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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Martha Scott gives a memorable performance as Miss Bishop, who teaches freshman English for over 50 years and obviously has an effect on her students. The effects should have been more closely depicted. We briefly see a student with interest in astronomy. We can hardly think that a student will be nurtured through an understanding of a transitive verb. The one student who is affected by Bishop is a terrific Rosemary De Camp in a supporting performance. De Camp plays a foreigner who memorizes the Declaration of Independence and years later becomes a history expert.
The film depicts the life of Miss Bishop. Unfortunately, for her, what we see here is a revisit to the radio soap opera of the 1930s, Helen Trent. Remember Helen? She never went beyond 35 but had miserable luck when it came to men. The same is true for Bishop here except for the fact that she ages the 50 years.
Edmund Gwenn is marvelous as her first college professor. He certainly would serve as an inspiration to us all.
Bishop's love life was something else. She had every opportunity to marry milkman William Gargan but refused to do so. Anything to do with social class here? Methinks so. Two other romantic liaisons end miserably and tragically as well.
Still, Scott's acting is terrific here. It was interesting to see that after 25 years of teaching, her methodology is criticized by the new college president. She is essentially told to get with it and she takes the plunge into the new century with new clothes and driving a car!
This film is a total memorable experience!
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