After leaving her family's farm to study nursing in the city, a young woman finds herself on an unexpected path towards politics.After leaving her family's farm to study nursing in the city, a young woman finds herself on an unexpected path towards politics.After leaving her family's farm to study nursing in the city, a young woman finds herself on an unexpected path towards politics.
Young worked hard to get her proper Swedish accent for the film and the results would have made Greta Garbo proud. I can't see Garbo appearing in a film like The Farmer's Daughter though.
Young plays Katie Holstrum who leaves the family farm to study nursing and in an almost Forrest Gump like set of circumstances winds up working as a maid in Congressman Joseph Cotten's home. She's not working for just Cotten. Presiding over the home and the state of Minnesota itself is Cotten's mother Ethel Barrymore. Ethel's not only queen of her own roost, but she's a Senator's widow and still one formidable power in her state of Minnesota. And there's Charles Bickford the family butler who got an Oscar nomination himself in this film for Best Supporting Actor as Young's gruff, but kindly mentor.
Although at the time this film was made Young was 34 years old she does manage to convey youth here. It worked in this case because in 1947 a lot of people were starting their careers late. It's pointed out in the story that she stayed on the family farm while her beefcake brothers, James Arness, Keith Andes, and Lex Barker were all in the service during World War II.
A long running television series was adapted from this film with the tragic Inger Stevens in the lead and William Windom in Cotten's role. Cathleen Nesbitt was the grande political dame. The butler's role was dropped and Windom was made a widower with two boys. Even with a genuine Swede like Stevens playing Katie, Young still comes out the better.
Too bad Rosalind Russell never got an Oscar, but Loretta Young was one of the great survivors of Hollywood and her award was as much an award for a lifetime as for the still fresh and funny, The Farmer's Daughter.
- Aug 27, 2007