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Mrs. Parkington (1944)

Passed  -  Drama | Romance  -  November 1944 (USA)
7.0
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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 »

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(screenplay), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
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Title: Mrs. Parkington (1944)

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Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 1 win. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
Amory Stilham
...
Baroness Aspasia Conti
...
Edward - Prince of Wales
...
Alice - Dutchess de Brancourt
Frances Rafferty ...
Jane Stilham
Tom Drake ...
Ned Talbot
...
Lord Thornley
Dan Duryea ...
Jack Stilham
...
John Marbey
Selena Royle ...
Mattie Trounson
Fortunio Bonanova ...
Signor Cellini
Lee Patrick ...
Madeleine Parkington Swann
St. Luke's Episcopal Church Choristers ...
Singers (as The 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:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

November 1944 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Srª. Parkington  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Some cast members in studio records/casting call lists did not appear or were not identifiable in the movie. These were (with their character names): Ann Codee (Madame Dupont), George Davis (French Policeman) and Frank Reicher (French Doctor). It is possible that their scenes, if filmed at all, were only for the European version (see alternate versions), since their character names suggests a French setting. A contemporary news item also listed Donna Reed, Nana Bryant and Dewey Robinson as cast members, but they were not seen in the movie. See more »

Goofs

At the very beginning of the movie, when the carolers are on Mrs. Parkington's doorstep, the girl in the white coat standing on the step next to the butler is not singing "Silent Night" as the rest are. She is obviously singing something completely different (which of course makes the dubbing over completely obvious!) See more »

Quotes

Madeleine Parkington Swann: We're always enchanted to meet Madeleine's husbands.
Al Swann: I realize I'm not a first but this time it's for keeps.
Madeleine Parkington Swann: They all thought that.
See more »

Connections

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

Soundtracks

Home on the Range
(1904) (uncredited)
Music by Daniel E. Kelley (1904)
Lyrics by Brewster M. Higley (1873)
Sung a cappella by Dan Duryea
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Uneven Acting And Flawed Script Mar This Film
4 August 2014 | by (United States) – See 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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