Cheers for Miss Bishop would be pretty weak tea were it not for the presence of the luminous Martha Scott in the title role. Forget about Miss Bishop, it's Miss Scott who deserves to be cheered. For some reason, Scott didn't enjoy the kind of movie career that her talent warranted. She certainly demonstrates in Cheers that she could carry a movie single handedly, for this distaff rip-off of Goodbye Mr. Chips features her in almost every frame. Te whole film rests upon Scott's shoulders, and she doesn't disappoint, even though both the material and her director definitely do. It's wonderful to see the way in which the actress takes the hackneyed, trite situations and dialogue she is handled, intended to be sentimental but more often just maudlin, and makes the scenes sparkle. Director Tay Garnett is of no help; his work here is simply limp, and results in turgid pacing for far too much of the film. The supporting cast does help, especially the always reliable Edmund Gwenn, but there's only so much they can do given the sticky sweetness of the script and the h-hum direction. Still, thanks to Scott, it's worth a viewing.
by Craig Butler review