Green Dolphin Street


2h 21m 1947
Green Dolphin Street

Brief Synopsis

In 19th-century New Zealand, two sisters compete for the same man against a backdrop of political unrest and natural disaster.

Photos & Videos

Film Details

Genre
Romance
Drama
Period
Adaptation
Classic Hollywood
Release Date
Nov 5, 1947
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Corp.
Distribution Company
Loew's Inc.
Country
United States
Screenplay Information
Based on the novel Green Dolphin Street by Elizabeth Goudge (New York, 1944).

Technical Specs

Duration
2h 21m
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
12,689ft (15 reels)

Synopsis

In the 1840s, after a lengthy absence, Dr. Edmond Ozanne, a widower, and his handsome young son William return to their home on Green Dolphin Street on the English Channel island of St. Pierre. Their arrival causes a stir at a nearby convent and prompts the worried Mother Superior to rush to the home of Sophie Patourel, Edmond's former sweetheart, with the news of their arrival. Sophie, now married to the dull Octavius Patourel, was once madly in love with Edmond, but his drinking and her parents put an end to their romance. Sophie's two daughters, the shy Marguerite and the outgoing Marianne, both fall instantly in love with William and pay a friendly visit to the Ozannes.

Later, while strolling through the town market, Marguerite receives a bouquet of flowers from her secret admirer, Timothy Haslam. After killing a man in a knife fight, Timothy takes refuge aboard the New Zealand-bound clipper Green Dolphin . Although the captain of the ship, Captain O'Hara, discovers Timothy before the ship leaves port, he allows the stowaway to sail with him because he is undermanned. Back on St. Pierre, William tells Marianne that he dreams of sailing the world, and she, hoping to win his favor, arranges to have him enlisted in the Navy. Years pass, and William, home on a furlough, professes his love not for Marianne, but for Marguerite, who responds in kind. Later, while docked in a port town in China, William misses his ship and inadvertently becomes a deserter when a shopgirl drugs and robs him.

After regaining consciousness, William stows away on the Green Dolphin and disembarks in New Zealand, where he befriends Timothy. While settling in New Zealand, William writes Octavius for permission to marry Marguerite, but he accidentally writes Marianne's name in the request instead. Upon learning of this, Timothy insists that William shield Marianne from the truth and that he marry her out of pity. Meanwhile, Marguerite has become despondent following the death of her parents and has joined the convent seeking comfort and direction. Years later, Marianne and William have settled in New Zealand. Tragedy strikes, however, when a massive earthquake destroys the New Zealand town where they have settled, and Marianne nearly loses William and her unborn daughter. Several more years pass, and Marianne, William and their daughter Veronica are forced to leave their home when the region becomes a battlefield in the civil war between the Maoris and the colonists.

William, Marianne and Veronica eventually return to St. Pierre after Marianne has her husband officially absolved by the Navy for his desertion. Soon after they arrive on St. Pierre, however, Marianne discovers a letter proving that William really intended to marry Marguerite. Marianne confronts William with the truth, and although he admits to the deception, he insists that he now loves Marianne. Marianne is hurt by the truth and tells Marguerite about William's blunder. When Marguerite assures Marianne that she has forgiven William and has found true happiness in her religious pursuits, Marianne puts aside her anger and vows to repair her marriage.

Photo Collections

Green Dolphin Street - Publicity Stills
Here are a few photos taken to help publicize MGM's Green Dolphin Street (1947), starring Lana Turner, Van Heflin, and Donna Reed. Publicity stills were specially-posed photos, usually taken off the set, for purposes of publicity or reference for promotional artwork.
Green Dolphin Street - Movie Poster
Here is the American one-sheet movie poster for Green Dolphin Street (1947). One-sheets measured 27x41 inches, and were the poster style most commonly used in theaters.

Videos

Movie Clip

Green Dolphin Street (1947) - The Tide May Not Wait None of the principals appear here (except Donna Reed and Lana Turner, as the sisters Patourel, in a portrait) but MGM’s intentions are declared, Dame May Whitty oversees the convent on the fictional Channel Island of St. Pierre, a boffo SF/X backdrop and a visit to Gladys Cooper as the mom, in the 1947 disaster melodrama Green Dolphin Street.
Green Dolphin Street (1947) - I Think I'll Be A Smuggler! The dazzling Patourel sisters (Lana Turner as Marianne, Donna Reed as Marguerite), on the fictional Channel Island of St. Pierre in the 1840’s, are observed by Van Heflin (as Timothy Haslam, with Ramsey Ames), then picnic with their handsome unorthodox new neighbor William (Richard Hart), early in MGM’s disaster-melodrama Green Dolphin Street, 1947.
Green Dolphin Street (1947) - I'm Bold And Scheming Introduction of the sisters Patourel, on a fictional Channel Island ca. 1840, Donna Reed as Marguerite with their mom (Gladys Cooper), and Lana Turner as self-assured (and brunette!) Marianne with papa (Edmund Gwenn), noticing the arrival of a hunky new neighbor (Richard Hart), not knowing yet that his father was her mother’s major first love, early in MGM’s Green Dolphin Street, 1947.
Green Dolphin Street (1947) - It Must Be St. Peter Donna Reed as 1840-something Channel Islander Marguerite is distraught over the (Spoiler!) consecutive deaths of her parents, wakened by the waves at the foot of the cliff-side convent, chooses to approach (though it’s not strictly necessary) through the old smuggler’s cave, thus a dramatic sequence for the MGM special effects team, in Green Dolphin Street, 1947.
Green Dolphin Street (1947) - Big Sea A big earthquake from MGM special effects wizards A. Arnold Gillespie and Warren Newcombe has already begun in what by now must be 1850-something New Zealand, Van Heflin is rescuing Lana Turner while Richard Hart, her husband on a nearby riverboat, is slow to recognize what the natives sense, in Green Dolphin Street, 1947.

Trailer

Film Details

Genre
Romance
Drama
Period
Adaptation
Classic Hollywood
Release Date
Nov 5, 1947
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Corp.
Distribution Company
Loew's Inc.
Country
United States
Screenplay Information
Based on the novel Green Dolphin Street by Elizabeth Goudge (New York, 1944).

Technical Specs

Duration
2h 21m
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
12,689ft (15 reels)

Award Wins

Best Special Effects

1948

Award Nominations

Best Cinematography

1947

Best Editing

1947

Best Sound

1947

Articles

Green Dolphin Street


In 1947, MGM released Green Dolphin Street, an extravagant period piece that the studio promoted as their next blockbuster. Starring Lana Turner, the production boasted spectacular special effects by A. Arnold Gillespie, a sweeping romance, and a distinguished cast of supporting actors. Gillespie, a former art director turned special effects supervisor, had already been nominated for a Best Special Effects Oscar seven times when he went to work on Green Dolphin Street (He had previously won for his work on Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo, 1944). And Green Dolphin Street proved to be Gillespie's most ambitious film to date; it featured an earthquake, a tidal wave, and a shipwreck scene that was eventually cut from the final release. Such costly scenes helped to account for the $4 million price tag. But sometimes you get what you pay for: Gillespie won the Oscar again for Best Special Effects at the 1948 award ceremony and he would ultimately go on to capture additional Oscars for his work on Plymouth Adventure (1952) and Ben-Hur (1959).

Based on a novel by Elizabeth Goudge, Green Dolphin Street is a story about, as one critic phrased it, "a slip of the pen." A fugitive sailor, hiding out in New Zealand, writes to his faraway sweetheart and asks her to be his bride. The problem is, he's drunk while writing the letter and addresses it to the wrong woman, the sister of his intended, played by Lana Turner. The MGM starlet was riding high after the previous year's smash hit, The Postman Always Rings Twice (1946), and was given top billing. Nicknamed the "sweater girl" by the studio's publicity department, the typically platinum Turner appears as a brunette in Green Dolphin Street but still projects the natural sensuality that defined her celebrity. Supposedly discovered by a talent scout at a drugstore soda fountain (Leonard Maltin claimed it was at Currie's Ice Cream Parlor), Turner quickly transformed from a nubile teenager to the pin-up girl of WWII, through a series of war-themed movies for MGM.

The Postman Always Rings Twice was her breakthrough film, effectively guaranteeing her A-level movie rank. Her off-screen activity, however, made her a popular gossip column item. Julia Jean Mildred Frances Turner was married eight times (twice to the same guy), including a 7-month stint with Artie Shaw. Her life was self-described as "a series of emergencies", and no more so than in 1958, when her lover Johnny Stompanato was stabbed to death by Cheryl Crane, Turner's 15-year old daughter. Crane, apparently responding to a violent threat Stompanato made to her mother, was acquitted and the court ruled the death as justifiable homicide. Despite the controversy surrounding the case, the scandal ultimately benefited the actress's career by coming on the heels of her latest release - Peyton Place (1957) - considered by some to be her best work. The film proved to be wildly popular and garnered her an Oscar® nomination for Best Actress.

But even as early as Green Dolphin Street, Turner was embroiled in an off screen drama. During filming, she carried on a steamy affair with Tyrone Power, still married at the time. Power would ultimately end up leaving Lana for Linda Christian, who plays Lana's maid in the film!

As for Turner's other co-stars in Green Dolphin Street, Donna Reed was cast as her sister, Marguerite, and newcomer Richard Hart played the man of their affections. Reed, having earned acclaim for It's a Wonderful Life (1946), would go on to win an Oscar for her performance as an ambitious prostitute in From Here to Eternity (1953). She is best remembered, however, for her self-titled television show, reinforcing her image as "the perfect housewife," a stereotype she was powerless to shake. Green Dolphin Street was Hart's second film and, ultimately, his second to last; hailed as an up and coming leading man, his career fizzled out early and he died of a heart attack at 35. Rounding out the supporting cast were Van Heflin, cast as Hart's companion, Edmund Gwenn, Frank Morgan, and Dame May Whitty. Heflin had previously been featured with Lana Turner in Johnny Eager (1942), a movie in which his work earned him a Best Supporting Actor Oscar. Edmund Gwenn, as the sisters' father, would also receive Oscar glory, as Santa Claus in Miracle on 34th Street (1947). Frank Morgan, best remembered as the title character in The Wizard of Oz (1939), did so much character actor work for MGM that it was said he had a "lifetime contract" with the studio. By the way, Morgan, nee Francis Phillip Wuppermann, has a curious connection to the world of bartending: his family was and remains the sole North American distributors for Angostura Aromatic Bitters! Dame Whitty, once a pin-up girl like Turner, albeit during WWI, established her acting reputation with dignified British dowager roles in films like Hitchcock's The Lady Vanishes (1938) and The White Cliffs of Dover (1944).

Yet, despite the impressive qualifications of its cast, Green Dolphin Street did not score any acting nominations at Oscar time although it was the top audience draw of 1947. Instead, the kudos were reserved for the special effects, which remain visually impressive today.

Producer: Carey Wilson
Director: Victor Saville
Screenplay: Elizabeth Goudge (novel), Samson Raphaelson
Production Design: Cinematography: George J. Folsey
Costume Design: Walter Plunkett, Valles
Film Editing: George White
Original Music: Bronislau Kaper
Principal Cast: Lana Turner (Marianne Patourel), Van Heflin (Timothy Haslam), Donna Reed (Marguerite Patourel), Richard Hart (William Ozanne), Frank Morgan (Dr. Edmund Ozanne).
BW-142m. Closed captioning.

by Eleanor Quin

Green Dolphin Street

Green Dolphin Street

In 1947, MGM released Green Dolphin Street, an extravagant period piece that the studio promoted as their next blockbuster. Starring Lana Turner, the production boasted spectacular special effects by A. Arnold Gillespie, a sweeping romance, and a distinguished cast of supporting actors. Gillespie, a former art director turned special effects supervisor, had already been nominated for a Best Special Effects Oscar seven times when he went to work on Green Dolphin Street (He had previously won for his work on Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo, 1944). And Green Dolphin Street proved to be Gillespie's most ambitious film to date; it featured an earthquake, a tidal wave, and a shipwreck scene that was eventually cut from the final release. Such costly scenes helped to account for the $4 million price tag. But sometimes you get what you pay for: Gillespie won the Oscar again for Best Special Effects at the 1948 award ceremony and he would ultimately go on to capture additional Oscars for his work on Plymouth Adventure (1952) and Ben-Hur (1959). Based on a novel by Elizabeth Goudge, Green Dolphin Street is a story about, as one critic phrased it, "a slip of the pen." A fugitive sailor, hiding out in New Zealand, writes to his faraway sweetheart and asks her to be his bride. The problem is, he's drunk while writing the letter and addresses it to the wrong woman, the sister of his intended, played by Lana Turner. The MGM starlet was riding high after the previous year's smash hit, The Postman Always Rings Twice (1946), and was given top billing. Nicknamed the "sweater girl" by the studio's publicity department, the typically platinum Turner appears as a brunette in Green Dolphin Street but still projects the natural sensuality that defined her celebrity. Supposedly discovered by a talent scout at a drugstore soda fountain (Leonard Maltin claimed it was at Currie's Ice Cream Parlor), Turner quickly transformed from a nubile teenager to the pin-up girl of WWII, through a series of war-themed movies for MGM. The Postman Always Rings Twice was her breakthrough film, effectively guaranteeing her A-level movie rank. Her off-screen activity, however, made her a popular gossip column item. Julia Jean Mildred Frances Turner was married eight times (twice to the same guy), including a 7-month stint with Artie Shaw. Her life was self-described as "a series of emergencies", and no more so than in 1958, when her lover Johnny Stompanato was stabbed to death by Cheryl Crane, Turner's 15-year old daughter. Crane, apparently responding to a violent threat Stompanato made to her mother, was acquitted and the court ruled the death as justifiable homicide. Despite the controversy surrounding the case, the scandal ultimately benefited the actress's career by coming on the heels of her latest release - Peyton Place (1957) - considered by some to be her best work. The film proved to be wildly popular and garnered her an Oscar® nomination for Best Actress. But even as early as Green Dolphin Street, Turner was embroiled in an off screen drama. During filming, she carried on a steamy affair with Tyrone Power, still married at the time. Power would ultimately end up leaving Lana for Linda Christian, who plays Lana's maid in the film! As for Turner's other co-stars in Green Dolphin Street, Donna Reed was cast as her sister, Marguerite, and newcomer Richard Hart played the man of their affections. Reed, having earned acclaim for It's a Wonderful Life (1946), would go on to win an Oscar for her performance as an ambitious prostitute in From Here to Eternity (1953). She is best remembered, however, for her self-titled television show, reinforcing her image as "the perfect housewife," a stereotype she was powerless to shake. Green Dolphin Street was Hart's second film and, ultimately, his second to last; hailed as an up and coming leading man, his career fizzled out early and he died of a heart attack at 35. Rounding out the supporting cast were Van Heflin, cast as Hart's companion, Edmund Gwenn, Frank Morgan, and Dame May Whitty. Heflin had previously been featured with Lana Turner in Johnny Eager (1942), a movie in which his work earned him a Best Supporting Actor Oscar. Edmund Gwenn, as the sisters' father, would also receive Oscar glory, as Santa Claus in Miracle on 34th Street (1947). Frank Morgan, best remembered as the title character in The Wizard of Oz (1939), did so much character actor work for MGM that it was said he had a "lifetime contract" with the studio. By the way, Morgan, nee Francis Phillip Wuppermann, has a curious connection to the world of bartending: his family was and remains the sole North American distributors for Angostura Aromatic Bitters! Dame Whitty, once a pin-up girl like Turner, albeit during WWI, established her acting reputation with dignified British dowager roles in films like Hitchcock's The Lady Vanishes (1938) and The White Cliffs of Dover (1944). Yet, despite the impressive qualifications of its cast, Green Dolphin Street did not score any acting nominations at Oscar time although it was the top audience draw of 1947. Instead, the kudos were reserved for the special effects, which remain visually impressive today. Producer: Carey Wilson Director: Victor Saville Screenplay: Elizabeth Goudge (novel), Samson Raphaelson Production Design: Cinematography: George J. Folsey Costume Design: Walter Plunkett, Valles Film Editing: George White Original Music: Bronislau Kaper Principal Cast: Lana Turner (Marianne Patourel), Van Heflin (Timothy Haslam), Donna Reed (Marguerite Patourel), Richard Hart (William Ozanne), Frank Morgan (Dr. Edmund Ozanne). BW-142m. Closed captioning. by Eleanor Quin

Quotes

Trivia

Notes

According to the onscreen credits, the novel on which this film is based was a "prize-winning novel of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer's First Annual [novel-of-the-year] Contest." The contest was discontinued in 1948, and only one other prize-winning novel, Raintree County, was made into a film. In May 1945, a Hollywood Reporter news item noted that production was set to start in the summer of that year with Gregory Peck and Laraine Day in the starring roles. A 1945 M-G-M News news item contained in the film's production file in the AMPAS Library, noted that Katharine Hepburn was slated for a starring role in the film. An August 1946 New York Times article notes that Reverend John J. Devlin, the Hollywood representative of the National Catholic Legion of Decency, who consulted with M-G-M on matters concerning religion in the film, successfully urged the studio to alter the story so that it did not imply that "Marguerite Patourel" turned to religion solely as a result of having been spurned by the man she loved. The article also listed June Allyson in the role that was eventually played by Donna Reed.
       In a January 1986 Hollywood Reporter article, Reed, who initially did not want to play the role of "Marguerite" because she thought that Lana Turner was prettier and that audiences would not believe that "William" would chose her over Lana, is quoted as saying, "Lana's gorgeous. If I play that part, it'll ruin the picture." According to a 1947 article in Look magazine, which referred to this picture as a "$3,000,000 film," $500,000 was spent on the earthquake scene alone. The article also noted that although much of the earthquake special effects were achieved through the use of miniatures, some of it was shot using "agitated mirrors" at Klamath Lake in Oregon. Modern sources note that M-G-M deleted an elaborate special effects sequence in which a ship that the studio had constructed for the film was destroyed. Green Dolphin Street received an Academy Award for Best Special Effects, and was nominated for Best Sound Recording. Lana Turner and Van Heflin reprised their roles in a Lux Radio Theatre broadcast on September 19, 1949.

Miscellaneous Notes

Released in United States Fall November 5, 1947

Released in United States Fall November 5, 1947