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In old age, Miss Bishop reminisces about her life. A dedicated teacher, she spent her whole life teaching at Midwestern College. She never married when her first love married her cousin and another could not get a divorce from his wife. When her cousin dies giving birth, she raises the girl as if she were her own daughter and names her Hope. Throughout her life, she proved to be an inspiration to many students, many of whom move on to great things. On her retirement, many of her students return to say farewell. Written by
[Examining the label on a wine bottle]
Orvieto? Should know but I don't.
It's a little Italian town, Orvieto. Sunny and warm, it's flooded with warm sunlight. I remember once seeing one beggar there with a beautiful flower and a ragged hat. He was perfectly happy.
A beggar with a flower in his ragged hat. And sunlight...
I stayed there for weeks and weeks. I ate chestnut bread with the peasants and drank the new wine. And *I* was perfectly happy. Then I went on to Rome; I did ...
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The best that can be said for CHEERS FOR MISS BISHOP is MARTHA SCOTT gives a quietly understated performance as the lovelorn school marm in the title role. She's clearly the film's best asset.
The script is a mawkish thing, unabashedly sentimental in the tradition of "women's films" of the '40s, never missing an opportunity for a close-up of tearful, self-effacing, noble Miss Bishop as she is forced to discard all of the men who genuinely love her.
With barely a hint of comedy to lighten the dramatics, it wallows in artificial soap suds for the greater part of its length. WILLIAM GARGAN is pleasant as her life-long friend and companion who loves her from afar, and MARSHA HUNT, SIDNEY BLACKMER and STERLING HOLLOWAY do nicely in supporting roles.
MARY ANDERSON plays the vampish "other woman" with batting eyes and coquettish ways in what must be her most overbaked style. Her winning Scott's beau with her wily ways in the moonlight makes for a plot device hard to swallow. EDMUND GWENN lends his solid, dignified presence to the role of a school president who encourages Scott on her decision to remain a teacher at the hometown college.
Through all of the tears, Miss Scott remains as noble as Greer Garson ever was in any of her MGM long-suffering parts thanks to the advice she's always getting from others in the way of modern methods.
Summing up: A poor man's "Chips", overly sentimental story of an old maid schoolteacher with too much syrup in the script--too heavy on unending sentiment.
Trivia note: For a saga that covers some 60 years in the life of a schoolmarm, the make-up artists opted for unconvincing white wigs with unlined faces.
As Miss Bishop, Martha Scott remains just as trim in old age as she was as a young woman instead of undergoing a more realistic aging, as did Olivia de Havilland for her character in TO EACH HIS OWN.
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