Hollywood’s Edna Gladney
Fans of Fort Worth history and classic Hollywood melodramas, take note: Tomorrow afternoon (Tue Apr 19) at 3:45pm, the basic cable channel Turner Classic Movies will screen Blossoms in the Dust (1941), a very glossy Technicolor version of the life of Edna Gladney. She campaigned tirelessly for the rights of orphans and so-called “illegitimate children” in 1920’s Texas and, of course, founded what would become the Gladney Center for Adoption right here in the Fort.
Greer Garson earned an Oscar nomination for her performance as Gladney. She suffers nobly (and with amazing cheekbones) against a musical score full of swelling orchestra strings. In other words, Blossoms in the Dust is about as subtle as the title suggests and it’s clearly not interested in getting all the facts straight. Still, the movie explores some tough subject matter, including the fact that Gladney’s only child died at a tragically early age and she was (allegedly) conflicted about adopting her beloved orphans to other families. The movie’s final scene is a quiet heartbreaker.