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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 »

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

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Felix Bressart ...
Dr. Max Breslar
...
Charlotte
Fay Holden ...
Mrs. Kahly
Samuel S. Hinds ...
Mr. Kahly
Kathleen Howard ...
Mrs. Keats
George Lessey ...
Mr. Keats
William Henry ...
Allan Keats
Henry O'Neill ...
Judge
John Eldredge ...
Damon
Clinton Rosemond ...
Zeke
Theresa Harris ...
Cleo
Charles Arnt ...
G. Harrington Hedger (as Charlie Arnt)
Cecil Cunningham ...
Mrs. Gilworth
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Storyline

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) »

Taglines:

The Great Story Of A Great Woman ! It's the grandest human drama since Boys Town ! See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

25 July 1941 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

De corazón a corazón  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The first of five consecutive Best Actress Oscar nominations for Greer Garson; she would win the following year for Mrs. Miniver (1942). See more »

Quotes

Edna: There are no illegitimate children. There are only illegitimate parents!
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 »

Connections

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

Soundtracks

We Three Kings of Orient Are
(uncredited)
Written by John H. Hopkins
Played as background music on Christmas Eve
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.


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