The Chalk Garden (1964)


Bil’s rating (out of 5):   BBBB

United Kingdom/USA, 1964.  Quota Rentals Limited, Ross Hunter Productions, Universal Pictures.  Screenplay by , based on the play by .  Cinematography by .  Produced by .  Music by .  Production Design by Carmen Dillon.  Costume Design by .  Film Editing by .  

 plays a precocious teenager with a hyperactive brain who gets her governesses into trouble to alleviate her boredom. She does this much to the chagrin of her exasperated grandmother (Edith Evans) and short-tempered butler (Mills’ real life father John Mills). In order to soften her granddaughter out, Evans hires her a tutor (Deborah Kerr) who is responsible for teaching her the finer things in life, but from the moment the woman arrives Hayley is intent on finding out all her deepest secrets. When she stumbles on the possibility that her tutor might be a suspected murderer who was acquitted many years before, she risks ruining the first truly good relationship she’s ever had in her life. When her own mother tries to get her back after having dumped her on her grandmother years before, the audience comes to better understand the tumultuous emotional life that has led this young girl to the behaviour she is constantly exhibiting. The acting is impeccable in this sudsy little drama, an enjoyable effort featuring Kerr at her best (the woman was pretty much ALWAYS at her best) and Evans keeping up right along with her.

Academy Award Nomination:  Best Supporting Actress (Edith Evans)

Golden Globe Award Nomination:  Best Picture-Drama

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s