Good Morning, Miss Dove is a property that I'm surprised Frank Capra didn't think to direct. It's entirely possible that Capra was a male chauvinist who only thought in terms of men who sacrifice like George Bailey in It's A Wonderful Life. In many ways Jennifer Jones is the superior of Capra's George Bailey.
Jennifer's crisis comes real early in the beginning, she's the daughter of a well bred and prominent family whose father has just died. She thinks she's come into it, but she finds she's inherited debts beyond belief because dad was borrowing and living well beyond his means. To keep his good name, she gives up the life she expected like George Bailey and in the process becomes the moral center of her small town.
Her road was much harder than Jimmy Stewart's because Miss Dove never married, she instead devoted her life to teaching history and geography and never getting to see the faraway places with strange sounding names that she only read about. That song could have been written for her. George Bailey did have Mary Bailey and the kids, that was denied to Miss Dove.
That's just one of the flashbacks in a film that has many. In fact the current story is the fact this rock of the community is undergoing a health crisis and is admitted to the hospital. As she deals with her health issues and the many people who wish her well, her mind reflects on just how much influence she's had on generations of kids passing through her class.
She's a severe woman Ms. Dove, having denied herself a personal life. But she's also a kind and caring one and that comes through with all the people we see her interact with.
Despite a fine cast of players, Jennifer Jones dominates this film in a fine portrayal of what is essentially an unglamorous part. It's the kind of role you might see someone like Bette Davis or Katharine Hepburn do, but Jones is just fine in it.
If you're not a fan of Jennifer Jones, you will be after seeing Good Morning, Miss Dove.
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