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A devoted teacher sacrifices personal happiness to stay with her students.
In the small town of Liberty Hill, Miss Dove, a prim schoolteacher who is known as "terrible Miss Dove" because she is a strict disciplinarian, keeps a boy after class for swearing, but when she experiences sharp pains, sends him home to get his father, Dr. Tom Baker. As Miss Dove waits, she remembers years earlier when she first returned home from college: Miss Dove goes to see her father, the town banker, as soon as she arrives, and is warmly greeted by the bank's vice-president, John Porter. That night, her father dies suddenly after Miss Dove tells him that she is in love with an archaeologist named Pendleton. Miss Dove is startled to learn that her father had embezzled $11,000 from the bank, although John stresses that the money was merely "borrowed." To avoid a scandal, Miss Dove vows to repay the money by working as a schoolteacher. Miss Dove then rejects Pendleton's marriage proposal and sacrifices her own happiness to work at the local elementary school. Back in the classroom, Tom, one of Miss Dove's former pupils, insists that she be hospitalized. The attending nurse is another former student, Billy Jean, who is in love with her former classmate, policeman Bill Holloway, who reveres Miss Dove. Miss Dove recalls Bill as a child: Bill, a poverty-stricken orphan being raised by his alcoholic grandmother Annie, comes to class in filthy, ill-fitting clothes. Bill's ethics, however, outclass those of some of the wealthier students, and Miss Dove encourages him without showing undue affection. While maintaining her usual strict discipline, Miss Dove lavishes attention on Bill, allowing him to do yardwork at her house in exchange for lunch, and eventually buys him a graduation suit. Years later, after Annie dies, Miss Dove supports Bill, and when he returns from Marine service after World War II, she is the first person he visits. Miss Dove also recollects Tom's wife Virginia, who is now happily married and pregnant, but previously seemed misguided. Billy Jean, meanwhile, confesses that her own child is illegitimate, and that she claims to be a widow to protect her daughter. Billy Jean was severely disappointed because Bill broke their engagement when she admitted her transgression. The next morning, renowned playwright Maurice Levine and convict Fred Makepeace, two more former pupils, come to visit Miss Dove. Miss Dove recalls when Maurice, then an eleven-year-old Polish refugee, first came to her class: Maurice is placed in the first grade so he can learn English, and she soon discovers he has a vivid imagination. However, his peers tease the bright Jewish boy, calling him "Rab," short for the word "rabbi." During geography lessons, Miss Dove instructs her class about the Jewish homeland, noting that "rabbi" is a term of respect. She then arranges for Maurice's family to host a special dinner for her class, in order to demonstrate that a Jewish family is the same as any other family. Miss Dove has since followed Maurice's career, and he thanks her for attending the opening night of his play. She then realizes that Fred has escaped from jail, and tactfully suggests that Bill go to lunch with Fred and Maurice, then escort Fred back to prison. Fred is grateful to Miss Dove, as is Bill after he hears her praise Billy Jean for being genteel. Not long after, John visits Miss Dove with news that the Board of Rotarians has elected to pay her medical bills. John insists that it is not out of charity, but respect for her, as he feels indebted to her. Miss Dove then recalls years earlier when there was a run on the bank: A national scare causes anxious patrons to crowd the bank in order to withdraw their money before the bank closes. Although John tries to dispel rumors about the bank's closing, even loyal customers demand their money. Just a few minutes before closing, Miss Dove quietly makes her way through the throng and, with her usual air of authority, goes to the front of the line to make a deposit. When she tries to fill out a slip, she pretends that her pen is out of ink and asks for another. To further delay the process, Miss Dove calmly notes that the pen John gives her is also out of ink and, given another pen, slowly fills out the deposit slip. She finishes the transaction just at closing time, and reminds the protesting patrons that John is merely obeying federal law. John is still grateful for Miss Dove's action. Tom now reports that Miss Dove has a tumor on her spine which will require an operation. Miss Dove expresses her confidence in Tom's skill as a surgeon, and when he warns her the operation could be fatal, she gives him her father's pocketwatch, which he has always admired. The next day, after Tom begins surgery, the principal dismisses class for the day, while Fred escapes from jail again to go to Liberty Hill, and Bill reunites with Billy Jean. When Miss Dove finally awakens from her surgery, Tom returns the watch as a sign that all is well, and reports that Virginia has given birth to twins. The church bells chime as everyone gathers in the street below to celebrate the successful operation. In typical fashion, Miss Dove asks that the principal resume classes so that her students can study for an upcoming test.
Cast & Crew
|MPAA Ratings:||Premiere Info:||New York opening: 23 Nov 1955|
|Release Date:||1955||Production Date:||
|Color/B&W:||Color (DeLuxe)||Distributions Co:||Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp.|
|Sound:||Mono||Production Co:||Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp.|
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User Ratings & Review
What an inspirational Miss Dove! Jennifer Jones did her justice. In a world going mad with emotionalism trumping reason this movie is badly needed. Please...
A Salute to F. M. D. McLain
mac griffin 2014-04-14
I've yet to see this film with all of these amazing reviews. My wife, a teacher of over 20 years, and I love to watch old movies anyway but reading...
Good Morning Miss Dove is the best
I love this movie. Jennifer Jones was a marvelous actress. Her interpretation of Miss Dove was academy award worthy. I love a character who tells it like...