...Elsa Lanchester in Come to the Stable (1949)
approximately 17 minutes and 33 seconds
roughly 19% of film's total running time
Of course, Lanchester's Miss Potts provides the traveling nuns shelter in her cozy rental shack and listens with interest to their plans to build a children's hospital in her Western Connecticut neighborhood.
To be sure, Lanchester's Miss Potts also listens with concern.
For this religious comedy, Lanchester's Amelia Potts is the essential ambient character, a secondary character who can help set the tone for the whole picture (here, by embodying both good-natured silliness of the piece as well as the sincerity of its religious feeling). Come to the Stable is a very sincere goof of a picture and, on one level, that's precisely what Lanchester's characterization accomplishes: she's sincerely goofy.
The problem, though, with Lanchester's approach is that she so overplays Amelia's eccentricities that she loses touch what is, arguably, the character's most important feature: her genuine faith.
Lanchester's signature quirk might have served the role with charm had she tempered some of Amelia's fretfulness with more of Amelia's genuine faith. But as it stands, Lanchester's performance is a dotty, dithering disaster.
And it's too bad, too. I like Lanchester. A lot. And I think I really like the character of Amelia Potts. It's just that the two put together? This "coaster" is, as one StinkyPal might say, just not good.