What Father Flanagan is to Boys Town in Nebraska, Edna Gladney was to an orphans’ home in Texas operated entirely on a strong mother love instinct and the gracious donations of Texans. The home is the Texas Children’s Home and Aid Society of Ft Worth. Blossoms in the Dust is a worthy production on which much care has been showered by Mervyn LeRoy and others, but the picture fails to impress as being big.
There are almost too many kids, with much attention paid to them. Result is a sentimentally sugary flavor which also extends over the romantic portions of the film. There is no comedy relief.
Pidgeon is the Texan who marries Edna Gladney of Wisconsin and worships her. The baby born to them dies and subsequently Pidgeon passes away suddenly after they have done some charity work for poor kids and foundlings. From there on Garson takes up the placement of unfortunate children as a lifetime work and ultimately is instrumental in passing a law which eliminates from public record whether orphans were born illegitimately or not.
Playing Edna Gladney, Garson spans many years but does not appreciably age.
1941: Best Color Interior Decoration.
Nominations: Best Picture, Actress (Greer Garson), Color Cinematography