Sunday, March 03, 2013

TCM Star of the Month: Greer Garson

Actress Greer Garson is the March Star of the Month on Turner Classic Movies.

Garson, who was born in London in September 1904, will be celebrated with 23 films on Monday evenings this month. This is Garson's third turn as Star of the Month; her career was also celebrated in July 1994 and in May 2004.

March 4th leads off with half a dozen films, including her notable American debut in GOODBYE, MR. CHIPS (1939), for which she received her first Oscar nomination as Best Actress. Two films with Robert Taylor are on the schedule, REMEMBER? (1939) and WHEN LADIES MEET (1941), as well as one of her many films with Walter Pidgeon, BLOSSOMS IN THE DUST (1941); she received a Best Actress nomination for the latter film.

Also on the schedule March 4th is the classic PRIDE AND PREJUDICE (1940) with Laurence Olivier. This version of P&P may not be pure Austen and also has anachronistic costumes, but it's a wonderful film with a peerless cast. I've seen it countless times.

March 11th has another half dozen films, including some titles many consider Garson's best: her Oscar-winning MRS. MINIVER (1942), again costarring Walter Pidgeon; the classic RANDOM HARVEST (1942) with Ronald Colman; another great pair of films with Pidgeon, MADAME CURIE (1943) and MRS. PARKINGTON (1944); and THE VALLEY OF DECISION (1945) with Gregory Peck.

Incredibly, she received three more Best Actress Oscar nominations for MADAME CURIE, MRS. PARKINGTON, and THE VALLEY OF DECISION. She had an amazing run of success in the '40s.

An additional six films will air on March 18th. The titles include two more with Walter Pidgeon, the comedy JULIA MISBEHAVES (1948) and the costume drama THAT FORSYTE WOMAN (1949), which also starred Errol Flynn, Robert Young, and Janet Leigh. She played Calpurnia in JULIUS CAESAR (1953), also showing on the 18th.

March 25th has her final film with Pidgeon, SCANDAL AT SCOURIE (1953); STRANGE LADY IN TOWN (1955) with Dana Andrews; and HER TWELVE MEN (1954) with Robert Ryan. She can also be seen as Eleanor Roosevelt in SUNRISE AT CAMPOBELLO (1960), opposite Ralph Bellamy as FDR; she received her final Oscar nomination as Best Actress for this film.

While there are many excellent films listed above, I consider the "must see" Garson titles on this list to be PRIDE AND PREJUDICE (1940), MRS. MINIVER (1942), and RANDOM HARVEST (1942). These wonderful films particularly capture the essence of her magic and are great exemplars of MGM's Classic Era filmmaking at its polished best.

For more on the current month on TCM, please visit TCM in March: Highlights.


Blogger Vienna said...

You lucky people! So many Garson films. Two I haven't seen for ages are STRANGE LADY IN TOWN and HER TWELVE MEN.

9:49 AM  
Blogger Caftan Woman said...

I can never resist Greer Garson, particularly in "Pride and Prejudice" and "The Valley of Decision".

One film that I think is criminally underrated is "The Miniver Story". I find it incredibly moving and am disappointed that TCM is showing it only in the wee hours. Of course, nothing could compare to the success of "Mrs. Miniver", but too many dismiss this really wonderful movie.

10:28 AM  
Blogger DorianTB said...

Laura, I admit I'm not as well-versed in all things Greer Garson, other than seeing SUNRISE AT CAMPOBELLO and PRIDE AND PREJUDICE on TV way back when I was a wee young'un. I'll have to change all that! :-) Thanks for your always-excellent movie tips, as always!

2:07 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

Great to hear from so many Garson fans! I haven't yet seen some of the films mentioned here, such as the titles Vienna listed, STRANGE LADY IN TOWN and HER TWELVE MEN. Looking forward to it! Caftan Woman, since I very much respect your opinion I'm quite intrigued you like THE MINIVER STORY so well. I've always been reticent to try it. Hope you'll enjoy checking out some Garson films, Dorian!

I also want to acknowledge Ralph who emailed to point out I'd erroneously typed that Garson's first Oscar nomination was as Supporting Actress. Fixed that today!

Best wishes,

8:43 AM  
Blogger Judy said...

Laura, once again I'm jealous of your programming! I haven't seen enough Greer Garson, but I love her in 'Mrs Miniver' and also in 'That Forsyte Woman' - that one also has a great performance by Errol Flynn cast against type. Must admit I loathe that version of 'Pride and Prejudice' although both Garson and Olivier are excellent.

12:24 PM  

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