As suggested by Sitara and her gang, here's a review/summary of the movie. It's not perfect, and some parts may not be in order, but here it is:
Samantha Parkington lives with her wealthy grandmother, known as Grandmary, in Mount Bedford, NY. Both her parents died in an accident on the river, but luckily Grandmary takes good care of her.
The movie quickly introduces Nellie and her family, only 2 minutes into the film. Eddie Ryland, the neighbor's *horrible* son, uses his slingshot to shoot a rock through the window. Then, he blames Nellie and her sisters and tells her to give him a penny, or he'll tell on her. Samantha defends the O' Malley girls, and Eddie leaves them alone. Nellie is very grateful to her, and this is the beginning of their friendship.
Samantha's very excited when Nellie, the servant to the family next door, moves in. Even though their lives are very different, they quickly become best friends and spend a lot of time together. Samantha teaches Nellie how to read, since Nellie's mother never had a chance to teach her, and she comes from a working class family where reading and writing aren't always necessary. This is demonstrated later in the movie, where a factory employee tells Samantha to write her name down, or make an X if she can't write.
Both Nellie and Samantha's mothers died, and they can relate well because of that.
Samantha's Uncle Gard comes into town from traveling around Europe, and she can't wait for him to arrive. She's always been very close to her uncle. When Uncle Gard shows up with a surprise, his fiancee Cornelia, Samantha becomes jealous that she is no longer the only girl in Gard's life. Samantha eventually warms up to Cornelia. Samantha lends her mother's wedding veil to Cornelia when hers is ruined.
When Samantha over hears Grandmary and Uncle Gard discussing where Samantha should live, and that they should "share the burden" she gets very upset. She also hears Cornelia's friends at the wedding, saying that they're very sorry that poor Cornelia has a child as soon as she's married, and would be better off without Samantha.
This leads Samantha to run outside and night and get Nellie from the house next door. They go to the boat house, where Samantha keeps everything from her mother, and sleep there over night. Eddie appears in the morning, apparently everyone has been looking for them. Nellie is accused of trespassing and her family is almost excused from their work at the Ryland house, leaving them jobless. Luckily, the Parkington family understands and the O' Malley's are able to keep their jobs are servants.
Uncle Gard and Aunt Cornelia take Samantha to live with them in New York City, but Nellie and Samantha still write to each other frequently. When Samantha doesn't hear from Nellie for a few weeks, she gets very worried. Then, a post card shows up, saying that Nellie's father has died from influenza and that Nellie and her sisters, Bridget and Jenny, have been sent to the Coldrock House orphanage.
When Samantha visits the orphanage, Nellie tells her that she might get sent away on the orphan train, and be separated from her family. Samantha helps Nellie and her sisters to sneak out. While hiding before their escape, they see Ms. Frouchy stealing donation money. As they run out of the doors of the orphanage, Ms. Frouchy blames them for taking $200.
Samantha hides the girls in the upstairs room. Nellie, who feels she needs to support her sisters since she is now head of the family, goes to get a job in a factory. Samantha, who goes to retrieve her when she finds out that Bridget is very sick, sees what factory life is really like, and changes her speech for school. Bridget gets very sick and they need to get her a doctor, so the O' Malley's are revealed. Gard and Cornelia aren't very mad, more disappointed that Samantha didn't tell them.
The story ends with Samantha giving a great speech that tells the truth about factories, and Nellie, Bridget, and Jenny get adopted by the Parkington's on Christmas day. Now, Samantha and her friends are sisters!
As I said, I really enjoyed this movie. It was pretty good, but very much like a fairy tale. Nellie gets adopted and becomes Samantha's sister, they all live happily ever after with the perfect life. AnnaSophia Robb plays Samantha, and I think she did a very good job. She looks so good as a brunette! :) I think she has blue eyes though, and in the movie that bugged me, since in many places her eyes looked very blue and one of the lovely characteristics of Samantha is her chocolate brown eyes.
I loved seeing all the Edwardian fashions, and the doll clothes becoming "real". I wish AG would have made some of the dresses in this film for the dolls.
I would recommend this movie, it brings the books to life!
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