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Baroness von Obersdorf is a minor character in the 1929 book, Dodsworth, and its 1934 Broadway and 1936 film adaptations of the same name. She's Kurt von Obersdorf's elderly mother who's pretty poor and cares about her son.
She was portrayed by Russian actress Maria Ouspenskaya in her Hollywood debut.
Why She Rocks
- Despite being onscreen for only four minutes, her actress was able to give her character enough compassion and emotion to get an Oscar nomination, and in her first role! That takes serious talent.
- Even though her family was poor after the war, she and the others manage things surprising well.
- She cares deeply about her son's interest at heart, and one of the main reasons she refused to let Kurt marry Fran was because she was aware of Fran's unhealthy relationship with her husband Sam, and that she wanted to divorce him for Kurt.
- Another central reason she refuse to allow the marriage was because she knew Fran was much older than Kurt, so she wouldn't be able to produce any children to continue their name.
- Also, not allowing Fran to get involved was a pretty bold move, since Fran was rich and could provide the family wealth. This just goes to show how much she cares about her family's future.
- Considering she's a old woman (at least older than Fran), she knows what it's like to have to have to handle various issues Fran and Sam had, including aging and depression. But we can assume she handles those issues pretty well.