Haven't you seen It's a Wonderful Life (1946)? Beulah Bondi can be seen every Christmas on television in this perennial favorite, the story of a man given the precious gift to see what his hometown would have been like had he never been born. Beulah Bondi plays Ma Bailey, mother to protagonist George Bailey played by James Stewart. The role of Ma Bailey is two-fold. First, we find her the happy and loved, adored wife, mother, and sister while George Bailey is alive. Later, we see her as the miserable, resentful and cynical old woman with no one to love, when George has never been born. Beulah Bondi's transformation from one woman to the other is a chilling performance that should not be missed. I'm sure that you, like me, will find that Beulah Bondi will be a face that you never forget. It's a Wonderful Life is my favorite film of all time.
Watch this and then see these other four films.
Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939) Beulah Bondi plays Ma Smith, one of the other times that she plays James Stewart's mother.
Penny Serenade (1941) Her role as Miss Oliver comes in a close second to Ma Bailey. I adore her as the kind and loving director of an orphanage. Irene Dunne and Cary Grant star as parents wanting to adopt a little boy when they learn that they are unable to have children on their own.
On Borrowed Time (1939) Beulah Bondi plays Nellie Northrup or Granny in this very touching story of an orphaned boy left to the care of his aged grandparents. Lionel Barrymore stars as Julian Northrup or Gramps, of whom the boy grows a strong attachment.
Make Way For Tomorrow (1937) Beulah Bondi plays Lucy Cooper in this sad story about an eldery couple forced to rely on their children for help in their old age. Beulah Bondi is very convincing as a seventy year old woman despite being as young as those playing her children in the film. Victor Moore plays her husband Barkley Cooper.
*Contributed by: "Elizabeth Van Cleve" Date: Wed, Jul 6 2011 / 15:55:54 PST
1939 Nominated for Best Actress in a Supporting Role: OF HUMAN HEARTS
1937 Nominated for Best Actress in a Supporting Role: THE GORGEOUS HUSSY