Cheers for Miss Bishop (1941): Oscar-Nominated Melodrama about School Teacher, Played by Martha Scott

Adapted by Stephen Vincent Benet from the novel by Bess Streeter Aldrich, Cheers for Miss Bishop, a melodrama about a school teacher, offered Martha Scott one of her richest parts, and also introduced the young character actress, Rosemary De Camp.

Call it the female Mr. Chips?  Ella Bishop (Martha Scott), the noble heroine, is a teacher who has devoted her entire life to her work, aging 50 years (from 19 to 69) in the course of the tale.

At a dinner for her retirement, Miss Bishop’s former students wonder why their beloved teacher had never married.

In flashback, they (and we) learn that town grocer Sam (William Gargan) has carried a torch for her for five decades, while she pursued unfortunate romantic relationships with weak-willed Delbert Thompson (Donald Douglas) and unhappily married John Stevens (Sidney Blackmer).

We also learn tat once upon a time, she was ambitious but circumstances kept her in the same small town for half a century.

Oscar Nominations: 1

Scoring (Dramatic): Edward Ward

Oscar Context:

The winner was Bernard Herrmann for “All That Money Can Buy.”

running time: 95 Minutes.

Directed By:Tay Garnett.

Written By:Stephen Vincent Benét, Sheridan Gibney, Adelaide Heilbron.

In Theaters: Feb 21, 1941 Wide

On DVD: Feb 24, 2004

American Pop Classics