25 user 14 critic

Blossoms in the Dust (1941)

Approved | | Biography, Drama, Romance | 25 July 1941 (USA)
Edna marries Texan Sam Gladney, operator of a wheat mill. Edna discovers by chance how the law treats children who are without parents and decides to do something about it. She opens a home... See full summary »



(screen play), (story)
Won 1 Oscar. Another 3 nominations. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

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 ... See full summary »

Director: Tay Garnett
Stars: Greer Garson, Walter Pidgeon, Edward Arnold
Madame Curie (1943)
Biography | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Despite himself, accomplished physicist and avowed bachelor Pierre Curie falls for brilliant student Marie, and together they embark on the discovery of radium.

Directors: Mervyn LeRoy, Albert Lewin
Stars: Greer Garson, Walter Pidgeon, Henry Travers
Certificate: Passed Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Mary Rafferty comes from a poor family of steel mill workers in 19th Century Pittsburgh. Her family objects when she goes to work as a maid for the wealthy Scott family which controls the ... See full summary »

Director: Tay Garnett
Stars: Greer Garson, Gregory Peck, Donald Crisp
Certificate: Passed Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

An American newspaperman and his wife, caught in the London blitz, lose their unborn child in an air raid. Outraged, they visit a shelter for homeless children where they fall in love with ... See full summary »

Directors: W.S. Van Dyke, Herbert Kline
Stars: Robert Young, Laraine Day, Fay Bainter
Certificate: Passed Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

An amnesiac World War I vet falls in love with a music hall star, only to suffer an accident which restores his original memories but erases his post-War life.

Director: Mervyn LeRoy
Stars: Ronald Colman, Greer Garson, Philip Dorn
Drama | Music | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Adam Lemp, the Dean of the Briarwood Music Foundation, has passed on his love of music to his four early adult daughters - Thea, Emma, Kay and Ann - who live with him and his sister, the ... See full summary »

Director: Michael Curtiz
Stars: Claude Rains, John Garfield, Jeffrey Lynn
Certificate: Passed Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Love among the Forsytes is strange, full of tradition, melancholy and gold digging in this film treatise on Victorian-age rigidity and vestiges of a flawed society.

Director: Compton Bennett
Stars: Errol Flynn, Greer Garson, Walter Pidgeon
Certificate: Passed Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

The tragic life of Marie Antoinette, who became queen of France in her late teens.

Directors: W.S. Van Dyke, Julien Duvivier
Stars: Norma Shearer, Tyrone Power, John Barrymore
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A financier from New York rules his numerous family, consisting of his wife and his four sons, with the meticulousness of a bookkeeper.

Director: Michael Curtiz
Stars: William Powell, Irene Dunne, Elizabeth Taylor
Comedy | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Two soldiers on sick leave spend three nights at the Hollywood Canteen before going back to active duty. With a little friendly help from John Garfield, Slim gets to kiss Joan Leslie, whom ... See full summary »

Director: Delmer Daves
Stars: Bette Davis, John Garfield, The Andrews Sisters
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A German-born engineer, his American wife and their children travel from Mexico to the United States to visit his brother but their plans are complicated by a Romanian count.

Directors: Herman Shumlin, Hal Mohr
Stars: Bette Davis, Paul Lukas, Geraldine Fitzgerald
Drama | Music | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Fourteen-year-old Tessa is hopelessly in love with handsome composer Lewis Dodd, a family friend. Lewis adores Tessa, but has never shown any romantic feelings toward her. When Tessa's ... See full summary »

Director: Edmund Goulding
Stars: Charles Boyer, Joan Fontaine, Brenda Marshall


Cast overview, first billed only:
Dr. Max Breslar
Mrs. Kahly
Mr. Kahly
Mrs. Keats
Mr. Keats
Allan Keats
John Eldredge ...
Clinton Rosemond ...
Theresa Harris ...
G. Harrington Hedger (as Charlie Arnt)
Mrs. Gilworth


Edna marries Texan Sam Gladney, operator of a wheat mill. Edna discovers by chance how the law treats children who are without parents and decides to do something about it. She opens a home for foundlings and orphans and begins to place children in good homes, despite the opposition of "conservative" citizens, who would condemn illegitimate children for being born out of wedlock. Eventually Edna leads a fight in the Texas legislature to remove the stigma of illegitimacy from birth records in that state, while continuing to be an advocate for homeless children. Written by Ron Kerrigan <mvg@whidbey.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

children | birth | texas | mill | foundling | See All (66) »


The Story of a Woman Who Defied Convention! See more »


Approved | See all certifications »




Release Date:

25 July 1941 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

De corazón a corazón  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)



Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


First of eight movies that paired Greer Garson and Walter Pidgeon. See more »


Edna: Do I look like a hussy?
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits prologue: This is the story of a great woman, and of the great work she is doing for humanity. Her name is Edna Gladney, and she lives in Fort Worth, Texas. We dedicate this picture to her. Let us first take you back to a certain household in Wisconsin at the beginning of the century - See more »


Referenced in You Can't Fool a Camera (1941) See more »


Music and Lyrics by Herbert Stothart and Earl K. Brent
Sung by Nadine Conner and Irene Crane in opening credits
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Her True Calling
28 November 2007 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

Someone over at MGM saw the possibility in the story of Edna Gladney the same kind of box office appeal that Boystown had for Spencer Tracy with a female protagonist/heroine. Save for winning the Oscar it almost worked out that way for Greer Garson. As it was Blossoms in the Dust became an important film for her.

Like Boystown the film is based on a real person, still living who worked with young people although this protagonist is female. And she works with the youngest of children, abandoned babies giving them shelter and eventually a home.

Greer Garson really hit her career stride with this role. Edna Gahley sustained two tragedies in her life that propelled her to her work with foundling kids. First her sister was found out to be adopted and when facts of her real illegitimate birth came to light, she committed suicide. Marsha Hunt has a small but very key role as the tragic sister.

Secondly she marries Sam Gladney played by Walter Pidgeon and when their child is killed in an accident, after a bit of soul searching she finds her true calling in founding and running a home and orphanage for unwanted children in Fort Worth, Texas. She also campaigns vigorously and successfully for the repeal of a law that mandated births out of wedlock be stamped illegitimate. Back in the day the simple fact of an out of wedlock birth could brand someone for life in real terms concerning job and service discrimination.

Watching the film I was struck that the opponents of Garson who wanted to keep the law as is were using the same arguments that are being used against same sex marriage, that were used against repealing the miscegenation laws. It seems we have to fight the same fight over many generations.

This was the first film in which Greer Garson and Walter Pidgeon were teamed by MGM. Their biggest success was in their next film the following year with Mrs. Miniver.

Blossoms in the Dust got an Oscar for Best Art and Set Design for a color film. It was nominated for Best Picture, but lost to How Green Was My Valley and Greer Garson got her first nomination for Best Actress, but she lost to Joan Fontaine for Suspicion.

Edna Gladney lived until 1961 twenty years after this film about her came out, to the last a passionate advocate for the rights of the littlest citizens on planet earth. She would have been a firm believer in what Hillary Clinton said about it taking a village to raise a child.

14 of 19 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Real Gladney story this isn't tplea
Tony! jazzmon
Soundtrack question thepixinator
Discuss Blossoms in the Dust (1941) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: