Mrs. Parkington

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Mrs. Parkington
Mrs. Parkington Video cover.jpg
DVD cover
Directed by Tay Garnett
Produced by Leon Gordon
Screenplay by Robert Thoeren
Polly James
Based on Mrs. Parkington
1943 novel 
by Louis Bromfield
Starring Greer Garson
Walter Pidgeon
Music by Bronislau Kaper
Cinematography Joseph Ruttenberg
Edited by George Boemler
Distributed by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Release dates
  • October 12, 1944 (1944-10-12) (United States)
Running time
124 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $1,574,000[1]
Box office $5,631,000[1]

Mrs. Parkington is a 1944 drama film.[2][3] It tells the story of a woman's life, told in flashbacks, from hotel maid to society matron. The movie was adapted by Polly James and Robert Thoeren from the novel by Louis Bromfield. It was directed by Tay Garnett and starred Greer Garson and Walter Pidgeon appearing together as husband and wife for the fourth time.


Susie Parkington (Greer Garson), an elderly society matron, is surrounded by her many relatives at her stately home at Christmastime in 1938, with the exception of her beloved great-granddaughter Jane (Frances Rafferty). When Jane does appear she informs her great-grandmother that she plans to elope with Ned Talbot (Tom Drake), her father's employee who wishes to take her away from her family and their way of life. Susie arranges a meeting with Ned, where he reveals that Jane's father Amory (Edward Arnold) is being questioned for fraud and he planned to take Jane away in order to hide her from the truth. Susie sends Ned away, telling Jane to forget about him, and after hearing her grandson-in-law's side of the story makes the decision to ask her heirs to pay off Amory's debts with a loan ($31 million), much to her family's disgust, as it will mean that they may lose their inheritance.

During her family's bickering Susie begins to have flashbacks of her own humble beginnings; she was a chambermaid at her mother's modest guesthouse. It was there that she met the wealthy Major Augustus Parkington (Walter Pidgeon), and following her mother's death they marry. Shortly after the marriage Susie is introduced to Baroness Aspasia Conti (Agnes Moorehead), a French aristocrat and close friend of Augustus, who helps Susie pick out clothes, accessories and even a house. Susie, originally grateful for Aspasia's help, soon grows tired of her interference in her marriage and announces that she is pregnant by her husband. An elated Augustus holds a ball to celebrate, but his happiness turns to fury when a great number of people refuse to attend due to Augustus' feud with a wealthy businessman. His rage upsets Susie, and when she runs away from the dinner party she stumbles and miscarries their baby. In his anger Augustus blames his neighbours for Susie's miscarriage and vows to get revenge.

Four years pass and it transpires that Augustus has managed to put many of their neighbours out of business on Wall Street. After one of their neighbours, Mrs. Livingstone (Alma Kruger), fills Susie in on her husband's deeds and the resulting suicide of another neighbor. She pleads with her to speak to Augustus about putting her husband out of business, Susie leaves her husband and moves in with Aspasia. Several weeks pass before Augustus begs his wife to return home, revealing that he has been unsuccessful in his mission to put the Livingstones out of business. Susie then informs him that she has been financially supporting the Livingstones' business and that his vendetta with their neighbours has got to stop. Augustus agrees and the couple reunite.

Their marriage faces further troubles, however, when the Parkingtons' son Herbert dies, Susie becomes a recluse for a year and Augustus takes to their country home in England. Aspasia manages to convince Susie to fight for her marriage which, with the Prince of Wales' help, she does. Following this Aspasia reveals that she will be leaving the Parkingtons and moving back to Paris as she is dying. She also reveals to Susie that she has always been in love with Augustus, to which Susie shocks her by revealing she knows. After Aspasia departs for France, Augustus and Susie have a heart-to-heart discussion about their family, during which Augustus reveals that despite loathing those who receive money without deserving it, their children will lack for nothing as long as they know the value of money.

It is at this point Susie realises her misgivings about her family; they have rejected her offer to bail Amory out for fear of losing their inheritance, meaning that he will be sent to prison. Seeing how distraught Jane is, having lost both her father and her lover, Susie makes the decision to bail Amory out anyway and tells Jane to follow her heart and go after Ned. Her family flees the home in disgust after learning they will be cut off by their grandmother, whilst Susie gleefully decides she will return to her childhood home at the guest house and start again.



Garson was nominated for Academy Awards for Best Actress and Agnes Moorehead for Best Supporting Actress. Moorehead also won the Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actress.

Box Office[edit]

According to MGM records the film earned $3,062,000 in the US and Canada and $2,569,000 elsewhere resulting in a profit of $2,198,000.[1]


  1. ^ a b c The Eddie Mannix Ledger, Los Angeles: Margaret Herrick Library, Center for Motion Picture Study .
  2. ^ Variety film review; September 20, 1944, page 10.
  3. ^ Harrison's Reports film review; September 23, 1944, page 156.

External links[edit]