Blossoms in the Dust (1941)

Genres - Drama  |   Sub-Genres - Melodrama, Biopic [feature], Docudrama  |   Release Date - Jun 26, 1941 (USA - Unknown)  |   Run Time - 100 min.  |   Countries - United States   |   MPAA Rating - NR
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Mervyn LeRoy's Blossoms in the Dust is one of the more unusual efforts of its time, covering an unusual subject that brushed up against the Production Code, and got away with it because it was based on a true story. It was also the kind of serious "message" story that MGM -- seldom known for its movies in that vein -- could tolerate; indeed, more than tolerate -- the Technicolor production (photographed by Karl Freund, no less, who worked most of his career in black-and-white but showed here that he could work in three-strip as well as the next guy) fairly glitters in its opulence. The main title music, with its soaring female chorus, almost recalls LeRoy's production of The Wizard of Oz, even though this movie deals with a social stigma and the tragedy surrounding it that's far removed from Dorothy and Oz (though it said a lot about Middle America and Kansas, among other places, going into the 20th century, even if the primary setting of this movie is Texas).