire destroys a Catholic orphanage in the Canadian province of Quebec, the sisters find little Patsy hiding in the woods with her pet goldfish. Patsy tearfully explains that she accidentally started the fire when she awoke from a nightmare and knocked over a lantern, and is comforted by the sympathetic Sister Josephine. Without a dwelling that will accommodate all the orphans, the sisters and their charges board a train and travel the dominion seeking homes for some of the children. They stop in the drought-ravaged province of Scourie, Ontario, and Father Reilly, the local priest, informs Sister Josephine that most of the residents are Protestant. When the orphanage bully, Edward, threatens her goldfish, Patsy wanders to a nearby lake and is about to release her beloved pet when she is intercepted by Victoria McChesney, wife of the local shopkeeper and mayor. Drawn to the sweet-natured Patsy, the childless Victoria takes the girl to her husband Patrick's general store and suggests that they adopt her. However, Patrick, a staunch Protestant royalist, insists that Patsy be sent on her way. Even though Victoria tries to make Patsy miss her train, they reach the station just in time, prompting Victoria to tell Sister Josephine she wants to adopt the little girl. Father Reilly and some townspeople object because Victoria, who is from Northern Ireland, is Protestant, but Victoria promises that Patsy will be raised in the Catholic faith. That evening, when Patrick comes home from work, he is surprised to find Patsy there, but glumly tries to adjust to the situation. Soon after, Edward is adopted by the Catholic Swazey family, and word gets out that the McChesneys have adopted a Catholic child. Newspaper editor B. G. Belney, Victoria's former suitor and Patrick's opponent in the upcoming parliamentary election, is delighted by the news. Meanwhile, on Patsy's first day of school, she is shocked to find the mean-spirited Edward in her class. The next day, while Patrick is out of town, the paper runs a front-page editorial criticizing the McChesneys and alleging that the adoption was an attempt on Patrick's part to curry political favor with Catholics. Furious, Victoria finds Belney at the barber shop and pelts him with a wet towel. That afternoon, Patsy comes home in tears because of Edward's insulting remarks about her illegitimacy, but Victoria assures the child that her parents were not bad people. The controversy over the adoption continues, boding ill for Patrick's political career, and the townspeople begin boycotting his store. One night, Patrick proposes to Victoria that they send Patsy away, unaware that the child is listening to their conversation from the stairs. Meanwhile, a terrible blaze breaks out at the schoolhouse, and the firemen detect evidence of arson. A hearing is held to discuss the matter, and, as Edward had already spread the news about Patsy's role in the orphanage fire, suspicion falls on her. Victoria announces that she and her husband had already decided to return Patsy to church authorities, due to business and political pressure. Patrick then surprises Victoria by standing up for his adopted daughter and resigning his public office. The McChesneys happily return home, but are horrified to discover that Patsy is gone. While a search party frantically looks for Patsy in a violent rainstorm, Father Reilly goes to the newspaper office and shows Belney a letter in which Edward confesses to burning down the school while attempting to start a small fire to get Patsy in trouble. Meanwhile, in the woods, Patsy encounters Edward, who has also run away, and the children set off on foot for Manitoba. The next morning, Victoria finds Patsy's goldfish and necklace by the bridge and breaks down, assuming the worst. Just then, she hears a sneeze and finds Patsy and Edward under an overturned canoe. Patrick tells Patsy how much he wants to be her father, and both children are reunited with their families. +

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

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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.