Sunday, May 13, 2018


Mommy and Janet at Silent Revue

If there is anything this mother likes more than going to the movies with one or more of her kids, I don't know what that would be!

It is impossible to run into more than a couple of movies that don't have a mother as a character. Here are a few favourites.

Dumbo, 1941

Mrs. Jumbo is overjoyed with her baby boy she proudly calls Jumbo, Junior. The kid's over-sized ears make him an outcast with the cruel nickname of Dumbo. He is an object of ridicule to the circus patrons and Mrs. Jumbo is even put in the slammer for defending her little tyke.

Get the hankies ready. Baby Mine.

How Green Was My Valley, 1941

Sara Allgood won the Best Actress in a Supporting Role Oscar as Beth Morgan in John Ford's adaptation of Richard Llewellyn's best-selling novel of the life of a Welsh mining family.

Time and the times have torn the close-knit Morgan family apart.

Gwilym Morgan: "One line to Owen and Gwil, down to Cape Town to Angharad. Over here to Canada to Ianto, and down here to Davy in New Zealand. And you are the star, shining on them from this house, all the way across the continents and oceans."
Beth Morgan: "All the way? How far am I shining then, if you can put it all on a little piece of paper?"
Morgan: "Now, a map it is, my old beauty. A picture of the world to show you where they are."
Beth: "I know where they are, without any old maps, or scratches, or spiders, or pencils. They are in the house."

It's a Wonderful Life, 1946

Ma Bailey prays: "Help my son George tonight."

Beulah Bondi played James Stewart's mother in 1938s Of Human Hearts and Vivacious Lady, 1939s Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, 1946s It's a Wonderful Life and the 1971 sit-com The Jimmy Stewart Show. That's a lot of parenting!

Rio Grande, 1950

Kathleen Yorke: "I am not unauthorized. I am Trooper Jefferson Yorke's mother!"

This great John Ford western is the first movie to team Maureen O'Hara and John Wayne. It tells the story of a broken family reuniting, much like the country after the Civil War. Maureen plays Kathleen Yorke who has come to a distant outpost to pay for her son's release from the Army. Is this what Jeff, played by Claude Jarman Jr., wants?

Sing, You Sinners, 1938

Elizabeth Patterson stars as Daisy Beebe, a widow with three sons. Responsible Dave is played by Fred MacMurray. Shiftless Joe is played by Bing Crosby. Impish Mike is played by 12-year-old Donald O'Connor.

Joe, with his grandiose schemes, is always at odds with Dave who wants to settle down with his girl Martha played Ellen Drew, but feels obligated to support mother and Mike.

Mother Beebe dreams of the day her boys are happy and working together as a musical act. Joe is willing, but Dave and Mike consider such a pursuit to be unmanly. The adventures of the Beebe clan were so popular that Paramount considered a series in the vein of MGMs Hardy Family. Check Sing, You Sinners out sometime.

Gavin enjoys his DVDs

My son Gavin enjoys going out to the movies, but he also enjoys a day at home with his extensive film collection. I snapped this picture while he was enjoying Donald Duck. As his mother, I take a great deal of pride in his movie taste (I like to think I've been an influence), and pleasure in sharing the experience.


  1. Hope you and the kids are enjoying today.

    I had no idea Beulah Bondi was Jimbo's mom in so many movies. That right there has got to make for a good story.

    1. We're having a fine day. I showed Janet I Remember Mama and we had a good old-fashioned sentimental cry.

      Saturday is Gavin's day with us, and he decided we should watch The Great Mouse Detective. A perfect choice for the grey day we had in Toronto.

      The Bondi and Stewart relationship lasted as long as some families. It was a perfect pairing. They even co-starred in The Gorgeous Hussy, although not as parent and child.

  2. Only with a lot of effort and insistence I can get my mother to watch some movies with me. She likes movies, but not the ones I enjoy - black and white, classics. Well, but she DOES know who is Buster Keaton!
    I just added Sing, You Sinners to my watchlist. Bing, Fred and little Donald? I can't miss this.
    Happy Mother's Day!

    1. Thank you so much for the good wishes.

      My mom is the sort who will say of an older movie, "I saw that when it came out" even if that was 50 years ago! However, when she has watched (again) The Best Years of Our Lives or The Dark Corner or The Valley of Decision (or others), she admits to enjoying herself. We got the "watch it if you've seen it before" gene from our Dad.

  3. What a nice post. The only movie picture that's missing is I Remember Mama.

    You're so lucky to have such a great relationship with your children. Can't say the same about me and my parents. It's complicated.

    1. Now that I've shown I Remember Mam to Janet, maybe I have something to work on for next year's Mother's Day. It wouldn't exactly fit your blog, but I bet you could give it a lovely article.

      We work our way around and through the curves that life throws at us. It's worth it to make the family work, but everybody has to be on board.

    2. At some time I'll branch out with my blog and will write about other genres too.

    3. I'll be around, and looking forward to those days.

  4. Happy Mother's Day! As the son in the family who wound up taking care of Mom as she got older, I always enjoyed watching classic films with her. Of course, she'd already seen a lot of them!

    1. It's nice that movies are something you could share. Often when I am watching a movie I can remember what scenes were my Dad's favourite. It has become a comforting thing.

  5. You had me at the lines from NOW GREEN WAS MY VALLEY. I guess I will have to see DUMBO someday soon! My favorite movie mom, senior division, is usually played by Lucile Watson (good or bad mother she was tops). My fondest movie memory of a on was the complex one played by Dorothy McGuire in A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (1945). She breaks my heart, just as life tried to break her spirit.

    1. I'm so glad you stopped by and had a visit with brave Mrs. Morgan.

      Lucile Watson is remarkable. So adept at creating characters you hate, and characters you love. Beulah Bondi could do the same.

      I am in awe of Dorothy McGuire's many movie moms, but there's something extra special about Katie Nolan. Life expects much of that woman.

      I know I didn't appreciate all the great things about Dumbo when I was young. Now I consider it a perfect movie. The screenplay does not have one fallow moment. It moves from scene to scene brilliantly, even taking time to experiment with Pink Elephants on Parade. It is sentimental and cynical, and funny and dramatic. It never feels false. And the leading character doesn't say a word! (Geesh, that turned into an entire post.)

  6. Movie moms. My favorite is Bambi's self-sacrificing mother and of course, Dumbo's mom (so happy you remembered her). I like all the other mothers you mention as well, Pat. Hope you had a wonderful mother's day.

    1. I had a delightful Mother's Day. The movies are filled with wonderful, brave, and funny moms. We could do blog posts for days!

      I hope you enjoyed a lovely day as well.



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