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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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Blossoms in the Dust is an interesting film because it is about a social worker. Rarely do films come to the screen about the heroic struggles social workers go through to fight social injustice and oppression. Edna Gladney is a woman who fought to remove the stigma associated with "illegitimate" children. I suggest this film to all aspiring social workers so they can see some of the history behind the profession, and in a more human light than text books can provide. It is a great way to learn some of the history behind social work!
Greer Garson is sensational as Edna Gladney. In an Oscar-nominated performance, she conveys all the spirit and passion of one of the leading activists of her day. Her struggle to have the term "illegitimate" removed from birth certificates is inspiring. At one time, conservatives believed that children without mothers and fathers were being punished by god, because of a Puritan view of inborn immorality (original sin). Edna Gladney fought against this form of inequality in the early part of the 20th century and this is her story. The story is full of passion, romance, and courage, and should be appealing to anyone with an interest in the history of social work and oppression.
Also interesting is that the film was shot in early Technicolor. The Oscar-winning set and color design, and nominated photography, are simply gorgeous. It is a joy to watch for the color alone. Blossoms in the Dust was also Oscar-nominated for best picture and it shows. The story will stay with you long after you have seen the film!
Good job, MGM, for bringing the story of a social worker, and a great woman, to the screen!
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