Laurel (Hayley Mills) is a troubled young girl who has frightened away every governess until the enigmatic Miss Madrigal (Deborah Kerr) is hired - despite her mysterious references. Madrigal sets about tending to the girl's reckless emotions and the pitifully neglected chalk garden under the watchful eye of the butler (John Mills).
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Deborah Kerr and Hayley Mills star in this 1964 drama based on the stage play by Enid Bagnold. When disobedient teenager Laurel (Mills) manages to make yet another governess leave, her grandmother and guardian Mrs St. Maugham (Edith Evans) decides enough is enough. When Miss Madrigal (Kerr) shows up on their doorstep announcing herself as Laurel's new governess the girl quickly comes to realise that she may have finally met her match.