Cheers for Miss Bishop (1941) Movie Script

Anybody home?
All there is,
come on in, Sam.
You're all I wanna see.
Just thought I'd stop by for a second
on my way home
by way of an innovation.
Tired Elle?
Looking backward,
great waste of time.
Have some sherry, Sam.
What happened at the
trustees meeting yesterday?
I wasn't there.
Had to go over to Pretty Prairies,
see about some land I'm buying.
More land?
You must own half the state already.
Remember the day you drove up in your
brand new delivery wagon.
Do you realize that it's over
50 years ago?
50 years ago,
the day Midwestern opened.
Good morning, Chris.
Miss Bishop.
I've been promoted.
Chris, I can't stop.
Yeah, yeah, but I'm
not just janitor no more.
Chris, I'm late,
I got so excited I forgot
my registration money,
had to run all the way home for it.
I am gardener now.
Oh, that's wonderful, Chris.
I know some of you have
walked miles to get here,
and that every day for four years,
you'll have to walk those miles
through rain, sleet, and snow,
but I know this.
The end will pay you for those hardships,
because the end is wisdom.
Wisdom is first cousin to freedom,
and freedom is the glory of our nation
and our people.
Let us pray.
All mighty, most merciful God,
here on free land,
and of free air,
we have tried to build a house for wisdom,
free to all,
look favorably upon us, oh Lord,
for today we light a lamp of learning.
May it shine through
the years to be, amen.
Wisdom is the first cousin of freedom,
and freedom is the glory of
our nation and our people.
Doesn't that give you a thrill, Ma?
Yes, Ella.
Your milk, nothing since breakfast.
Of course it was the way he said it,
so simply.
Oh, he has the most wonderful voice,
the most wonderful eyes.
Is he married?
Oh, Ma, what are we going to do
with this romantic minded niece of yours.
Come in.
Good afternoon, Mrs. Bishop.
Good afternoon, Miss Bishop.
- Buddy,
- Hello, Buddy.
Won't you have a cookie?
Thank you.
Hello, Amy.
Hello, Buddy.
I guess you're busy, Amy.
No, I,
Yes, Buddy.
Amy, those peas for supper.
What was it, Buddy?
Not ice cream at the
drug store by any chance?
Well, Miss Bishop, I thought if Amy,
Auntie, please.
I'll finish the peas, Ma.
Oh, Ella, you really are a doll.
Change the apron.
Come on, Buddy.
Goodbye, Ella!
Goodbye, Auntie, goodbye.
Love is certainly working wonders
with Buddy's deportment.
He'll be kissing our hands next.
Ella, you really shouldn't have.
Amy's so boy crazy.
Oh, no, dear, just 14.
But you never acted that way.
Well, that was different.
We were still on the farm when I was 14,
and I was Pa's right hand man.
Remember how thrilled I used to be
when he called me that?
He was proud of you.
I was so proud of him.
Oh, Mother, I thought about
him so many times today.
He'd have been so happy.
Your father always said,
education pays big dividends.
That's true, Ma.
With a college diploma,
I can teach anywhere.
Just think, you and I
may go to Kansas City
or Chicago and maybe even New York.
Here's Sam.
Oh, Sam!
Woah, woah.
Oh, wait till I tell you.
You don't have to.
Ma Bishop.
The apple's didn't get in today.
I'll have them here first
thing in the morning.
Early, please.
Apple sauce and pie.
First delivery, cross
my heart, Ma Bishop.
All right, Sam,
always so reliable.
Faithful old dog Trey.
I'm not too pleased
with faithful old dog Trey
at the moment.
You didn't come to hear about
my first day at college,
just came about some old apples.
Ah, new apples.
September sweeties.
What a nice name.
What a nice world, Sam.
With you perched
right on top of it, huh?
The very tip top.
Are you sure you don't want to enroll?
It isn't too late.
Look, Elle,
see the name on that cart?
Oh, I know.
Something of your very own.
Something you started.
Not just my own, Elle.
Good glory, Sam, I know book
learning isn't everything,
but just wait.
I'll wait,
and the day you graduate,
You'll help me decide
which of the millions
of teaching offers I'll accept.
Like heck I will.
For a smart girl, you sure have
some pudding head notions, Elle.
Imagine figuring you're
cut out for a teacher.
Well, good glory, Sam, you don't think
I'm going to spend all
my life teaching, do you?
That's all right.
I've got scads of time, though,
but someday, I,
Sam, dear.
You mustn't.
I mean, don't you see I,
I just know you too well.
Well stop.
Stop answering questions
till they're asked.
Johnny, did you ever notice
some girls take an awful lot for granted?
Goodbye, Elle.
Goodbye, Sam.
I've got some deliveries to make.
Back up, Johnny.
Bye, Sam!
I guess there's no finer
man in the world than Sam.
Good glory, Mother.
Now, Ella,
I'm not gonna be with you forever.
I'd like to see you settled down.
Oh, you're going to be with me
for years and years,
and don't worry, I won't be an old maid.
I'll know when the right man comes along,
but now there's so much to do.
Mighty becoming to Elle,
graduating, Ma Bishop.
She does look pretty.
She made that dress herself.
There isn't a girl in
the class can touch her.
Well, that's an understatement, Dad,
there's not a girl in
the whole can touch her.
There's not a really good
looking man in the whole lot.
Mr. Peters, please,
the flowers.
Hey, jumping jiminies that was fine.
Bye, jumping jiminy.
Miss Ella Bishop,
founder of the Minerva Society for Girls.
First editor of the Midwestern Clarion,
and now, valedictorian.
Oh, Sam, my hat does
feel a little bit tight.
Well, if I remember right,
you were going to consult me
about which of the many teaching offers,
You know Sam,
I haven't had one answer
to all those applications I sent out.
I expect it's too early to hope to hear.
Guess so.
Well, I thought if
you knew of an opening
in any of the schools around here.
I mean, just the Prairie Grade Schools,
Well, I'm only just
back from my vacation.
Pretty busy with the fall enrollments and,
yes, and I'm trying to arrange
for a new member of the faculty.
A young woman to teach freshman English,
a girl I've watched pretty
closely for four years,
an intelligent girl, I think.
Anyway, she seems to
me to have one quality
which is mighty important
to the teaching profession,
she loves and understands folks.
President Corcoran, do you mean?
Well, of course, I know you couldn't mean,
but I can't help thinking you might mean,
President Corcoran, do you mean?
Oh, dear, dear, dear,
there's a heap of
repetition in that sentence,
for a teacher of freshman English.
I take it you're going to accept?
Well, if I can,
if I can only,
well, President Corcoran.
Chris, I'm going to teach at Midwestern!
I'm going to teach at Midwestern.
I'm going to teach at Midwestern.
Come on, slowpoke.
Oh, I can hardly believe it myself.
Why President Corcoran,
I went in to seem and him,
all I asked him for was one of the,
Oh, missed roses are sweet.
Good morning, class.
I want you please to devote
the first 10 minutes
to the writing of a very brief theme
on the subject of my favorite season.
Oh, no.
No, I'll have them
write on some subject
that will teach me something about them.
I've got to understand them
if I'm going to help them learn anything.
Good glory.
Good morning.
Hasn't the teacher come yet?
I'm the teacher.
Oh, yes, ma'am.
I'm just as frightened as you are.
Thank you, Miss Smith.
Mr. Anton Radcheck?
My life's ambition
is to be a great astronomer,
"cause since I can remember,
the stars to me have been comfort
and beauty and like friends.
Thank you, Mr. Radcheck.
Miss Mina Fields?
Except to get learning,
I ain't got no special
life's ambition, yet.
Class will please come to order.
So it just occurred to me, Mina,
that with that amazing memory of yours,
you might be interested
in the librarian's course.
It would be an interesting
job, wouldn't it, Mina?
Oh, yes, Miss Bishop,
but, Miss Bishop,
Yes, Mina?
I have got a life's
ambition now, Miss Bishop.
It's to be just like you.
Professor Wick studied
astronomy at Yale,
both he and President Corcoran have agreed
that if a student at Midwestern
wants a course in astronomy,
he shall have a course in astronomy.
Oh, Miss Bishop!
Report to Professor
Wick's in the morning.
Oh, thank you, thank you.
I tripped.
Oh, it's you, Sam.
Only Sam, huh?
And what rugged, masculine hearts
are you tearing to bits tonight, Amy?
Larry Winslow and,
and what makes you think
it's more than one?
It usually is.
Well, tonight, it just so happened
that Larry has the tickets,
and Buddy has the sleigh.
There they are now.
Larry, Buddy, yoo hoo!
Oh, goodbye, Sam.
Oh, and Sam, I almost forgot,
Ella can't go with you, tonight.
She's got a sore throat.
I beg your pardon,
but I shall have to remind you
to whom the sleigh belongs, old man.
Oh, Buddy.
Ma Bishop?
Dr. Samuel Peters coming
up to see the patient.
Come up, Sam.
Please get out the goose grease,
the turpentine and plenty of red flannel.
Smell like a paint shop.
But you'll be well in the morning.
The magic touch of old Doc Peters.
This pan, what?
Oh, oh, well, Mother,
I thought while I was correcting themes,
I'd just make some maple
snow candy, that's all.
Professor Bishop, my foot.
Goodnight, little girl.
Goodnight, Sam.
Oh, thank you,
and mind you applaud loudly, now.
Kind of got my mind set to hiss,
they sing Believe Me in parts again.
Oh, Sam.
Goodbye, dear.
Goodnight, Elle.
Goodnight, Sam.
Yoo hoo!
Yoo hoo!
Yoo hoo, me?
Yoo hoo, anybody.
I'm locked out here on the roof
and there's no one in
the house to let me in.
Oh, there's a ladder right over there
by the well.
Oh, here?
Yes, that's right.
I've got it.
It's so silly I
put my candy out here to cool
and it slipped away from me,
so I got out after it
and the window came down and locked, so,
here I am.
Shall I come up, a la fire brigade?
Oh, no, thank you.
I'll come down a la rescued maiden.
Are you sure you can make it?
Oh, positive.
Oh, that is,
if you don't mind.
Oh, no, of course not.
I'll not only look the other way,
I'll close my eyes.
Now you can descend with a free mind
and while you're descending,
I shall make all sorts
of encouraging sounds,
such as steady there,
and et cetera.
What, can I look?
I lost my slipper.
Oh, I've got it.
Here it is.
Thank you.
Oh, no, you don't.
Don't what?
Don't ruin the most time
honored romantic scene
of all the world of fairy tales.
Extend your tiny foot, Cinderella.
Well, funnily enough,
my name is Ella.
I'm Ella Bishop.
Oh, and I'm the prince,
and the slipper fits,
so now it only remains
for me to carry you into the palace.
No please, don't be absurd.
Oh, don't you worry.
No, oh, but the candy!
You can't go plowing through
snow with glass slippers.
You'd catch your death of pneumonia
and you couldn't live happy ever after,
and you do want to live
happily ever after, don't you?
I want to be put down here, please.
Oh, no, no, no, not
on a show covered porch,
that's bad luck.
You know there's an old legend about this?
Well, really?
Oh, but the candy,
Now, let me see, where were we?
Oh, yes.
Put me down this minute!
Right in front of the fire.
When I save lives, I save them thoroughly.
Thank you very much,
Mr. Delbert Thompson.
Oh, you're not Cinderella at all.
You're a witch with a gift of second site.
No, I'm,
I'm just a school teacher
of average intelligence,
who lives in a small town where
everybody knows everybody's business.
Oh, we all know, for instance
that you were a brilliant young lawyer,
that you're coming to
live with Judge Peters,
that you're to be his junior partner,
and underneath your
picture in your class book
it said, mad, bad, and dangerous to know.
Well, then, shouldn't you in kindness
ask the junior partner to sit down?
Oh, I'm sorry, I can't.
My mother's at a concert.
Oh, we must observe
conventions at all costs, huh?
At all costs.
Well, I'm glad to have
been of service, Miss Bishop.
Thank you very much, Mr. Thompson.
I'll pay my respects
to your mother real soon.
She'll be delighted.
Oh, you've got one of
those new contraptions.
I'm crazy about them.
Oh, aren't they marvelous?
My pupils gave it to me for Christmas.
Doesn't really work, does it?
Of course it does, listen.
It's amazing.
You know, to listen properly,
one might sit down.
Oh, no, I'm sorry.
Well, I tried.
No hard done, huh?
No harm.
Good night.
I'll call on your mother soon.
Oh, in the meantime, princess,
your ruby necklace is most becoming.
All join hands and circle to the right.
Now to the right.
Forward and back.
Your nose a little out of joint, Sam?
Del Thompson rushing you under me?
No, Amy.
Well, he's awfully good looking, Sam.
Judging from the way he's
swanning around Ella,
Sure must be crazy about her.
Who isn't?
You've got to let me
take you home, Ella.
I know the prince should
take the princess home,
This isn't fairy tales, Ella, it's real.
A new tour partner.
How can I, I came with Sam.
Back and swing your
partners to the right.
Having a nice time, Ella?
Wonderful, Sam.
Tell him.
Tell him what?
You look mighty pretty, Elle.
Tell him I'm in love with you,
head over heels in love with you.
Promenade around the floor.
Do you Ella Bishop
take this man for your
lawful wedded husband?
Of course I do, you fool.
And do you, Delbert Thompson,
take this woman to be
your lawful wedded wife?
I do.
I now pronounce you
man and wife.
Now may I kiss the bride?
Please do.
Oh, Ella, it's like a dream.
The end of all dreams.
Little house,
red fire light,
man you love,
I'm about through for
this time, Miss Ella,
and I expect you're glad.
Standing for fittings is mighty tiring.
You suppose the time will ever come
when you can walk into a store
and buy a dress already made?
Land's sakes, no, Miss Ella.
Oh, Mother.
I feel like a queen.
Guard it with your life, Ma.
I will, dear.
I better help you.
Yes, Mary.
Oh, mind the train.
I will.
Oh, Auntie, isn't it beautiful?
Yes, dear, but be careful
the way you handle it.
I'll take it upstairs.
Del's coming for supper,
and the bridegroom mustn't see
any of the outfit before the wedding day.
The most beautiful bride in the world.
Amy, you're crazy.
I mean, what a crazy mistake.
Yes, of course.
Oh, Amy, thank you, dear,
put it up in the spare
room with the dress.
Oh, Del, you shouldn't have seen the veil.
Anyway, I hope it isn't bad luck.
How could it be bad luck.
Oh, Del, I didn't
mean it that seriously.
You know, you aren't supposed
to see the wedding finery
before the wedding day.
Ella, why can't
this be the wedding day?
We can keep it a secret
until college is over if we have to.
How sweet.
I have to go to central hall tonight,
a special meeting.
We're going to question a pupil,
a girl who's been accused of
cheating in an examination.
Yes, but,
I know she didn't cheat,
and I'm the only one who can help her.
Oh, Ella.
I'm going to have a game of cribbage
with Judge Peters, could you two drop me?
Of course.
Oh, what a moon.
I thought you were going on the river
with Larry Winslow.
No, I'm tired of wasting
my time on those children.
Giddup, boy, come on.
Give me love to the Peters, Amy.
Oh, President Corcoran.
Come in, Miss Bishop.
I'm sorry to be late.
Not at all.
And so, much as I regret the necessity,
I feel that on evidence submitted,
Miss Fields should be expelled.
Miss Fields paper contains
whole pages from the textbook
reproduced word for word.
Minna, did you have a textbook
in the examination room?
Oh, no, Miss Bishop.
I learned by heart.
Oh, really, and are we asked to believe
that she committed an
entire textbook to memory?
Please, Professor Lancaster.
Why don't you ask her to
repeat what she wrote?
That would hardly be proof, Miss Bishop.
She's had a week since the examination.
Yes, an entire week.
Quite so.
Professor Lancaster, what assignment
did you give your history
class for tomorrow?
I asked them to read the
Declaration of Independence
and the Constitution.
And memorize them?
Certainly not.
Mina, have you read them?
Oh, yes, Miss Bishop.
I have read them and read them
for at least an hour.
Do you remember the declaration?
I think so, Miss Bishop.
President Corcoran,
Miss Field,
do you mean you could actually recite
the Declaration of Independence
after having read it for only one hour?
Well, I could try, President Corcoran.
Very well, child.
Go ahead.
When in the course of human events,
it becomes
for one people
to dissolve the political bonds
which have connected them with another,
and to assume among
the powers of the earth
the separate and equal station
to which the laws of nature
and of nature's God entitle them,
a decent respect to
the opinions of mankind
require that they should
declare the causes
which impel them to the separation.
We hold these truths to be self evident,
that all men are created equal,
that they are endowed by their creator
with certain inalienable rights,
that among these are life, liberty,
and the pursuit of happiness.
We mutually pledge to each other
our lives,
our fortunes,
and our sacred honor.
Why, my, that's amazing!
I would never believed it possible.
Well, I admit the pupil's possession
of unusual mnemonic powers.
Under the circumstances,
I withdraw my charge.
Oh, you want that I should
recite the Constitution, too?
Oh, no, no, no.
I saw you coming so I waited.
Oh, it's too beautiful
a night for cribbage.
Isn't it a beautiful night, Del?
Why, yes it is.
Beautiful night.
Oh it would be heavenly
down by the river.
Could we drive down there or?
Or what?
Are you afraid?
Mr. Berkley, the definition
of a transitive verb, please?
A transitive verb is a verb that is,
Come in!
Yes, Chris.
Good afternoon, Miss Bishop.
For me?
Thank you, Chris.
Excuse me, please.
I'm sorry, Mr. Berkley,
I had asked you for the definition
of a transitive verb.
A transitive verb is a verb
that takes an object.
Can you give me an example?
To strike.
Name the principal parts, please.
Strike, struck,
striken, I mean struck.
That will do, Mr. Berkley.
Class dismissed.
Del, Del!
Oh, Del, what is it?
Tell me nothing's happened?
I'm such a silly goose,
something terrible you said.
Tell me, Del.
Tell me nothing's happened.
It is terrible, Ella.
It's about,
Ella, I'd give my right
arm to spare you this.
You must believe that.
Just what is it you want me to believe?
Are you trying to
make it difficult, Ella?
I'm sure Amy will supply
all the lovely details.
Well, it was your fault anyway.
If you hadn't left him for
a stupid board meeting.
It's not like I've taken anything
you really cared a lot about.
Oh, I know what you're thinking,
but it isn't so.
I didn't plan anything.
It just happened.
Amy, don't you,
Ella, you've got your school.
Criminy, Ella, you needn't
be that way about it.
I haven't, I mean,
I didn't mean to do anything,
besides it doesn't give you any license
to treat me like dirt.
That's what you're doing,
you're treating my dirt.
You will listen to me.
It was an accident, I tell you.
Pretty smart, aren't you?
Pretty smart and pretty smug, too.
Well, you left him alone,
and there was a moon by the river.
That was it, there was a moon.
So now he's mine, you understand?
You can't marry him, he's mine!
Oh, Ella.
Ella, what are you doing?
What are you doing, Ella?
Ella, let me in.
Let me in, Ella.
I'm your mother.
Don't ruin the most time honored
romantic scene in all
the world of fairy tales.
You're Cinderella.
I'm the prince.
The slipper fits.
What a beautiful moon.
So you'd rather save her than me?
Drive with to Maple City, I'd be married.
If you hadn't left him
for a stupid board meeting.
Tell "em I'm in love with you.
Head over heels in love with you.
You can't marry him, he's mine.
All mine.
You can't marry him,
mine, mine, all mine,
mine, mine.
Now, Del, do you take little Amy here
for your lawful wedded wife?
I do.
Stena, Sam, you heard that.
You're witnesses.
Well, guess that makes you man and wife.
Oh, Del!
What do I owe you?
Oh, would 50 cents be too much?
It's awfully early in the morning.
Aren't you going to kiss the bride, Sam?
Have to get a move on
if you want to catch the express.
Let's see here, Sam.
I let you miss the milk train
so you could get married.
I don't like your attitude.
No, you make feel like a little,
little old,
I don't give two
hoots how you feel, Amy,
either one of you.
I'm just making dead certain
you don't humiliate Elle
any more that what you've already done.
Busy, Miss Bishop?
Oh, President Corcoran.
I just received your letter, Ella,
Well, I thought it easier
to write it, you see.
Mother and I are going to
New York, President Corcoran,
it's an assistant librarian's position.
Oh, I see.
Well, of course it is a hard job teaching.
It never pays much and,
I know.
Lots of the time it's
a headache wondering
if it's worthwhile.
Why, President Corcoran,
you can't feel that way?
You're inspired, I mean,
you give young people courage
and confidence, ideals.
Oh, I am trying.
You see I heard Abe
Lincoln talk at Gettysburg,
and he talked sense.
You know, Ella,
we've got something here in this country,
the idea of people being free,
but it's got to be taught
and retaught, Ella,
to each new crop of youngsters.
The value of freedom.
Ella, your father
homesteaded on this prairie.
Remember what his first corn looked like?
It was small and green.
You couldn't believe it would ever grow.
That's it,
and human beings are
harder to raise than corn,
but when they're raised,
if they're raised right,
they're worth a lot more per bushel, eh?
Oh, you know, Ella, it's a funny thing.
College is made up of bricks and mortars
and students and teachers,
but it can have all those
and not amount to a hill of beans,
and then once in a coon's age,
someone comes along with a
God given gift for teaching.
You've got it, Ella,
that magic touch that makes young minds
open up and flourish.
Oh, well I,
I certainly didn't intend
to deliver a lecture.
Of course, Midwestern must
accept your resignation.
Oh, but are you sure your New York Library
needs you as much as our seed corn
here in Midwestern?
President Corcoran,
may I have that letter?
Sam, a ride home for me?
Get in quickly, Elle.
Sam, what is it?
It isn't Ma.
No, not Ma,
but I'm afraid it's gonna be a shock.
Amy's back.
She's gonna have a baby.
Is she alone?
Ella, Ella, I'm frightened.
There's nothing to be frightened about.
He just left.
He just went away and he didn't come back.
Well, he didn't know I
was gonna have a baby.
I was gonna tell him.
You should have told him, Amy.
He didn't love me.
He never loved anybody but you.
The doctor says you need rest.
You will be kind to me, won't you, Elle?
You're all I've got in the world.
This is your home, Amy.
Go to sleep now.
Water won't boil any faster
for your stirring it.
Why does it have to, you know,
does it always take?
Land's sakes, Sam,
a body would think you
was having the baby.
Mrs. Bishop, Mrs. Bishop!
Hot water please.
Out of the way, Sam.
Boil some more water.
Sam, quick, a piece
of wood for Amy to bite on.
She's gone.
He couldn't save her.
Now you get some rest, Mrs. Bishop.
I'll drop by in the morning
with feeding instructions.
Meantime, Stena will know what to do.
Goodnight, doctor.
She's a fine, healthy girl.
Holding a baby comes
naturally to you, Miss Ella.
I'm going to call her Hope.
Very good, very good.
Ella, Hope promised to
be here before midnight
and it's almost,
She'll be here, Ma.
The most dashing beau in the world
couldn't keep Hope away
from us on New Year's Eve.
So little Hopey's got a beau.
Yes, one of our outstanding sophomores,
President Corcoran, Richard Clark.
Oh, yes, yes,
fine boy, Richard.
Hello, everybody, happy new year!
I was so afraid we'd be late, Aunt Ella,
oh please, President Corcoran,
hello Judge Peters, Mrs. Peters.
Hello, darling.
Worried Granny?
A little.
Hello, Uncle Sam.
Hello, Hopey.
Oh, she ran me every step of the way.
Was it a nice party, darling?
And was she the belle
of the ball, Richard?
Oh, she certainly was, sir.
Since Stena made us a
very special concoction.
What's it called, Stena?
Swedish glogg.
In the old country, always
we drink at New Year's,
then we say skal,
that means health, happiness, and hooray.
She's here, 1900.
Happy New Year.
Happy New Year.
Skill, Elle.
May it bring prosperity.
And common sense, the
world could use a little
the pace it's going at.
Elle, honey.
I've waited a century.
Seems a lot longer.
Sam, dear,
Oh, stop.
Make a toast, Aunt Ella.
Let me think.
It wouldn't be anything
about Midwestern,
of course, Miss Bishop?
Everything about Midwestern
of course, Richard.
President Corcoran,
you once gave us a prayer,
may the lamp of learning
which you lighted then
continue to shine brightly
through this new century.
Thank you, my dear.
Anybody hurt?
No, but I'm mad as a hatter.
You're an entering freshman, aren't you?
Yes, ma'am.
And don't you know
that entering freshman are not allowed
to ride their bicycles on the campus?
Yes, ma'am, but I thought,
You mean you should have thought.
A pretty mark to have against you
before you even get into college.
That is, if I were going to take
the time and trouble to report you.
Oh, gee, thank you, ma'am.
I'm terribly sorry.
Well, sorry, myself,
shouldn't have lost my temper.
Come and see me when you get homesick.
Central hall, Ella Bishop.
Miss Bishop!
Oh, my aunt was in your
first freshman English class.
Yes, you can tell me all about it
when you come to see me.
Now, scat,
and wheel that bike.
Oh, yes, I will.
Thank you, Miss Bishop, good bye.
Well, thanks.
May I come to your
office, too, Miss Bishop?
I have messages for you from
three of your former pupils.
They took extension work
under me at Columbia and I,
You're John Stevens.
Who has been so looking forward
to meeting Ella Bishop.
Well, Professor Stevens.
We're so excited about
having you join our staff.
I had planned a very elegant reception,
a little welcoming tea in my office.
Very dignified.
Well, it's just tea time now, isn't it?
Come along.
Has Richard come?
Not yet, darling.
Goodnight, Granny.
Goodnight, dear.
Goodnight, sleep well.
Thank you.
And what are your plans
for the evening, ma tante?
You and your freshman French.
You're dodging the question, but I know.
Your beau is coming.
Hope, you really mustn't.
Oh, you don't have to worry, darling.
When the kids at college ask me
if it's a romance between
you and Johnny Stevens,
Please, Hope.
Well, do you object to
my calling him Johnny.
He shouldn't.
They used to call him Dude,
but he's really very popular, now.
I think he's terribly attractive.
Don't you, Aunt Ella?
Hope, if you've any idiotic notions
about Professor Stevens and me,
Any customers for a sleigh ride?
Good evening, Sam.
The roads are slick.
The moon is bright.
And you are out of luck, Uncle Sam.
I'm going skating with Richard,
and Aunt Ella is expecting,
Please, Hope.
Hello, Richard!
Is expecting Professor Stevens
for an academic evening.
Come on, Richard, goodnight!
Goodnight, children.
Is Stevens coming, Elle?
Yes, he's bringing a new book.
Would you stay and listen, Sam.
You could do with a little brushing up.
Don't know why I never
had more feeling for books.
Wish I had.
Don't wish it.
I wouldn't change you for the world.
You wouldn't marry me, either,
but you may yet.
Unless this fella Stevens.
Sam, I want you to help me.
I want to tell you something.
What is it, Elle?
Professor Stevens has wife.
A wife?
She's in Virginia.
They haven't seen each
other for some time.
Well, why doesn't he get a divorce?
Oh, Sam, how wonderful to find someone
in Oak River who doesn't
shudder at the word.
Elle, if it's for your happiness.
Thank you, Sam.
Excuse me.
Good evening, John.
Oh, good evening, Ella.
I'm sorry I'm a little late.
Good evening, Professor.
Hello, Sam.
May I?
Thank you.
I've been trying to persuade Sam
to stay and meet your new friend.
Mr. Barry, isn't it?
Yes, the little minister.
I'm afraid it's a
little out of my class.
Now, if it was Frank Merriwell.
Goodnight, Elle.
Goodnight, Sam.
Goodnight, Sam.
The meeting had only
one witness, a weaver,
and he said solemnly afterwards,
they didn't speak,
but they just gave one another a look,
and I saw the love light in their eve.
That's beautiful, isn't it?
The life of every man is a diary
in which he means to write one story
and writes another.
Would you mind reading that again?
Just the last sentence.
The life of every man is a diary
in which he means to write one story
and writes another.
I suppose that's true, isn't it?
We dream dreams and,
do go on.
Look at me, playing hooky at Maple City,
if this is Maple City,
for a clandestine dinner,
and we'd both be dismissed
if they found us out,
and I love it, don't you?
Love it more than I can say.
I have to ruin it.
I had a letter today from my wife.
I wanna read you just one paragraph.
Oh, no, John, not tonight.
It has to be tonight.
John, I know I was never
the right wife for you,
but to consent to a divorce
would be to deny the faith
in which I have been brought up.
I can understand.
But what about us?
Yes, what?
Ah, a special wine for the lady.
I should know but I don't.
It's a little Italian town, Orvieto.
It's sunny and warm.
It's flooded with warm sunlight.
I remember once seeing a beggar there
with a beautiful flower in a ragged hat.
He was perfectly happy.
A beggar with a flower in his ragged hat
and sunlight.
I stayed there for weeks and weeks.
I ate chestnut bread with the peasants
and drank the new wine,
and I was perfectly happy,
then I went on to Rome.
I did everything the guidebook said,
but it wasn't the same.
Alas salute.
Ella, why can't you
sail for Europe in June?
Why can't I join you there?
Oh, a special desert for the lady.
Oh, Checko, it's too beautiful.
I simply can't.
I can sail first and join you in Italy.
A special flower for the lady.
Thank you, Checko.
And goodbye, my dear.
Ella, please.
We've had three
wonderful hours in Orvieto.
There are people who never go.
There's no time here in Orvieto.
Can we stay?
Dreams are the only
realities, oh my darling,
is it asking too much?
Too much
or too little, I don't know.
I only know that I'd
stay oh so gladly, John,
if I could follow my heart,
but you and I being as we are,
there'd be tomorrow,
and sometime we'll be glad we spent
just this little time in Orvieto,
and didn't try to go onto Rome.
I must catch my train for Oak River.
I know you'll understand,
I'd rather go alone.
Come with me to the door.
A flower for the lady,
wonderful lady.
It's been perfect, all of it.
Haven't you forgotten something?
Forgotten something?
A Kiss.
A special kiss for the lady.
So you're a teacher.
You set yourself up to carry a beacon
for boys and girls to see by.
Well, carry it!
It took him three solid hours,
and he ate two pens
and the better part of a pen holder,
but he wrote the theme.
Why, there's Mr. Peters
and his horseless carriage.
Halt, darn you, halt.
Somebody, hold off, will you.
Yeah, get a horse.
Oh, Sam.
Why, here she is, Elle.
Come to take you home.
Oh, Sam, is it safe?
Why sure.
If you keep her speed
within a reasonable limit.
Well, gotta wind her up.
Hop aboard.
Say, fellas, will you give her a push
when I give you the signal?
Sure, we'll push your horseless carriage.
Stand back everybody.
Ready Elle?
Hat on tight?
Oh, Sam, how thrilling.
Thank you so much.
Well, what do you think
of your Uncle Sam's automobile?
I saw it this morning,
but look, Aunt Ella,
a wedding gift from Richard's mother.
The wedding isn't for two months.
Well, oh, Richard, how lovely.
Come on in, all of you.
We'll have some of
Stena's elderberry wine.
All this excitement
calls for a celebration.
Oh, I've got a class
meeting at six, Miss Bishop.
Oh, just for a minute Richard.
Oh, what a shame, as
president of the senior class,
I suppose you do have
to be there, don't you?
Yes, I do,
Like me to spin you out, Richard?
Oh, gosh, Mr. Peters.
Hop aboard.
There's a knack to this
cranking business, Elle.
Gee whiz, without a horse.
Oh, they are lovely, Hope, darling,
and you shall the most beautiful
wedding dress in the world
to do justice to them.
The most beautiful wedding dress
I ever saw was Carol Ellen's.
What was Carol's dress like?
It was her mother's.
It was the most gorgeous white satin.
So many girls get married in
their mother's wedding dresses.
Come up to my room with me, dear.
Oh, Aunt Ella,
it's the loveliest thing I've ever seen.
You can have it made
over any way you like.
There're yards of material.
Oh, but I wouldn't have
it changed for the world.
It's so quaint.
Sort of in the heirloom class.
And it's so bridal.
But it was never finished.
No, it was never finished.
Oh, Aunt Ella,
Aunt Ella, darling,
I somehow never thought.
Was it for you?
I know I shouldn't ask, but was it?
Well you know, I always thought
that you and Professor Stevens.
Made in that fashion?
No, dear.
No, of course not,
but he did resign so suddenly last year,
and so many people thought.
So many people have so many
wildly romantic thoughts, my dear.
Do you like the dress?
Oh, I couldn't have dreamed a dress
I'd rather be married in, unless,
you're not old, Aunt Ella.
Not really old,
and are you sure?
Yes, darling, I'm sure.
Excuse me, ma'am,
do I have to pay the
entrance fee to register?
No, anytime this month.
All you have to do in there
is just sigh your name
or make a cross.
Thank you, ma'am.
I ain't got no money till next week.
To get me a college education,
my pappy's selling two
of the finest Jenny mules
in the whole state of North Carolina.
Let her shine.
I sort of suspected
you were from the south.
What's your name?
John McCray.
But you can just call me Snapper.
I'm Ella Bishop.
I teach freshman English,
and you could do with a little, Snapper.
I reckon I could.
Ella, you're looking bonny.
President Corcoran, how's are ya?
Scotland as beautiful as you remembered?
Oh, just as I remembered.
Even to the misty, moisty weather.
And Brussels, the exposition?
Well, I had rather sad
news in Brussels, Ella.
Yes, I arranged to
see John Stevens there.
You remember Stevens,
but just before we were to meet,
he was killed in a train wreck in Italy.
I never knew.
No one knew.
I'm so sorry, child.
Ella, come to my office.
Sit down, rest.
Not now, thanks, President Corcoran.
You sure?
God bless you, child.
Oh, please, ma'am, could
you tell me where Professor,
There's an information
desk just inside the door.
Thank you, ma'am.
Miss Bishop, is that true?
Is President Corcoran resigning?
The Clarion usually prints the truth.
But who's gonna take his place?
Who could take his place?
So long as I am president
of the university,
I must insist that every
member of the faculty
carries out my ideas.
I demanded certain
changes in the curriculum.
And I made them.
But you haven't made
them interesting to your students.
You're calling me a bad teacher?
Miss Bishop, for the past three months,
you've reported more students
than any other two members of the faculty.
That usually means bad teaching.
Well, I admit that lately
I haven't had the same
interest in my classes
or my students, but I.
Now see here, President Watts,
if you're asking me to resign,
I'm not.
I know from your past record
how valuable you could be,
but this college now is
at the turning point.
It can go ahead or it
can slump to nothing.
It can't remain as it is,
a hobbledyhoy in
Father's cast of clothes.
President Watts, I
won't listen to any more.
A hobbledyhoy.
I'm sorry that's all you heard.
Good afternoon, President Watts.
Good afternoon, Miss Bishop.
After 25 years of teaching,
you dare tell me I'm a bad teacher.
Well, you can go ahead
and ruin Midwestern,
but you're not going to humiliate me.
Hobbledyhoy in Father's cast off clothes,
that's what you said.
Well, if this college was good enough
for President Corcoran,
it's plenty good enough
for you, Mr. Watts.
President Corcoran.
President emeritus,
or is it emeritus?
I always meant to look it up.
Sit down, Ella, dear, sit down.
I've been meaning to come and see you.
Oh, I should have come to see you,
now that I'm retired.
You're the busy one.
Oh, President Corcoran.
Why, Ella.
Bless you, what's wrong my dear, eh?
What's wrong?
That man Watts.
Oh, so that's it.
He called me a bad teacher.
Did he now, eh?
Do you know what he
said about our college?
He said it was a hobbledyhoy
in Father's cast off clothes.
He did, eh?
A hobbledyhoy in
Father's cast off clothes.
Well, that's pretty good, Ella.
Why, President Corcoran,
Well, he's right, my dear, he's right.
You see, you and I knew it from the first,
and so naturally it looks big to us now.
It is big.
It's magnificent compared
to what we started with,
but we're too close to it, Ella,
now Watts has come in
with a fresh viewpoint.
Fresh is the word,
all this talk about modern methods.
They're what Midwestern needs, Ella.
Why even you, my dear,
could do with a bit of modernizing.
Oh, I'm not criticizing,
my dear, no, no, no, no.
I know that you've got a heart and a mind
and spirit as potentially
young as spring itself.
President Corcoran,
what you don't know about handling people.
Me, an old maid?
Young as spring,
and me loving it.
And loving Midwestern, too, eh?
I do love Midwestern.
Then help our driving friend
give her what she needs.
Watts is a driver, Ella.
That's why I picked him.
You picked him.
He was my choice.
I believe in him,
but I believe too, he's going to need
a lot of the kind of the
help that you can give him,
and will.
I suspect I will.
I expect I'll get to be
fresh and driving, myself.
Driving, President Corcoran,
I'm going to get an automobile.
Why not?
Wouldn't that be a help
in modernizing myself?
Well, it'd be a fine start, Ella.
A fine start, well.
I must be getting back to my fire.
These old bones.
Let me walk along with you.
No, no, really, thank you, child.
No, I'd really rather not.
I can find my way along this river road
in complete darkness,
whereas for you, it's
just the wrong direction.
- So you take the high road.
- I will.
And I'll take the low road,
and I'll be in Scotland before you.
I will, goodbye, Ella,
goodbye, my dear.
President Watts!
I'm sorry, President Watts,
but you wanted me to learn modern methods.
President Watts, a month ago,
I was a crotchety old maid,
but I'm not one any longer,
at least, I hope not.
Will you take an apology?
Then praise be that straightened out,
thanks to James Corcoran.
Do you mind?
Why, Miss Bishop, I love him, too.
Then keep on doing something for me.
Smile, that way.
You've no idea what it does
for that rock rib jaw of yours.
Rock rib?
The passing of President Corcoran
was a great shock.
Attention, hut!
Forward march!
Then, the following year,
I lost Mother,
and with Richard and Hope
living in California,
Sam was the only one I could turn to.
Good old Sam.
He's beginning to show his years, too.
Well, why shouldn't we?
Hope and Richard have
been married for years.
Hope's finally had a baby.
It's a girl, named Gretchen.
Mighty fine looking child.
Wonder what I did with Hope's scrapbook.
Might as well start right now.
Hope says I'm to enter her
name at once in Midwestern.
I'll never forget the armistice.
Gretchen had her first tooth the same day,
then the country went dry,
that had absolutely no effect on Gretchen.
Gretchen and Midwestern were both growing.
She's six years old, now.
The Depression was going good
by the time she was 14.
Everyone had troubles those days.
Gretchen's were boy troubles.
It's hard to realize
that Hope's little Gretchen
is old enough to be a
sophomore at Midwestern.
Hello, baby.
Are you always this late?
Hello, Gretchen.
Aren't you surprised to
see your favorite grandniece?
I haven't bothered you in ages.
Not surprised at anything these days.
What's the matter?
Parent trouble?
Plenty of it.
Pour me a drop of that
sherry, will you, Gretchen?
Oh, they don't like this,
they don't like that.
One solemn irate citizen,
you know the type.
I am a taxpayer.
Caught his son reading Mein Kampf
and blamed it on me.
What's on your mind, my pet?
What a novelty.
This is.
For one thing,
he's married.
It's a man I met in Chicago.
He's quite a well known explorer.
I see.
Can't he?
Oh, she won't.
It wouldn't be an open scandal.
I could go along as a
member of the expedition,
secretary or something.
Oh, Aunt Ella.
You can't know.
I could sail first
and meet you in Italy.
I think I can understand.
Almost anything, but about this,
you've been content to stay in one spot,
but I've got such a yen to go places,
magic carpet places.
Rich, exciting, and warm.
There's a little
town in Italy, Orvieto.
It's sunny and warm,
flooded with warm sunlight.
It must be your own decision, dear.
It's a big step to take of course,
but it's been taken many, many times.
Doubtless often happily.
Many times, unhappily.
There's just one thing you must consider.
You'd be cutting yourself
off from motherhood.
That's what's stopping me.
I think that any woman
who's half a woman, oh,
forgive me, Aunt Ella,
and besides, you had Mother to bring up.
Yes, darling, I had your mother.
I remember the first time
I had her in my arms.
She was practically brand new.
She was crying
and I was terrified to pick her up,
but I did.
She stopped crying and began making little
contended peeping noises like a chicken.
That was so satisfying.
The feel of her was, too,
that warm little body against mine,
But it wasn't the same.
Couldn't be, could it?
Flesh of my flesh.
Those are thrilling words, Gretchen.
One slightly
used magic carpet for sale.
Thanks, Great Aunt.
Don't mention it, grandniece.
Any time.
I'll come to you, don't worry,
and now I'm off to keep the dinner date
I rather thought I might cancel,
with Buzz Wheelwright.
China and reckless romance
and now a charcoal broiled steak
at Jake's Old River Joint,
with Buzz Wheelwright.
It needn't be Buzz Wheelwright.
It probably won't,
but at least he's a date for this evening.
So long, lamby pie.
Goodbye, toots.
Oh, there I go again.
I will not live in the past.
To the future.
Sit down, Sam.
Can't Elle.
If I did, I probably couldn't get up.
Besides, I'm expecting
three more old bachelors
for dinner and bridge.
Old bachelor,
doesn't that give you
a twinge of conscience?
Oh, Sam.
Well, anyway,
if you feel like a hand later.
I might at that.
Well, if you do, just,
Just holler, Sam.
Just holler Sam.
I will.
Hope to see you later, Elle.
Goodbye, Sam.
My dear President Crowder,
you're quite right.
I'm over 70,
and I've been teaching long enough.
You don't know how much
your cooperation means, Miss Bishop.
If I were in my 60s, you
wouldn't find me so cooperative.
I were in my 60s.
President Crowder,
when you came here a year ago,
there were some people who felt
that no one could fill the shoes
of President Watts.
Some of them even got a
bit excited, remember?
Yes, I do.
Well, I wasn't one of them.
I learned years ago
that no one
is irreplaceable at Midwestern,
so, come the end of the term.
Miss Bishop,
there's so much I'd like to say to you.
Don't, please.
We both outlived our usefulness, I guess.
In here, dear.
Aunt Ella, haven't you
even started to dress?
I'm not going, Gretchen.
Aunt Ella.
I'm sorry, dear, I just decided.
After all, I've been
to 51 alumni banquets.
51 time have I sat through
an hour of bad food
and three hours of bad speeches.
It's no good, toots,
you're not fooling me one bit.
Darling, I know how you must feel,
sort of the,
well the end of,
If you do know how I feel,
you'll run along like a good child.
Have a good time,
leave me here with my New Yorker.
Want to catch up on some Broadway plays,
now that I'm a lady of leisure,
I may get to New York, yet.
Sorry, lamby pie, but
you've got to come tonight.
Gretchen, I absolutely,
For a reason.
Aunt Ella.
How'd you get here?
We flew in from California.
- We wanted to surprise you!
- Like homing pigeons.
We decided we just couldn't
miss the last banquet
at Old Central.
I had no business leaving, Aunt Ella,
but no business could have kept me
from going to this banquet with you.
And Buzz has commandeered
his papa's car,
chauffeur and all.
Yes, Buzz is in on it, too.
I'm afraid I am, Miss Bishop.
So now, Miss Bishop,
will you hurry and dress?
Well, I expect I will.
I'll help you.
Hope, darling, this hair can't be right.
It's all the rush.
There, your hair looks perfect, toots,
and you are.
Aunt Ella, you look regal,
and here's the final touch.
Aha, an admirer.
Oh, Gretchen.
You don't know what a thrill
I get out of a florist's box.
These are from Buzz.
He was going to produce them in the car,
but I thought it might be better
for you to pin them on here.
Gretchen, do you know?
I know we've got to hurry.
Stick them on.
- No, Aunt Ella.
- No, not at the waist, pet.
Here, on the shoulder.
Much snappier.
I must above all things be snappy.
You've got something there, darling.
Here's your wrap.
Miss Bishop, may I have the honor?
Why, President Crowder, I,
All for you, baby.
A stiff upper lip.
And now, one of her first pupils,
Anton Radchek,
astronomer extraordinary,
winner of the Nobel Prize, Mr. Radcheck.
Ladies and gentlemen, friends,
I'm sure that Miss Bishop
will remember the day when I,
a simple farmboy, said to her,
my life's ambition is
to be a great astronomer
because since I can remember,
the stars have been to
me comfort and beauty
and like friends,
or if she doesn't remember that,
I could manage to trip over another chair.
United States Senator,
Senator John McCray.
Miss Bishop, probably
won't remember a senator,
but if you just call me Snapper.
And I'm sure she'll never forget the day
that I announced English
ain't what I come for.
Miss Minna Fields,
world famous historian.
My ambition in life is still
to be just like you, Miss Bishop.
For your irreplaceable
gift of human sympathy,
and because you exemplify to all of us
what the American spirit can be,
your university bestows on you
the highest degree in its power.
I can't thank you.
Won't even try.
I'll only say that
that I've had a long life
and in that life, I've seen the brave,
the gallant, and the kind.
They keep coming on.
The best in this country,
so now, Old Central and I are retiring,
to make way for modern
buildings and methods.
It seems an appropriate time
to quote the words of our great founder,
words that inspired us
when Central Hall and I
were both very, very, young.
Wisdom is the first cousin to freedom,
and freedom is the glory of our nation
and our people.
So here's to our nation.
She's young,
she's growing too fast,
she makes a lot of mistakes,
but somehow she does manage
to keep her people free.
May she always.
Take me home, Sam.
Good old dog, Trey.
Always thinking of me.
Sam, there's a question
you've been wanting to ask me.
Don't you go answering any questions
till they're asked, see.
I've got scads of time, Elle.
All the time in the world.
All the time in the world.