Thursday, February 2, 2012

Great On Screen Couples: Greer Garson and Walter Pidgeon

My first couple that I will talk about is the amazing pair of Greer Garson and Walter Pidgeon. The stars made eight films. And in seven of them, they played a married couple. Always portraying their characters with grace, dignity and good manners. Now out of the eight films they made, I'm sorry to say that I have only seen two of them: Mrs. Miniver and Julia Misbehaves. The other six films they made together are Blossoms in the Dust (1941, their first); Madame Curie (1943); Mrs. Parkington (1944); That Forsythe Woman (1949); The Miniver Story (1950); and Scandal at Scourie (1953).

I love Mrs. Miniver and think it's one of the best films ever made. So I am anxious to see their other films. Julia Misbehaves was pretty good as it was nice seeing the couple in a rare comedy. While onscreen, the pair showed great natural chemistry. I remember watching Mrs. Miniver for the first time many years ago and just enjoyed how they interacted with each so easily and fluidly. It was like watching a great dance team perform unbelievable dance routines. Greer and Walter was about as great a screen couple there was. Right up there with Bogie/Bacall, Gable/Harlow; Tracy/ Hepburn and others.

Eight films over a span of 12 years was an impressive run by this pair. Check out some stats about their history.

Madame Curie was Walter Pidgeon's favorite of his eight films with Greer.

Greer usually wore perfumes chosen to put her in the mood for different types of scenes. Pidgeon gave them his own pet names, like "give him a chance" and "Show him no mercy".

Blossoms in the Dust brought Greer the first of five consecutive Best Actress nominations, tying Bette Davis record (1938-1942) which still stands to this day. Greer would win a Best Actress Oscar for Mrs. Miniver.

Walter was nominated two consecutive years for Best Actor with Mrs. Miniver (1942) and Madame Curie (1943).

That Forsyte Woman (1949) was the only film the pair play an unmarried couple. Greer's character was married to Errol Flynn in that film.

Here is a video clip of Greer meeting Walter for the very first time on screen
in Blossoms in the Dust:


  1. Awesome post Monty, I have seen: Mrs. Miniver, Madame Curie, Mrs. Parkington and That Forsythe Woman. All great Greer Garson and Walter Pidgeon films.

  2. I have seen all their films except for "The Miniver Story" and "That Forstye Woman"...which has been sitting in my DVR for months waiting to be watched.

    "Blossoms in the Dust" is probably my fave of their films. It touched my life in a very real way, as it was one of several things that spurred us on to the path of adoption. As I've told you before, things ultimately didn't work out and the adoption fell through, and at 50, I didn't think I was up to starting again. However, that movie always reminds me of the beauty of adoption.

    I have several of the Garson/Pidgeon films on DVD (from TCM), and as always, I am happy to share. Feel free to ask.

    Have a great day!

  3. They may have had great chemistry on screen, but offscreen Garson ended up having better chemistry with Richard Ney, the 12 years younger actor who played her son in Mrs. Miniver. She married him not long after they worked on that film.

  4. Patti, I think that you will love both films, The Miniver Story" and "That Forstye Woman. I will be looking forward to reading your as always awesome reviews.

    "Blossoms in the Dust", I agree.. is a very touching film, I can see why it touched your heart the way that it did. My son's girlfriend has an adopted 3 year old boy. Who, is the joy of her life.

    Thank you for the offer of loaning out your DVD's. As soon as I widdle down my DVD pile. I will take you up on your offer..

    Chip Lary, Wow!! That is a very interesting "fun fact". I do not remember ever hearing that before. Thank you for stopping by.

  5. I think this a screen couple that is often overlooked. Good choice! I always enjoy a good Greer Garson film and her pairing with Pidgeon were a delight.

  6. Looks like you'll get to see the rest this month if you haven't already since the time of your post! Of those you hadn't caught to that point I'm very partial to "Mrs. Parkington" myself, though they're all good in their own ways.

    I thought the weakest of the bunch were "The Miniver Story," which is just a big downer compared to the original, while "That Forsyte Woman" is a lot better if you haven't seen the later British television series.

    Enjoy Greer month!

  7. Kim, I agree.. I'm glad that Monty selected them for Great On Screen Couples series.

    Cliff Aliperti, I'm a huge fan of British television. I have not yet seen "That Forsyte Woman" series. I will look for it. Thank you for telling me about it.

  8. Dawn, there were two versions and each goes under the title "The Forsyte Saga." The original one from the late '60s is one of the most beloved mini-series of all time and I enjoyed the 2002 edition as well, though not nearly as much. It seems a little slow at first but then you just get hooked on all of these characters and their lives. I've watched the original one three times now over the past year or two since picking it up!


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