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The Chalk Garden (1964) Director: Ronald Neame Stars: Deborah Kerr, Hayley Mills, John Mills
Top Customer Reviews
This is a moving film which deals seriously with its themes. It is a little melodramatic in a 1960's sort of way, but nonetheless remains quite involving and absorbing for the audience. I enjoyed it very much. Interestingly, John Mills (Hayley's father) also has a supporting role in this film as the butler and is quite good in his capacity. Overall, a high 5 stars recommendation for the whole family!
This movie marked Hayley Mills' effort to break away from little girl roles and expand her emotional range. Unfortunately, she isn't quite up to the material and instead does a lot of energetic shouting with no real pain or conviction behind it. Her lack of acting maturity is especially noticed because the rest of the cast is so outstanding: Edith Evans is impressive as Laurel's stubborn grandmother and Deborah Kerr is flawless as the mysteriously rigid governess. John Mills gives a wonderful performance as the wise and understanding servant who balances all the female hysterics.
While the soundtrack is overly melodramatic and the soulful violins, at times, overpower the dialogue, the scenery near the white cliffs of Dover is stark and lovely. Not up to producer Ross Hunter's usual sentimental soap-opera standards, but still entertaining.
Laurel begins to unravel Madricle's secret, which comes full circle when a distinguished judge and family friend comes for a visit. The realization of her conviction for murder (it is never really confirmed whether she was guilty of the crime or not), serves as a reason as to why she has been so determined to save Laurel - she fears that the girl will end up on the same path she did. Madricle opens the eyes of all around her - "You should be frightened - you see before you the woman Laurel may yet become! The child who lied, cheated and hated, because she could not believe the simple fact that she was loved!Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
This is a beautiful old-fashioned movie, a simple story told in a lovely setting - acting superb..Published 24 days ago by Amazon Customer
I finally managed to get this movie, this is one of hayley mills best, along with her father john mills and deborah kerr. Read morePublished on Feb. 27 2011 by Kevin W. Edwards
The film is quite good. I enjoyed it, the actors/actress' fit their parts extremely well. The music is a bit too much. Read morePublished on Dec 22 2003 by Lucy Smith
Not my favorite of Hayley's movies but it's good, just a little weird compared to most of her movies. Read morePublished on May 8 2002
Great Classic .
But then I love any movie Haley Mills stars in.
Thought the screenplay was great as well and the settings to be lovely.
Although this film did have some good metaphors (garden = a child who needs to be nurtured), and some good potential for depth, as a whole it failed miserably! Read morePublished on Nov. 16 2001 by Daniel Mackler
This extremely interesting story stars Deborah Kerr, Hayley Mills, and John Mills. Hayley Mills play the troubled teenager caught between her grandmother and her own mother in a... Read morePublished on Aug. 16 2001 by M
I have noticed Hayley and John Mills in "Tiger Bay",but in "The Chalk Garden",it brings the togetherness of the two. Hayley plays Laurel St. Read morePublished on Feb. 6 2001