Farmer's Daughter, The (1947)

 RKO Radio

 

H.C. Potter’s amiable but too obvious and a bit bland female-driven political fable could be described as “Mrs. Holstronm Goes to Washington.”

 

With blond braids wound in clusters over her ears, and semi-successfully attempting Swedish accent, Loretta Young plays Katrin Holstrom, a farm girl of solid Swedish stock, who goes to the Big City, where she become the housemaid in the house of a politically influential family headed by Ethel Barrymore.

 

A naïve tale of upward mobility, imbued with cheerful view of democracy and the American political process, the saga describes how Katie conquers men and politics, defeating the greedy political machine on her way to become a Congress woman, and the wife of Congressman Joseph Cotten.

 

The part was first offered to Ingrid Bergman, who is Swedish, but she turned it down.

 

Oscar Alert

 

Oscar Nominations: 2

 

Best Actress: Loretta Young

Supporting Actor: Charles Bickford

 

Oscar Awards: 1

 

Best Actress

 

Oscar Context:

 

A teen-actress, with a two-decade experience to her credits, Loretta Young won the Oscar at her first nomination; in 1949, she was again nominated for “Come to the Stable.”

 

The other nominees in her category were: Joan Crawford for “Possessed,” Susan Hayward for “Smash-Up: The Story of a Woman,” Dorothy MacGuire for “Gentleman’s Agreement,” and Rosalind Russell for “Mourning Becomes Electra,” who was considered the frontrunner.

 

It’s possible that the mixed critical response and box-office flop of “Mourning Becomes Electra” accounted for Russell’s failure to win.

 

Multiple nominee Charles Bickford lost out the Supporting Actor Oscar to Edmund Gwenn, who won for another fable, “Miracle on 34th Street,” starring the young Natalie Wood.