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GOOD MORNING, MISS DOVE

                

For Hicksflicks.com, June 13, 2014

Another sweet, gentle character study — albeit more of a tearjerker than "Lilies of the Field" — is "Good Morning, Miss Dove" (1955), which I was surprised to see has never before had a DVD release.

Fox Cinema Archives to the rescue again, and this one is now on DVD in its widescreen CinemaScope format.

Jennifer Jones ("The Song of Bernadette," "Duel in the Sun") stars in the title role as a small-town geography teacher, a strict prim-and-proper instructor at the local school who is referred to behind her back as "The Terrible Miss Dove."

              

In the opening sequence, Miss Dove falls ill and is hospitalized as she reflects on her life as a teacher and the film flashes back in anecdotal style to various incidents that demonstrate her integrity and reveal what has shaped her.

A lifelong member of the town, Miss Dove has given up love, romance and adventure to spend her life instructing students not only in geography but in matters of character and respect.

As a result, half the town turns out — most of them her former pupils — for a vigil outside the hospital during her operation, praying for her recovery.

        

Jones is great in one of her most memorable roles (and she had a few), with Robert Stack as a former student and now her doctor, along with Chuck Connors, Marshall Thompson and Jerry Paris. And the great wisecracking character actress Mary Wickes.

Get a box of Kleenex and enjoy.