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Robert Z. Leonard
Jan Stewart, a new teacher at The Oaks, a boys' boarding school, becomes instructor and mother-figure to a class of twelve. She must overcome the disapproval of Joe Hargrave, head of the lower school, who has misgivings about Jan's inexperience. Written by
Diana Hamilton <email@example.com>
Her Twelve Men marked Greer Garson's farewell to MGM, the studio that had brought her over from the United Kingdom in 1939 and for whom three years later brought home an Oscar for Mrs. Miniver which also was The Best Picture of that year.
This film is hardly in the category of Mrs. Miniver, but it's a pleasant enough family film about a woman who takes a first time teaching job at a private boy's school called The Oaks. In fact it's also the first time this venerable institution ever hired a woman and that fact proves unsettling to a lot of people, kids and faculty.
But Greer turns out to be a natural for the job and some of these kids in the boarding school turn out to need a woman's touch. Her scenes with young Donald MacDonald who plays a kid who was essentially dumped at the school while his jet setting parents are gadding about the globe are especially touching.
Greer has three male admirers as well, faculty members Robert Ryan and James Arness and Barry Sullivan multi-millionaire widower father of another troubled youth Tim Considine. Guess who she ends up with.
Richard Haydn plays the school headmaster who is opposed to her at first, but who gradually sees having a woman on the staff ain't the worst thing possible. Haydn who is normally pulling out all the stops playing fussbudgets is rather restrained in his performance and the usual shtick is under wraps.
Her Twelve Men holds up well since those Eisenhower days and is still a good family film.
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