Our Miss Brooks (1956): Al Lewis’ Comedy, Starring Eve Arden in Iconic Role of Small-Town Teacher

Poor Eve Arden, even when she finally gets a wedding ring, it’s being stolen–and at zoo!

Arden reprises her iconic role in Our Miss Brooks, a big- screen comedy based on the radio and TV sitcom hit of the same name.

Directed by Al Lewis, the chief writer for the radio and TV editions, and written by him and Joseph Quillan, the movie began a new storyline.

Connie Brooks, single and sarcastic English literature and grammar teacher, arrives in a small Midwestern town to teach at the local high school. She meets handsome, athletic biology teacher Phillip Boynton (Robert Rockwell), and they begin dating. Boynton, however, too attached to his mother, is unwilling to commit to the relationship, and several years of platonic dating pass.

When student Gary Nolan (Nick Adams) does poorly in her class, his father—wealthy local newspaper publisher Lawrence Nolan (Don Porter)—accuses Miss Brooks of incompetency. Brooks chides Nolan for working too hard and neglecting his son.

Nolan then hires Miss Brooks to tutor his son in English, and agrees to spend more time with Gary. As Gary becomes a better-adjusted youth, Nolan begins to romance Miss Brooks.

Meanwhile, high school principal Osgood Conklin (Gale Gordon) is criticized by Superintendent Stone (Joseph Kearns) for being a martinet. Conklin decides to seek election to Stone’s job, and asks Miss Brooks to manage his campaign.

Spending more time with Nolan makes Boynton jealous, and motivates Connie to break off her budding romance with Nolan.

Connie overhears a phone conversation in which Boynton buys a home and tells the real estate broker that he will be sharing it with “Mrs. Boynton.” She assumes that Boynton will ask her to marry him, and that he is buying the property for them. But it turns out that Boynton is buying it for himself and his mother, a psychosomatic woman.

Once Mrs. Boynton realizes the extent of her son’s love, she moves in with Connie’s eccentric landlady, Margaret Davis (Jane Morgan).

As the film ends, Boynton finally proposes to Connie, but her engagement ring is stolen by a chimpanzee at the zoo.

Eve Arden as Connie Brooks
Gale Gordon as Osgood Conklin
Don Porter as Lawrence Nolan
Robert Rockwell as Phillip Boynton
Jane Morgan as Margaret Davis
Richard Crenna as Walter Denton
Nick Adams as Gary Nolan
Leonard Smith as Stretch Snodgrass
Gloria McMillan as Harriet Conklin
Joseph Kearns as Superintendent Stone
William Newell as Dr. Henley
Philip Van Zandt as Mr. Webster
Marjorie Bennett as Mrs. J. Boynton
Joseph Forte as Nolan’s butler
June Blair as Miss Lonelyhearts