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Mrs. Parkington (1944)

Not Rated | | Drama, Romance | November 1944 (USA)
A widowed matriarch reminisces about her family fortunes, including her romance with a financier/mine owner.

Director:

Tay Garnett

Writers:

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

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Cast

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 St. Luke's Episcopal Church Choristers ... Carolers (as 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:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

November 1944 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Una gran dama 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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Did You Know?

Trivia

Fourth of eight movies that paired Greer Garson and Walter Pidgeon. 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

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 »

Connections

Featured in Twenty Years After (1944) See more »

Soundtracks

Rosen aus dem Süden (Roses from the South), Op.388
(1880) (uncredited)
Music by Johann Strauss
Played on violin by Franco Corsaro
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Well acted and lovely to look at but also very difficult to like.
1 November 2013 | by MartinHaferSee all my reviews

"Mrs. Parkington" is an incredibly well made film--with great acting and some lovely production values. Clearly, MGM gave this film the full glossy studio treatment. And, for her wonderful performance, Greer Garson was nominated for an Oscar. However, I am very ambivalent about the film because so many of the characters are either despicable or pathetic. In many ways, it reminds me of the country music song "Stand By Your Man"--as a woman should put up with ANYTHING in order to keep even the most awful man. Clearly, this is a film for dependent personalities!

The film begins near the present time. The Parkington family appears to be made up of a group of sociopaths--all loathsome jerks who think mostly of themselves. When the matriarch, Mrs. Parkington (Garson) learns that one of the brood is a thief, she begins to reminisce--remembering her life with Mr. Parkington (Walter Pidgeon). At first, their marriage seems pretty nice--with a rich and doting husband. However, through the course of these long series of flashbacks, you learn that Mr. Parkington is vindictive, petty, selfish and cheats on Mrs. Parkington. And, as for Mrs. Parkington, she is clever and long-suffering--and lifted up as some sort of shining example. I couldn't help but think she was pathetic and would have probably accepted Mr. Parkington back after he murdered or slept with children or sheep. And this brings me to my ambivalence--no one--not anyone in this family is likable in the least. And, the film seems to promote the notion that a woman's job is just to put up with this and smile throughout! Talk about an anti-feminist message! The bottom line is that I'd hate for my daughters to watch such a film, as I'd hate to think that Mrs. Parkington is someone to admire (though the film tries HARD to say this). If Garson's character had either shot her husband or left him and bled him dry in alimony, then maybe I would have enjoyed it much more. A great job of acting and a sick message to this film.

Oh, and I should mention that in one brief scene, the Parkingtons joke about how it is Mr. Parkington's job to regularly 'thrash his wife'. Wow....need I say any more?! Well, yes. If you like films that promote women as lovely doormats, also try Mary Pickford's last film, "Secrets". Her husband is also a piece of work and she looks back fondly to their lives together.


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