The Chalk Garden


The Chalk Garden

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Movie Info

This film adaptation of Edith Bagnold's play stars Deborah Kerr as Miss Madrigal, the secretive new governess of British "problem child" Laurel (Hayley Mills). Both Madrigal and faithful butler Maitland (John Mills) are aware that Laurel's atrocious behavior stems from her belief that her oft-married mother (Elizabeth Sellars) does not love her. Madrigal determines to straighten out Laurel before she becomes totally unmanageable and hurts someone else. She knows what she's doing; Madrigal has just been released from a long prison term, having been charged with the murder of her stepsister. Dame Edith Evans steals every scene she's in as Laurel's wealthy grandmother, who is pulled away from tending her precious garden only when it appears that she has a murderess in her house (the old lady indicates that she's somewhat thrilled by the prospect). The Chalk Garden represented a "stretch" for Hayley Mills, who previously had been confined to sugary-sweet Disney heroines. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi


Deborah Kerr
as Ms. Madrigal
John Mills
as Maitland
Edith Evans
as Mrs. St. Maugham
Felix Aylmer
as Judge McWhirrey
Toke Townley
as Shop Clerk
Tonie MacMillan
as Mrs. Williams
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Critic Reviews for The Chalk Garden

All Critics (1) | Fresh (1)

Audience Reviews for The Chalk Garden

  • Apr 25, 2012
    We have seen movies about unruly kids before - kids who scare away governesses. Usually (like Sound of Music), the governess solves the kids' issues with some caring, and falls for the widower who hired her. The Chalk Garden is a little different. It is the grandmother who hires the governess, and in this case the governess is a convicted murderer. Interesting film.
    Red L Super Reviewer
  • Aug 25, 2008
    Wonderful psychological game of cat and mouse. A tad reserved, not a bad thing in this situation, excellent performances all around.
    jay n Super Reviewer

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