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The Browning Version (1951)

Passed  -  Drama  -  April 1951 (UK)
8.1
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Ratings: 8.1/10 from 2,801 users  
Reviews: 49 user | 25 critic

Forced to retire from an English public school. a disliked professor must confront his utter failures as a teacher, a husband, and a man.

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Title: The Browning Version (1951)

The Browning Version (1951) on IMDb 8.1/10

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Nominated for 2 BAFTA Film Awards. Another 7 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Jean Kent ...
Nigel Patrick ...
...
Frobisher (as Wilfrid Hyde White)
Brian Smith ...
...
Ronald Howard ...
Paul Medland ...
Ivan Samson ...
Josephine Middleton ...
Peter Jones ...
Carstairs
Sarah Lawson ...
Betty Carstairs
Scott Harold ...
Rev. Williamson
Judith Furse ...
Mrs. Williamson
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Storyline

Andrew Crocker-Harris, a classic teacher in a British school, is a man hounded by a heart ailment, and by his wife's disloyalty, who is pursuing a science teacher. He has lost his feeling for the emotions of others and his understanding of the boys he is there to teach. Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

school | teacher | student | love | boy | See All (77) »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

April 1951 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Konflikt des Herzens  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Director Anthony Asquith's father was Prime Minister Herbert Henry Asquith, who - as Home Secretary - signed the warrant to arrest Oscar Wilde. It was Wilde's trial and subsequent imprisonment that sent a chill over England's gay and creative community for the next sixty years. When playwright/screenwriter Terrence Rattigan met Asquith for the first time, he recalled being profoundly aware of who the director's father was. Rattigan had the misfortune to come of age as a gay man in the 1930s, when homosexual relationships between consenting males in England was still a prosecutable offense with jail sentences of up to two years at hard labor. Even with a great deal of self-censorship, critics and audiences found the hints of homosexuality in Rattigan's first play ("First Episode") shocking. Any homo-erotic reference in a play's subject material was enough to halt its production by the Lord Chamberlain of England. The best Rattigan could do (until well into the 1960s) was to veil his own sensibilities and create dramas critiquing the heterosexual norms of his day. In Crocker-Harris's after-dinner monologue to Hunter, the reference to "two kinds of love" is as close as the playwright ever comes to naming the love that dare not speak it's name, even in 1951 England. See more »

Quotes

Andrew Crocker-Harris: I may have been a brilliant scholar, but I was woefully ignorant of the facts of life.
See more »

Connections

Version of Skuggan av en man (1958) See more »

Soundtracks

Trumpet Voluntary
(uncredited)
Music by Jeremiah Clarke
Arranged by Jerome King
De Wolfe Music Ltd
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User Reviews

 
Harrowing, troubling and cleansing
14 July 2005 | by (London, England) – See all my reviews

Until a week ago I had never seen this film.

I was lent a videocassette of it (taped from the TV) by a friend who urged me to watch it. "But you must watch it alone", they stipulated.

I am not sure whether my friend's act was one of great kindness or great cruelty. I do know that watching the film was extremely harrowing and upsetting.

It is difficult to convey quite what is so troubling and disturbing about this film without giving the plot away, but I was unprepared, among other things, for the frankness about sexual matters in such an old film (especially the frankness regarding female sexuality). Given that Rattigan was himself a homosexual (albeit, in a pre-Wolfenden age, a closeted one), it is possible (indeed, possibly too easy) to perceive a homosexual subtext in the film, should one choose to. But it is not necessary.

At first I was half expecting something sentimental in the "Goodbye, Mr Chips" vein (and this is, indeed, ironically referred to in "The Browning Version"), but this film is no facile tear-jerker. I did not read the other IMDb reviews before watching the film, and I was unprepared for the shock to my system that this amazing film has delivered.

I am not sure that I can unreservedly recommend the film, if only because it is so deeply unsettling and emotionally raw. A film set in an English public school of the early 1950s suggests a world of emotions reined-in and denied. But the terrible crises that occur in "The Browning Version" expose real emotions in a way that, even now, is rare.

This film urgently needs to be made available on DVD. For those who can withstand the intensity of its onslaught, it constitutes a salutary emotional cleansing.

This is a beautiful, and perennially relevant film.


34 of 40 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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