After their orphanage burns down, a group of children are being transported west by train to Manitoba. All of them are available for adoption and at a stop at Scourie, Ontario little Patsy ...
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After their orphanage burns down, a group of children are being transported west by train to Manitoba. All of them are available for adoption and at a stop at Scourie, Ontario little Patsy meets Victoria McChesney. Victoria and her husband Patrick have no children and she immediately decides to adopt the girl. The only condition imposed on them is that as Patsy has been baptized a Roman Catholic the Protestant McChesneys agree to raise her as a Catholic. Patsy is a well-behaved little girl whose only real problem is a school bully, also one of the orphans, who spreads stories that she set their orphanage on fire. Problems arise when the local newspaper goes after Patrick, the town reeve and prominent member of his political party. Patrick decides they can't go forward with the adoption. Patsy overhears him and runs away but does so just as the school catches fire. The community quickly decides Patsy is responsible but it's Patrick who comes to her defense. It all ends well. Written by
Made in 1953, Scandal At Scourie is a pleasant attempt by a major studio to make the sort of film that ten or fifteen years earlier was commonplace. Alas, this movie came out at about the same time as From Here To Eternity and The Wild One, and it was an anachronism even in its day. Anachronisms, however, have their virtues, and this movie has kindness and wisdom to spare. The story concerns the problems faced by a straitlaced middle-aged Irish-Protestant Canadian couple when they decide to take a little girl into their home who just happens to be of the Roman Catholic faith. That their village is overwhelmingly Protestant complicates matters; nor does it help that the husband also happens to be a minister. The conflicts in the film are genuine and credibly presented, and the various characters behave realistically but always with great civility, which in turn gives urgency to the child's plight, as one is forced to ponder the issues that the film puts forth, chief among them the problem of how to deal with unwanted children who are rejected by others in tones so courteous as to make the slightest objection seem like a major offense.
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