The Chalk Garden | 1964 | Deborah Kerr, Hayley Mills

The Chalk Garden | 1964 | Deborah Kerr, Hayley Mills

In this compelling drama based on the Edith Bagnold play, a governess sets out to help a troubled teen acting out for her mother’s attention. The governess Madrigal (Deborah Kerr) is a determined young woman recently released from prison after being charged with murdering her stepsister. Her charge, Laurel (Hayley Mills), is obnoxious and spiteful because she thinks her mother (Elizabeth Sellars) hates her.

Meanwhile, the girl’s grandmother (Edith Evans) stops tending her precious garden and comes to rescue Laurel upon hearing there is a murderer in the house. Evans won an Oscar for best actress in a supporting role.

production details

UK, US | 105 minutes | 1964

Director: Ronald Neame
Script: Enid Bagnold, John Michael Hayes
Cinematography: Arthur Ibbetson
Editor: Jack Harris
Producer: Ross Hunter
Composer: Malcolm Arnold

John Mills as Maitland
Deborah Kerr as Miss Madrigal
Hayley Mills as Laurel
Edith Evans as Mrs. St. Maugham
Felix Aylmer as Judge McWhirrey
Elizabeth Sellars as Olivia
Lally Bowers as Anna
Toke Townley as Shop Clerk
Tonie MacMillan as Mrs. Williams




The Viewer's Guide to Film intends to be a comprehensive guide to the very best of cinema from the earliest silent era, through to the golden age of Hollywood and on to today's biggest blockbusters.

Each entry on the site includes a capsule review/plot overview, along with cast and crew credits, images and trailers where available.