Good Morning, Miss Dove (1955)

Genres - Drama  |   Run Time - 107 min.  |   Countries - United States   |   MPAA Rating - NR
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Review by Craig Butler

Good Morning, Miss Dove is the kind of film that values sentimentality above drama (or even melodrama), and if taken on those terms, it's a pretty rewarding little diversion. Although there are obvious comparisons to Goodbye, Mr. Chips, it's perhaps more interesting to compare it to It's a Wonderful Life. Capra's classic, which also uses an extensive flashback technique and demonstrates the profound impact one individual has on a community, creates genuine emotion as it makes its points; Miss Dove prefers to manipulate the audience, producing tears and laughter along the way, but of a distinctly hollow sort. Dove's screenplay also falls short structurally; the writer and director are not able to make the many separate stories seem like they really belong together, making the film extremely episodic. Still, despite its failings, Dove does feature a very strong and quite impressive performance from Jennifer Jones. Jones, not often thought of as an actress of great depth, mines a great deal from the role of Miss Dove, turning in a performance that respects the rules of the genre yet still paints a fairly complex portrait. The supporting cast is also solid, and director Henry Koster and cinematographer Leon Shamroy do a good job of capturing the feeling of small-town American life. Not a great film, Miss Dove is an enjoyable way to spend a rainy afternoon.