Hayley Mills was 16 when this film was made and fairly glowed with good health, perhaps inappropriately so for this grim melodrama. Mills plays Laurel, a privileged but troubled youth who feels unloved--her mother (Sellars) has remarried and abandoned the girl to the care of her
grandmother (Dame Edith Evans). The old woman spends most of her time tending a garden, while the girl is delevoping a penchant for pyromania. Enter Madrigal (Deborah Kerr), a compassionate, mysterious governess whose secrets Laurel is compelled to discover. Madrigal sees in Laurel a potential for
violence that recalls her own past, so she takes the youngster in tow to set about changing th...