21 user 9 critic

Mrs. Parkington (1944)

Passed | | Drama, Romance | November 1944 (USA)
2:22 | Trailer
A widowed matriarch reminisces about her family fortunes, including her romance with a financier/mine owner.


Tay Garnett


Robert Thoeren (screenplay), Polly James (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 1 win. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Greer Garson ... Susie Parkington
Walter Pidgeon ... Major Augustus Parkington
Edward Arnold ... Amory Stilham
Agnes Moorehead ... Aspasia Conti
Cecil Kellaway ... Edward, Prince of Wales
Gladys Cooper ... Alice, Duchess de Brancourt
Frances Rafferty ... Jane Stilham
Tom Drake ... Ned Talbot
Peter Lawford ... Lord Thornley
Dan Duryea ... Jack Stilham
Hugh Marlowe ... John Marbey
Selena Royle ... Mattie Trounson
Fortunio Bonanova ... Signor Cellini
Lee Patrick ... Madeleine Parkington Swann
St. Luke's Episcopal Church Choristers ... Carolers (as Saint Luke's Choristers)


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


IN ONE FLASHING SECOND...Her Fondest Dreams Came True! (print ad - Lubbock Avalanche Journal - Broadway Theatre - Lubbock, Texas - March 4, 1945) See more »


Drama | Romance


Passed | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


Release prints of the film in Europe included characters not in the American version. Hugo Haas, playing a Balkan king, replaced Cecil Kellaway as "Edward, Prince of Wales" and Tala Birell, who plays "Lady Norah Ebbsworth", appeared as a countess in the European version. See more »


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 »


Alice - Dutchess de Brancourt: [to Al Swann] You're a cowboy aren't you?
Madeleine Parkington Swann: He's a rancher.
Al Swann: Is there something wrong with being a cowboy?
Alice - Dutchess de Brancourt: On the contrary. I'm sure you had no problem roping her.
Madeleine Parkington Swann: Oh, shut up! You'd better take some peppermints before Grandmother comes down. If there are candles on the table that breath of yours will burst into flames.
See more »

Alternate Versions

In the European released version, Cecil Kellaway was replaced by 'Hugo Haas' and the role was changed to "Balkan King." Also, Tala Birell's character was changed to simply "Countess" instead of "Lady Norah Ebbsworth." Three actors in casting call lists but who were not in the U.S. print (Ann Codee, George Davis and Frank Reicher may also have been in this version (see the trivia section.) See more »


Featured in Twenty Years After (1944) See more »


I'll Take You Home Again, Kathleen
(1876) (uncredited)
Music by Thomas Payne Westendorf
Played extensively in the score, mostly as a love theme
See more »

User Reviews

A silver-screen saga of a bygone era
22 June 2015 | by lasttimeisawSee all my reviews

Tay Garnett's resplendent black-and-white MS. PARKINGTON represents one of eight Garson-Pidgeon star-vehicles, it is a vintage family saga of our titular heroine Susie Parkington (Garson), a rich matron starts with a humble beginning as a chambermaid, when a mine explosion takes her mother's life away, out of guilt and admiration, Major Augustus Tarkington (Pidgeon) marries her and spirits her away to New York, so she can get a luxurious life a woman can ever dream of. She gets some advice to adopt the lifestyle of beau monde from a French aristocrat Baroness Aspasia Conti (Moorehead), who is also Major's confidant. And a new but tumultuous page of life opens and Susie gives her best shot to manage a perfect marriage with a dignitary and grows up to be an exemplar who knows and accomplishes a woman's true worth, heightened by a dramatic presentation of an inopportune situation when most of their dinner guests are in absentia for their fancy reception and bookended by a vignette in London involves Edward, Prince of Wales (Kellaway).

These mentioned above actually are told through flashbacks by Susie, when she is an octogenarian and Augustus has long gone, during a Christmas gathering, she learns that her favourite great granddaughter Jane (Rafferty) decides to elope with a former employee of her father Amory (Arnold), and later finds out Amory is going to prison for fraud if he cannot pay a loan worth $31 million, which is equivalent to the entire inheritance for her offspring.

It is drastically ironic that her progeny are abominable snobs (save Jane), since Susie is an excellent woman in all respects, but still, bad parenting cannot be dodged, through Gladys Cooper's portrait of her daughter Alice, a sheer ne'er-do-well and pain-in-the-neck. Or could it be a telling proof that the second/third-generation rich are really past hopes for integrity and humility?

Since the film bifurcates into two alternate narratives with a time-span of over 60 years, it presents Garson a full-scale chance to act from adolescence to senility, although she is consistently pleasant to watch and impressively dignified in the latter period, her rigid posture can never pass off as a woman in her eighties no matter how much effort exerted from the make-up division. Yet, audience can easily side with her character because of what she represents - a wife with a perfect sense of propriety and a woman with sublime wisdom. As the film's title infers, co-star Pidgeon dutifully retreats to a second tier and downplays Major's volatility and vainglory.

Garson is nominated with an Oscar and so is Ms. Moorehead, probably in her most opulent attire, her Aspasia is even much more laudable in handling the delicate issues of the rivalry among women or in a more literal sentence, how to co-exist with the wife of the man you love without hating each other's guts. Kellaway, Arnold and Birell (who plays Lady Nora Ebbsworth, a good sport in playing hostess) are all fittingly memorable, Garnett, a steady hand in orchestrating a character-driven centerpiece with grandeur and style, and so is Bronislau Kaper's mellow escorting score for a two-hour chronicle in the bygone era.

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Release Date:

November 1944 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Mrs. Parkington See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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