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Blossoms in the Dust

Blossoms in the Dust(1941)

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The opening credits contain the following written dedication: "This is the story of a great woman, and of the great work she is doing for humanity. Her name is Edna Gladney, and she lives in Fort Worth, Texas...." Gladney, who at the time of the film's production was fifty-five, founded the Texas Children's Home and Aid Society of Fort Worth, Texas, and was instrumental in the passage into law of a bill that removed the word "illegitimate" from the birth certificates of children born out-of-wedlock. According to M-G-M publicity materials contained in the AMPAS Library file on the film, Gladney had spent over thirty years of her life placing orphans into good homes, and had placed more than 2,000 children.
       According to news items in Hollywood Reporter, Joy West, Charles Ray and Jerry Storm were cast in the film. Ray was not seen in the viewed print and the appearance of West and Storm is unconfirmed. M-G-M publicity also notes that a new six-way microfilm developed by Electrical Research Products, Inc. was used for the first time in the film. The materials also indicate that an Irish setter called "Copper" was to be in the film, but he was not observed in the viewed print. The film earned an Academy Award for Art Direction, which went to Cedric Gibbons and Urie McCleary, as well as Edwin B. Willis who worked on the set decoration. Additional nominations included Best Picture, Best Cinematography (Color) for Karl Freund and W. Howard Green and Best Actress for Greer Garson, her second of six. This picture was one of M-G-M's top money-making films of the year and, according to modern sources, began Garson's rise as one of the biggest stars of the 1940s. Blossoms in the Dust was the first of nine pictures in which Walter Pidgeon co-starred with Garson; the last was Scandal at Scourie in 1952. According to an article on Garson in New York Times on July 19, 1942, she did not care for Blossoms in the Dust and was quoted as having said, "The screen is neither a platform nor a pulpit." Garson, Pidgeon and Felix Bressart recreated their roles for a Lux Radio Theatre broadcast on February 16, 1942.