|Hayley Mills and Deborah Kerr in The Chalk Garden (1964).|
|John Mills and Deborah Kerr.|
|Hayley Mills as Laurel.|
|Laurel spying on her new governess.|
Ronald Neame's tight direction keeps this intriguing story moving quickly as viewer focus shifts from Laurel to Madrigal. He hides the stage play origins extremely well until the climactic confrontations, where the close quarters actually increase the intensity of the revelations.
|Dame Edith Evans.|
It's an ideal role for Mills, allowing her to combine brattiness with vulnerability and unrepressed anger with youthful innocence. The allure for Mills' fans is obvious, since it provides a welcome change-of-pace from the standard Disney heroine roles (e.g., In Search of the Castaways, The Moonspinners) that stifled her adult career.