Charles returns to Paris to reminisce about the life he led in Paris after it was liberated. He worked on "Stars and Stripes" when he met Marion and Helen. He would marry and be happy ... See full summary »
Spinster septuagenarian Ella Bishop, on the brink of retirement from her fifty-two year career as the freshman English teacher at small town Midwestern University, her alma mater, wants to look toward the future, but can't help reflect upon her past, what brought her to this point. Although she always wanted to be a teacher and was both surprised and ecstatic when her mentor, Midwestern's then President James Corcoran, offered her the English teacher opening upon graduation, she only saw it as one short phase of her life until she got married and had a family, unlike her younger cousin, Amy Saunders, who solely needed romance and love to feel fulfilled. She thinks about the two men with who she was mutually in love and would have married if she could have if it not for one circumstance or another, and the one man whose love for her was and is unrequited, at least in the romantic sense, but who was and has always been there for her. Although never haven given birth to a child of her ...Written by
One of the year's most inspired pictures...a warm, glowing story of real American people...their gayety and laughter, the dreams and desires, their problems, their loves...all the poignant romance and exciting drama of living...manifold elements that make up the very fabric of American life...brilliantly combined in a great film. See more »
James Corcoran, Midwestern U. President:
You see, I heard Abe Lincoln talk at Gettysburg - and he talked sense. You know Ella, we've got something here in this country - the idea of people being free. But it's got to be taught and retaught, Ella, to each new crop of youngsters: the value of freedom.
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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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