Blossoms in the Dust

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Blossoms in the Dust
Blossoms in the Dust theatrical release poster
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Mervyn LeRoy
Produced by Irving Asher
Mervyn LeRoy
Written by Anita Loos
Starring Greer Garson
Walter Pidgeon
Felix Bressart
Music by Herbert Stothart
Cinematography Karl Freund
W. Howard Greene
Edited by George Boemler
Distributed by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Release dates
  • July 25, 1941 (1941-07-25)
Running time
99 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $1,112,000[1]
Box office $2,658,000[1]

Blossoms in the Dust is a 1941 American Technicolor film which tells the true story of Edna Gladney who takes it upon herself to help orphaned children to find homes, despite the opposition of the "good" citizens who think that illegitimate children are beneath their interest. It stars Greer Garson, Walter Pidgeon, Felix Bressart, Marsha Hunt and Fay Holden.

The movie was adapted by Hugo Butler (uncredited), Anita Loos and Dorothy Yost (uncredited) from the story by Ralph Wheelwright. It was directed by Mervyn LeRoy and produced by Irving Asher.


The story is a highly fictionalized telling of the story of Edna Gladney, an early advocate for the rights of illegitimate children in Texas.

Edna Kahly (Greer Garson) and her adopted sister, Charlotte (Marsha Hunt), are to be married. But, when Charlotte's mother-in-law-to-be discovers that Charlotte was a foundling, she declares the wedding must not occur, and Charlotte kills herself from shame. Meanwhile, Edna falls for a brash cashier, Sam Gladney, at the bank, and eventually marries him and moves with him to his home state of Texas.

Sam Gladney has a flour mill in Sherman, Texas, and at first the couple has an idyllic life, though after a difficult delivery Sam is told Edna must have no more children. Several years later, their son dies, and Sam's effort to replace him with a foundling fails. But the little girl's story touches Edna's heart, and she starts a day care center for the children of working women.

Sam's business fails, and they must auction off all their possessions. The local women take over the day care center, and Sam and Edna move to Fort Worth, Texas, where he has a job in a mill. Edna starts a home for orphans and illegitimate children, and works hard to find them appropriate homes, matching parents to child by interests and inclinations. When a young woman comes to try to donate a large sum of money, Edna worms the young woman's story out of her, and discovers she is in a similar situation to poor Charlotte. After insisting the girl's fiancé won't care that she is illegitimate, she decides to campaign to have the word illegitimate removed from Texas birth certificates.

After succeeding in her quest, Edna faces one more trial—the little crippled boy she has raised from an infant and nursed back to health finds a new home at last. She is reluctant to let him go, but at last realizes it is for the best, and, as she tends to the two newest foundlings, brought to her door by a policeman, the music comes up and the End title card comes on the screen.


Greer Garson and Walter Pidgeon

Academy Awards[edit]


Box Office[edit]

According to MGM records the film earned $1,272,000 in the US and Canada and $1,386,000 elsewhere, resulting in a profit of $552,000.[1]


  1. ^ a b c The Eddie Mannix Ledger, Los Angeles: Margaret Herrick Library, Center for Motion Picture Study .
  2. ^ "The 14th Academy Awards (1942) Nominees and Winners". Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Retrieved 2014-02-28. 
  3. ^ "NY Times: Blossoms in the Dust". NY Times. Retrieved 2008-12-14. 

External links[edit]