“Cheers for Miss Bishop” - Small Town School Teacher Drama
released on February 21, 1941
running time 1 hour and 34 minutes
The Actors: Martha Scott (Ella Bishop, school teacher), William Gargan (Sam Peters), Edmund Gwenn (College President Corcoran), Sterling Holloway (Chris Jensen), Dorothy Peterson (Mrs. Bishop), Sidney Blackmer (John Stevens), Mary Anderson (Amy Saunders), Donald Douglas (Delbert Thompson), Marsha Hunt (Hope Thompson), John Archer (Richard Clark), Lois Ranson (Gretchen Clark), Rosemary DeCamp (Minna Fields), Knox Manning (Anton Radcheck), John Arledge ('Snapper' MacRae), Jack Mulhall (Professor Carter), Howard C. Hickman (Professor Lancaster), Helen MacKellar (Miss Patton), William Farnum (Judge Peters), Anna Mills (Mrs. Peters), John Hamilton (President Watts)
The School Teacher, the Mad, Bad, Dangerous Man, and the Sexy Cousin
Many of the famous actors from the Golden Age of motion pictures began their career with several uncredited bit parts, only appearing on screen for a brief moment. There are very few famous actors who were nominated for an Academy Award Oscar for Best Actress for their very first appearance in a motion picture. But Martha Scott, the star of this epic story, can boast of that honor.
After acting locally, and then at the 1933-1934 Chicago World’s fair, Martha Scott headed for New York City where she struggled to find any jobs on Broadway. Then the actress that Pulitzer Prize winning author Thornton Wilder selected to play a major part in his new stage play was dismissed, and Martha Scott was quickly hired to replace her. Martha Scott’s portrayal of Emily in the Broadway hit “Our Town” brought her Broadway fame and recognition.
When the play was made into a movie in 1940, Martha Scott was selected to play the same part in the motion picture, and she was nominated for the Best Actress Oscar. With that honor, she found steady work in motion pictures for the next four decades. This story is only her third appearance in a motion picture, and she carries the story from beginning to end.
We are in the mid 1800’s, and young Ella Bishop dreams of a Cinderella life. She will go to college, earn a degree, and become a famous teacher and scholar at one of the big and prestigious universities. She will marry a dashing young man and raise a family to be proud of. But the young lady with dreams of how her life will unfold discovers that real life often intrudes in many unexpected ways. Sometimes we write in our diary the hopes and dreams for the future, but then go on to live quite a different life. Not a worse life, but definitely a different one. Pop a big bowl of white kernel popcorn with plenty of warm melted butter drizzled over it and enjoy the show.
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