Cheers for Miss Bishop (1941) [Drama]

“Cheers for Miss Bishop” is a film based on the novel “Miss Bishop” by Bess Streeter Aldrich. This film marked the debut of Rosemary De Camp.

Miss Ella Bishop is a teacher at a small town Midwestern college. The story is told in flashback and takes place over many years, from the 1880s to the 1930s, showing her from her freshman year to her retirement as an old woman. At the beginning, she lives with her mother and her vixenish cousin Amy; she remembers when her father had a farm near the town. Ella is an inhibited girl whose frustration grows as she approaches womanhood. Her ambition to teach causes her to lose her only opportunity for true love, and her life becomes one of missed chances and wrong choices.

She is engaged to lawyer Delbert Thompson; but she learns, to her distress, that Amy is pregnant by him. Delbert and Amy run off together; but Amy dies in childbirth, leaving Ella to care for Amy’s daughter Hope. Hope grows up and marries Richard, and they move away and have a daughter named Gretchen. Ella also has a fling with another teacher, the unhappily married John Stevens, but she eventually breaks off the relationship; later, she is distressed to learn that John has been killed.

Through all the years, Ella is supported by her friend Sam Peters, a local grocer. Another source of support is Professor Corcoran, the college president who hires her as a teacher and persuades her to stay when she considers leaving. His death is a blow to Ella. As Ella reaches old age, she reflects back and realizes she allowed the years to go by without achieving what she believes to be true fulfillment. However, the years have not been without glory; and her moment of triumph arrives when her numerous now-famous students from over the years return to a testimonial dinner at the school to honour their beloved Miss Bishop.

Directed by Tay Garnett, produced by Richard A. Rowland, written by Bess Streeter Aldrich (novel), Stephen Vincent Benet, Sheridan Gibney and Adelaide Heilbron, starring Martha Scott as Ella Bishop, Edmund Gwenn as Professor Corcoran, Don Douglas as Delbert, William Gargan as Sam Peters, Sterling Holloway as Chris, Dorothy Peterson as Mrs. Bishop, Sidney Blackmer as John Stevens, Mary Anderson as Amy, Marsha Hunt as Hope and Rosemary De Camp as Minna.

Source: “Cheers for Miss Bishop” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc.. 13 April 2013. Web. 21 July 2013.

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