Emma (1932): Starring Marie Dressler (Min and Bill) in Oscar-Nominated Performance

The Oscar-winning screenwriter Frances Marion wrote this melodramatic comedy in the vein of “Min and Bill,” made the year before, as an MGM star vehicle for Marie Dressler and Wallace Beery.

The story, directed by the craftsman Clarence Brown, is rather simple. When their mother dies, Frederick Smith hires Emma Thatcher to be a nanny to his three children. The children grow up and Frederick becomes rich and successful. He and Emma marry right before his death, but his will becomes a source of trouble between the children and Emma.

Dressler, who was nominated for the Best Actress Oscar goes overboard, turning in a theatrical performance as the housekeeper who marries her employer only to be snubbed by his kids.

Like Dressler’s “Min and Bill,” the movie was extremely popular at the box-office.
Oscar Nominations: 1
Best Actress: Marie Dressler
Oscar Awards: None
Oscar Context:
The winner of the Best Actress Oscar was Helen Hayes for the melodrama, “The Sin of Madelon Claudet.” The contest also included Lynn Fontanne for “The Guardsman.”
All three nominees appeared in movies made by MGM, which might not have been a coincidence.
Dressler had won the Oscar the year before for “Min and Bill.”