Sunday, March 3, 2013

Star Of The Month: Greer Garson.

Goodbye, Mr. Chips (1939). A British romantic/drama film directed by Sam Wood. Cast: Robert Donat and Greer Garson. Based on the 1934 novel Goodbye, Mr. Chips by James Hilton.A British film based on the novel of the same name by James Hilton. It was directed by Sam Wood. Cast: Robert Donat, Greer Garson, Terry Kilburn, John Mills, and Paul Henreid.

The movie begins when 83 year-old Mr. Chipping, a retired schoolteacher stays home because he is feeling under the weather and he falls asleep and his life is shown in a flashback dream:

When young Charles Chipping, first arrives to teach Latin to the Brookfield students, he becomes a target to their practical jokes. He becomes a strict disciplinarian as a result, making him respected, but not very well liked and he worries about his future as a teacher. His friend German teacher, Max Staefel, invites him to vacation with him in Austria.

While hiking on the mountain, Chipping "rescues" Kathy Ellis, while she is out riding her bike. They meet again in Vienna and dance to the Blue Danube Waltz. Max shares with her that the Danube River appears blue, only to those who are in love. As Chipping looks at the river, he notices that it is blue.

They marry and return to England, where Kathy becomes well liked by everyone. During their very short marriage, she dies in childbirth, along with their baby.

As the years pass, Chips becomes a much loved teacher, with several generations of students. Chips, retires at age 65, but is asked to fill in as headmaster, because of the shortage of teachers during World War I. He remembers his wife Kathy's prediction, that he would become headmaster one day.

During a bombing attack by a Germans, Chips and the boys keep on working on their studies.

Now.. on his deathbed he overhears the men talking about him not having any children. He tells them, " I have thousands of them ... thousands of them ... and all boys."

The film was nominated for seven Academy Awards for Outstanding Production, Best Director, Actor, Actress, Best Writing, Screenplay, Best Film Editing, and Best Sound. It was up against Gone with the Wind in all seven categories; Robert Donat won for Best Actor, beating out Clark Gable, but Goodbye, Mr. Chips lost to Gone With the Wind in five of the six remaining categories. (Best Sound went to the otherwise undistinguished When Tomorrow Comes.) Remember? (1939).

This is just an old-fashioned story that makes you feel good, watching Robert Donat, performing as Mr. Chippings. Greer Garson, is very charming, even though she has a very small important part..

When Ladies Meet (1941). Cast: Joan Crawford, Robert Taylor, Greer Garson, Herbert Marshall, and Spring Byington. Directed by Robert Z. Leonard, who also co-produced the film. The film was a remake of the 1933 Pre-Code film of the same name, which starred Ann Harding, Myrna Loy, Robert Montgomery and Frank Morgan in the roles played by Garson, Crawford, Taylor and Marshall.

Mary Howard, is a novelist with some different ideas about love and marriage, who is in love with her publisher, Rogers Woodruff. She decides she wants to take him away from his wife and marry him.

Mary's friend, Jimmy, is in love with her and will do anything to break them up. He comes up with a plan to introduce Mary and Woodruff's wife Claire. The two women do not know each other, but during their visits Mary and Claire become friends. When Mary learns Woodruff is just a womanizer, she realizes she cannot love him and falls for Jimmy.

The film earned an Academy Award nomination for art directors Cedric Gibbons, Randall Duell and Edwin B. Willis.

Greer, doesn't enter the film until the second half, but she wins over the audience from the very beginning. Robert Taylor, is a wonderful actor and steals every scene he is in. One of my favorite character actors Spring Byington, plays the ditsy-rich-lady perfectly. All Joan Crawford fans will not be disappointed. I loved her beautifully decorated weekend house, with its water wheel and lake.

Please click here for past movie review.

Pride and Prejudice(1940). A film adaptation of Jane Austen's novel of the same name. Robert Z. Leonard directed. Cast: Greer Garson, Mary Boland, Maureen O'Sullivan.

The film begins when the girls are out shopping for new dresses when they see two gentlemen and a lady in a beautiful carriage.They learn that the men are Mr. Bingley, who is renting the estate of Netherfield and Mr. Darcy, both wealthy, eligible bachelors.

After the Bennets return home, Mrs. Bennet tries to talk Mr. Bennet, into seeing Mr. Bingley, but he refuses, saying that they have already met.

At the ball, Elizabeth overhears Mr. Darcy talking about not wanting to dance with her. She also meets for the first time Mr. Wickham.

Later, as it turns out.. Mr. Darcy does ask her to dance, but she refuses, when Mr. Wickham asks her right in front of Darcy, she accepts.

The Bennets' cousin, Mr. Collins, arrives, looking for a wife and sets his sights on Elizabeth. Mr. Darcy, sees her distress and asks her to dance. After seeing the obnoxious behavior of her mother and younger sisters, he leaves again.

The next day, Mr. Collins asks her to marry him, but she refuses. He then asks her best friend, Charlotte Lucas, to marry him.

When Elizabeth visits Charlotte in her new home, she is introduced to Lady Catherine de Bourgh, and also sees Mr. Darcy there.

Later, he asks her to marry him, because she believes he stole Wickham's fortune, and also because he broke up the romance between Mr. Bingley and Jane, she refuses.

When Elizabeth returns to Longborn, she learns that Lydia has eloped with Wickham. Mr. Darcy tells her that Wickham will never marry Lydia and that Wickham had tried to elope with his 15-year-old sister, Georgiana.

Elizabeth, soon realizes that she is in love with him, but believes he will never see her again because of Lydia's disgraceful elopement.

Lydia and Wickham, do eventually return home married. Lady Catherine, tells the family that Mr. Darcy found Lydia and forced Wickham to marry her.

Will Darcy and Elizabeth ever admit their love for each other?

Greer Garson, did a wonderful job playing the feisty, high spirited.. Elizabeth. In this light and humorous classic film adaptation. Laurence Olivier, performed well as the prideful Darcy. The supporting cast also is good, especially Edmund Gwenn, as the very eccentric Mr. Bennet.

1941: Academy Award - Best Art Direction, Black and White Cedric Gibbons and Paul Groesse.

Please click here for past movie review.

Blossoms In The Dust (1941). Cast: Greer Garson, Walter Pidgeon, Felix Bressart, Marsha Hunt and Fay Holden. Directed by Mervyn LeRoy and produced by Irving Asher.

A film is the true story of Edna Gladney, who takes on the mission to help orphaned children, find homes, despite the townspeople who think that illegitimate children are not worth worrying about.

It won an Academy Award for Best Art Direction-Interior Decoration, Color (Cedric Gibbons, Urie McCleary and Edwin B. Willis), and was nominated for Best Actress in a Leading Role Greer Garson, Best Cinematography, Color and Best Picture.

Because this is a true story, makes this film worth watching. Greer Garson, deserved the nomination for Best Actress, going from young girl, to socialite, to a woman, who cares enough about children to do whatever she can to help them find a loving home...



  1. Very nice profile of a wonderful actress, Dawn. If I had to pick one of her roles as a fave, it would be probably be RANDOM HARVEST.

  2. Rick, you know what.. RANDOM HARVEST, is my favorite of her films too..

  3. Dawn,
    I'm such a big fan of Greer and of course, Pride and Prejudice is one of my favorite period pieces. (I do like it more than GWTW, by a mile!) It's also my favorite of Greer's films.

    When I think of 'movie stars' from the 30s-40s, Greer comes to mind immediately. Today, the two actresses that compare to her for me are Meryl Streep and Helen Mirren. They have that presence and talent.

    Another interesting profile on great actors and some wonderful films.

  4. Page, When I first started this movie pre-view for Greer Garson, I did not realize what a big fan of hers I was. I can not think of a film of hers that I have not enjoyed.

    Oh, no.. not another vote against...GWTW. :)

    I can see why Meryl Streep and Helen Mirren come to mind, when you are looking for talented actress in today's films..

    Charlize Theron and Keira Knightley, are a couple of my favorite actress of today's films.

  5. Dawn, I must admit that the first time I ever heard of Greer Garson was in one of humorist S.J. Perelman's anthologies (he also won an Oscar for the script of AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 DAYS), involving "the queenly redhead" in a movie about a glow-in-the-dark necktie! However, the more I'm reading about Ms. Garson and her films, the more interested I am. Looking forward to getting to know Greer Garson on TCM this month! :-D

  6. I'm with Rick and Dawn on "Random Harvest," an all-timer for me. Was just over commenting on your older Greer post, curious to see how many more of the Walter Pidgeon pairings you'd caught since last year.

  7. DorianTB, Since we both are coming clean, I have to admit, when I first learned about Greer Garson, I thought she was going to be a boring actress.. I guess because of her voice, anywho, after seeing one of her films I became an instant fan.

    Cliff Aliperti, Please check back.. I have more Greer Garson posts planned for this month.


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