Synopsis: In 1844, the Wells family lives in a small farm of their own in Greenwich, Connecticut and the sons and daughters have a rigid discipline and religious education from the patriarch Ephraim Wells. When his wife Abigail Wells receives a letter from her wealthy distant cousin Nicholas "Nick" Van Ryn inviting one of her daughters to live with his wife Johanna Van Ryn and him nursing their daughter Katrine Van Ryn, the naive Miranda Wells gets excited with the perspective of traveling. Her mother convinces Ephraim to let her go and Miranda travels with her father to New York. They meet Nick and they learn that he is a patroon of farmers at the Hudson Valley. Then Miranda travels to the Dragonwyck mansion where she is introduced to the voracious Johanna and the sweet Katrine and to the housekeeper Magda. Miranda also meets Dr. Jeff Turner, who is a sort of leader of the farmers that work for Nicholas, in a party and befriends him. Soon she notes that Katrine is neglected by her parents. When
Production: 20th Century Fox Film Corporation
103 min

- Ma!

- What in the heaven's name?

- It's a letter, Ma, for you.

- Who's it from?

- Aren't you gonna read it?

- Your pa and the boys'll be in soon.

- We might as well wait.

- We'll just have to read it again when Pa gets here.

Oh, please, Ma. It's for you.

You've got a right.

Aren't you dyin' to know what's in it?

Seems to me you're the one that's dying.

"Dragonwyck, May 1 9, 1 844.

My dear Cousin Abigail.

Nicholas Van Ryn."

- Who's that?

- Shh. Tibby.

Read the letter, Ma.

"Though we have never met,

we are related, as you doubtless know...

"through our mutual grandmother,

Annetje Gaansevant.

"My wife and I have decided

to invite one of your daughters...

"into our home for an extended visit.

"We shall naturally be able

to offer her many advantages...

"which she could not hope to enjoy

in her present station.

"In return, if she pleases,

she may serve as a companion...

"to our eight-year-old child, Katrine.

"Upon inquiry, I have been gratifiied

to fiind that you and your husband...

"enjoy the honor and respect

of your little community.

"Be so good as to let me know

at your earliest convenience...

"which of your daughters you select...

"and I will make all suitable arrangements

for her journey to Dragonwyck.

Respectfully yours, Nicholas Van Ryn."

Golly! Is he really your cousin?

Now don't go imagining yourselves

a couple of lost duchesses.

There's not a drop of Van Ryn blood

in any of us.

It doesn't make any difference to me,

I'm sure.

But you had the same grandmother.

She was... Let me see.

My grandfather was her second husband.

Her frst one died.

His name was Van Ryn.

Nicholas must be his grandson.

He's a patroon.

- A patroon? Cousin Nicholas?

- What's a patroon?

That's what they call the owners of those

enormous land grants on the Hudson River.

They're the descendants

of the original Dutch patroons...

and they're terribly rich and elegant.

He must be very important.

I remember reading about his visiting

President Van Buren at the White House.

But you haven't said yet, Ma,

whether I could go.

The subject hadn't come up yet,

that I know of.

- I think it unlikely that your pa will approve.

- He's more likely to if you do.

And if we do decide to let one of you go,

why not Tibby?

- Me?

- She wouldn't want to go. Would you, Tibby?

I'm sure there isn't anything I want

that I can't fnd right here.

- I'm not anxious to leave my home.

- That's not fair!

You know I love you and Pa,

all of you, and my home.

It's just that, well, I try to be like everyone else

and want what I'm supposed to want...

but then I start thinking about people

I've never known and places I've never been.

Maybe if the letter hadn't come, I...

Oh, I don't know. I must be loony.

Time I was killing a hen for supper.

You scour the drainboards.

No use mooning over it. Your pa'll do

whatever he and the Lord think best.

There's one thing you can be sure of.

They'll both feel the same way about it.

This day, O Lord, there has come to me

a matter of slight perplexity.

Deliver us, we pray,

from hankering after fieshpots...

and deliver us from vanity

and false pride.

However, thy will be done.

Keep and preserve us through the night.


Well, boys, get.

- Tom.

- Yes, Pa?

You water the stock and look to Whiteface.

She's freshening.

Yes, Pa.

Tibby, is Obadiah Brown likely

to come mooning around again tonight?

Oh, Pa, I'm sure I have

no notion of his plans.

Well, if he does turn up,

be sure and sit on the steps...

where your ma can keep an eye on you.

Although I must say

that Ob is a steady lad...

and you, praise be,

are not the fiighty kind.

- Thank you, Pa.

- Now about this letter.

I'd see no reason to discuss it if it wasn't

that your Ma acts like it was important.

It is important, Ephraim.

It might be good for Randy

to live in a great house...

and learn something of the world

outside this farm.

- I'd so like to go, Pa.

- Your opinion is of no consequence

whatever, miss.

You're past 1 8, pretty enough, and time

you got settled down with a man.

I don't know what's the matter with you.

As for this fne relation of yours...

I'd like to know what right he's got

to be making inquiries about us.

He doesn't mean it that way, I'm sure.

Perhaps the gentry have different ways

of saying things.

Since when do we have gentry in this country

where all men are free and equal?

A Yankee farmer's as good and maybe better

than any Dutchman on the Hudson River.

- We'll say no more about it.

- Oh, Pa, listen, please.

I have a feeling that the letter was kind

of a sign. I think the Lord wants me to go.

Do you know what you're saying?

During worship tonight,

I had a leading. Truly I did.

At least put it to the test, Pa,

and see what happens.

Are you speaking the truth?

Search your heart.

Very well.

Close your eyes.

Now open the book.

"And Abraham rose up

early in the morning...

"and took bread and a bottle of water

and gave it unto Hagar...

"putting it on her shoulder

and the child and sent her away.

She departed and wandered

in the wilderness of Beersheba. "

Well, it's none too ftting...

but it does seem to have some bearing.

I'll sleep over the matter and pray on it.

Come, Abby.

You know, this is the frst time I've ever

known the Lord to go back on your pa.


Golly Moses!

It says in his letter for us to meet him

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Anya Seton

Anya Seton (January 23, 1904 – November 8, 1990) was the pen name of Ann Seton Chase, an American author of historical romances, or as she preferred they be called, "biographical novels". more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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    "Dragonwyck" Scripts.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 15 Jun 2024. <https://www.scripts.com/script/dragonwyck_7254>.

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