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Mrs. Parkington (1944)

Not Rated | | Drama, Romance | November 1944 (USA)
A widowed matriarch reminisces about her family fortunes, including her romance with a financier/mine owner.

Director:

Tay Garnett

Writers:

Robert Thoeren (screenplay), Polly James (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
Reviews
Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 1 win. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Greer Garson ... Susie Parkington
Walter Pidgeon ... Major Augustus Parkington
Edward Arnold ... Amory Stilham
Agnes Moorehead ... Aspasia Conti
Cecil Kellaway ... Edward, Prince of Wales
Gladys Cooper ... Alice, Duchess de Brancourt
Frances Rafferty ... Jane Stilham
Tom Drake ... Ned Talbot
Peter Lawford ... Lord Thornley
Dan Duryea ... Jack Stilham
Hugh Marlowe ... John Marbey
Selena Royle ... Mattie Trounson
Fortunio Bonanova ... Signor Cellini
Lee Patrick ... Madeleine Parkington Swann
St. Luke's Episcopal Church Choristers St. Luke's Episcopal Church Choristers ... Carolers (as Saint Luke's Choristers)
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Storyline

In this family saga, Mrs. Parkington recounts the story of her life, beginning as a hotel maid in frontier Nevada where she is swept off her feet by mine owner and financier Augustus Parkington. He moves them to New York, tries to remake her into a society woman, and establishes their home among the wealthiest of New York's high society. Family and social life is not always peaceful, however, and she guides us, in flashbacks, through the rises and falls of the Parkington family fortunes. Written by Eric Wees <eric_wees@ccmail.chin.doc.ca>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

November 1944 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Una gran dama See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This film was first telecast in Seattle Monday 11 March 1957 on KING (Channel 5), in Kansas City MO 15 March 1957 on KCMO (Channel 5), in Chicago 31 March 1957 on WBBM (Channel 2), in Portland OR 8 May 1957 on KGW (Channel 8), in Minneapolis 24 July 1957 on KMGM (Channel 9), in Omaha 18 August 1957 on WOW (Channel 6), in Honolulu 21 October 1957 on KHVH (Channel 13), in Philadelphia 1 November 1957 on WFIL (Channel 6), in Altoona PA 29 November 1957 on WFBG (Channel 10), in Los Angeles 5 January 1958 on KTTV (Channel 2), and in New York City 12 July 1958 on WCBS (Channel 2). It first aired in San Francisco 24 January 1961 on KGO (Channel 7). See more »

Goofs

The gypsy fiddler plays Johann Strauss's "Roses from the South" on violin in a scene set in 1872, but that music was written in 1880. See more »

Quotes

Alice - Dutchess de Brancourt: [to Al Swann] You're a cowboy aren't you?
Madeleine Parkington Swann: He's a rancher.
Al Swann: Is there something wrong with being a cowboy?
Alice - Dutchess de Brancourt: On the contrary. I'm sure you had no problem roping her.
Madeleine Parkington Swann: Oh, shut up! You'd better take some peppermints before Grandmother comes down. If there are candles on the table that breath of yours will burst into flames.
See more »

Alternate Versions

In the European released version, Cecil Kellaway was replaced by 'Hugo Haas' and the role was changed to "Balkan King." Also, Tala Birell's character was changed to simply "Countess" instead of "Lady Norah Ebbsworth." Three actors in casting call lists but who were not in the U.S. print (Ann Codee, George Davis and Frank Reicher may also have been in this version (see the trivia section.) See more »

Connections

Referenced in Hollywood Hist-o-Rama: Greer Garson (1961) See more »

Soundtracks

Wein, Weib und Gesang (Wine, Women and Song), Op.333
(1869) (uncredited)
Music by Johann Strauss
Waltz played by the orchestra at the ball and danced by several couples
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Uneven Acting And Flawed Script Mar This Film
4 August 2014 | by atlasmbSee all my reviews

This B&W film from 1944 stars Greer Garson and Walter Pidgeon, who were riding a wave of success together at the time. MGM threw all of their best production and talent at this film and it shows on screen. The sets are fantastic, the cinematography is beautiful, the music is lush. But I felt disappointed with the final product.

The story starts during the Christmas holiday in 1938. The members of the Parkington family are assembling in the grand house of their mater familia, Susie (Garson). As they wait for Susie to descend the stair and honor them with her presence, they spread their flawed character traits (and dissatisfaction with the world) around the drawing room.

You may have met a woman like Susie--one whose very existence is a memorial to the memory of her deceased husband, Major Augustus Parkington (Walter Pidgeon). This woman usually refers to her man as "The Major" or "Mister So And So". And inevitably, the man whose life she celebrates even in death was a real bastard, or at least someone very terribly flawed, making her love for him (supposedly) more heroic, more saintly. There is something to that. Gus was a man dedicated to Susie in his own way. And his love for her was not in compliance with society's rules. But he never bowed to the will of society.

Later that night, Jane--the missing granddaughter--drops by to see Susie. She explains that she is leaving for Peru with a young man. This sparks the first of many flashbacks in the film. Back fifty-five years to Leaping Rock, Nevada--a small town built around a silver mine. Susie was only eighteen when she met Gus, owner of the mine.

Up to this point in the film, I was enjoying its exposition. But somewhere after Leaping Rock the action slowed to a plodding pace. And the deficiencies in the script and the acting became apparent. Some of the words that come from the lips of the primary couple are inauthentic--at least as delivered.

There is a scene where Susie confronts Gus upon realizing he has been working to destroy some men who dared to decline a dinner invitation. Here the acting is truly horrible. And it shows how an inauthentic moment can drag down a film.

Maybe it's just me, but I found the incessant use of "I'll Take You Home Again, Kathleen" in the background monotonous and annoying.

Agnes Moorehead is wonderful as the Baroness Aspasia Conti, the woman who bridged the gap between Susie and Gus and helped them stay together. Hans Conreid is enjoyable in a smaller role as Mr. Ernst, the manager of a temperamental tenor.

With all the talent involved, this film should have been better.


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