When their mother dies in childbirth, Emma Thatcher who has been the nanny to his 3 children but now has an infant to care for. The children grow up and Frederick becomes rich and successful. He and Emma marry, as it turns out right before his death, and his will becomes a source of trouble between the children and Emma. Written by
Rebecca Fennig <email@example.com>
After winning her Best Actress Academy Award in 1931 for "Min and Bill," Marie was nominated again the very next year for her role in this film; Emma. See more »
When Ronnie drives up to the Smith mansion with his dog, the dog can be seen about to follow him out of the car. Ronnie calls the dog, and we see the dog sitting in the back seat as if he hadn't budged and then walking toward him. See more »
I have a voice that only a deaf mother could love.
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Watching after her rich employer's motherless brood, elderly housekeeper EMMA finds love in a very unexpected place. But an accusation of murder is only one of the burdens she'll have to bear on her weary old shoulders before she finds a way to be useful again.
At the time she made this film, Marie Dressler was Hollywood's greatest star. An unlikely celebrity sensation, with her homely face & shapeless body, Dressler was nonetheless adored by the American public who could sense her basic decency & goodness. For a few brief years she became the nation's grandma, someone with whom the public could feel completely comfortable. Dressler seemed to typify the virtues of hard work & plainspoken honesty - attributes which counted for much in the Great Depression's darkest days.
This in no way is meant to denigrate Dressler's talents as an actress; she earned her accolades. She had complete command of her craft, mobilizing her pliable face & large body into capturing & holding first the audience's attention & then their admiration, followed quickly by their deep affection. Marie Dressler was a unique cinematic phenomenon; she stands alone, never replicated, duplicated or effaced - except by the vagaries of fickle time. Today in this new millennium, when her special earthy benevolence is needed more than ever, she is virtually unknown to any but the oldest or most nostalgic of movie mavens.
As sole star, and with a script penned by her dear friend Frances Marion, Dressler is given free rein to beguile in EMMA. Whether dealing with tragic death, or engaged in comedic high jinks (Dressler in an airplane simulator run amuck or chasing her lingerie-disgorging suitcase across a crowded train station is nothing less than hilarious) she is as completely unforgettable as she was to prove utterly irreplaceable.
Firm support is given by gentle Jean Hersholt as Dressler's kindly employer. As his son, Richard Cromwell gives an energetic performance. Lovely Myrna Loy, not-quite-yet a star, is strangely awkward as Hersholt's spiteful daughter. John Miljan is effective in the role of a relentless District Attorney.
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