Greer Garson

The Valley of Decision (1945)

The Valley of Decision PosterMary Rafferty (Greer Garson) comes from a family of poor Irish immigrants.  After living with her wheelchair bound father Pat (Lionel Barrymore) and widowed sister in a rundown house, Mary suddenly finds herself living with one of the most prominent families in Pittsburgh, the Scotts, when she lands a job as a live-in maid for them.  The Scotts own a steel mill where Pat had worked until he lost his legs in an accident at the mill.  Pat holds a grudge against the Scott family because of it and doesn’t approve of Mary’s new job, but she accepts the job anyway.

Mary has no problem adjusting to her new job at the Scott family home and she quickly becomes like another member of the family.  Matriarch Clarissa Scott (Gladys Cooper) considers Mary to be her closest confidante, she becomes a good friend to Constance (Marsha Hunt), and there’s an attraction between her and Paul (Gregory Peck).  Despite the attraction between Paul and Mary, it’s expected that Paul will marry gold digger Louise Kane (Jessica Tandy).  A year later, Paul proposes to Mary, but she turns him down because she doesn’t think it would be proper for him to marry a maid.

After Constance gets married, Mary goes to England to work for her and her new husband.  She stays with them for two years and while she’s gone, Paul’s father William (Donald Crisp) starts pressuring Paul to get married.  He hadn’t realized Paul was in love with Mary so when he finds out, he sends for Mary to come back to Pittsburgh immediately.  But when she returns, she comes home to find a strike happening at the Scott steel mill being led by none other than her father.  She tries to work out a truce between the workers and the Scotts, but a riot breaks out, killing Pat and William.  Mary is so heartbroken that she tells Paul they can never be married.

Ten years pass and Paul has since married Louise and Clarissa is nearing the end of her life.  Knowing Paul is the only one of her children interested in the family steel mill, she decides to leave her share of the mill to Mary in her will so she can help him keep the mill in the family.  Clarissa’s prediction comes true and after she passes away, her children start looking to sell the mill, with Paul being the only hold out.  Mary sides with him and helps convince Constance to change her mind.  With the mill saved, Paul decides to end his loveless marriage to Louise to be with the woman he’s loved all along — Mary.

The Valley of Decision is hardly a bad movie, but I just had a hard time getting into it.  Gregory Peck and Greer Garson are good, it’s not badly written, it boasts high production values, but it just didn’t grab my interest the way many other movies do.  But if you see it coming up on TCM, it’s worth giving a look. It may not have done much for me, but I can see how other people would enjoy it.

What’s on TCM: March 2013

Greer GarsonHappy March, everyone!  Hopefully you’ve all been enjoying 31 Days of Oscars, I know I have.  But we already have just a few days left of that before it’s back to the standard TCM schedule.  Greer Garson will be the Star of the Month for March and her movies can be seen every Monday night this month.  TCM will also be shining the spotlight on director Roberto Rossellini every Friday night in March.  Now, let’s take a look at the rest of the schedule:

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What’s on TCM: April 2011

April is looking like it’s going to be a pretty busy month on TCM, especially if you’re interested in the Civil War.  TCM will be celebrating the 150th anniversary of the Civil War by playing movies about the Civil War every Monday and Wednesday this month.  There will also be lots of Ray Milland to look forward to since he will be the star of the month.  The Lost Weekend, The Major and the Minor, Dial ‘M’ For Murder, all his best movies are in there.  There’s even a night full of real rarities that I’m very much looking forward to.

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What’s on TCM: February 2011

In just a few days, 31 Days of Oscar 2011 will be underway!  I’ve been watching 31 Days of Oscar for so long now that I feel like I’ve seen most everything they typically show during this month, but there’s always lots of stuff I’m glad to revisit.  Every year, TCM comes up with a theme to tie together the movies for 31 Days of Oscar and this year the theme is “trivia.”  Each day, TCM will be playing movies that have something in common like retired categories (Feb. 6), “the best of the best” (all of 1939’s Best Picture nominees, Feb. 12), and “nominated for playing a nominee” (March 3).   Be sure to check  TCM’s 31 Days of Oscar website to get the full details and to download a complete schedule.  Now, onto my picks for the month!

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