Legendary stage actress Pauline Lord made but a few films, but was always worth watching whenever she took command of the screen. In Feather in Her Hat, Lord plays cockney storekeeper Clarissa Phipps, who worries that her son Richard will grow up being ashamed of her humble vocation. Thus, she loftily pretends that she's not Richard's mother, and that the boy is actually the offspring of a prominent theatrical family. Upon reaching adulthood, Richard (Louis Hayward) becomes a prominent playwright, confident that the stage is in his blood, while Clarissa secretly sells her store at a loss to finance Richard's first production. Only on her deathbed does Clarissa reveal the truth -- and happily, Richard isn't ashamed of her in the least, and indeed is prouder of her than ever. Basil Rathbone contributes a fascinating characterization as a gin-swilling, unshaven remittance man.
by Hal Erickson synopsis