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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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
I can't speak too highly of this movie, it's a personal favourite, almost up there with Waterfront. It includes incidentally a wonderful evocation of the English public (private) school of the immediate post-war era one of many pleasures. It's about the human condition (of course), the bitter lessons life has provided for the "Crock" (Redgrave). Once a brilliant scholar, he loses his way as a school master and is beset by failure on all fronts and hated by all the staff and pupils except the boy, Taplow, who he treats as unkindly as the rest. Redgrave gives the performance of a lifetime! For example, his entrance into the classroom is a shattering cinematic experience in itself, one of the great moments of the cinema, on a par with James Stewart starting up the engine of the plane in 'The Flight of the Phoenix'! Before he has even uttered a single word he has fleshed out the character so effectively that we instantly appreciate what an embittered swine he has become. I could rave on about this film at length! Other performances are great, even the cameos. The boy Taplow, Brian Smith especially. The headmaster, Wilfred Hyde-White was perhaps the only disappointment, seeming simply to play himself. And it's got a feel-good ending too, which might bring on a tear or two without jarring too much. Somehow get to see this film and then watch again and enjoy it even more.
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