IMDb > Tea and Sympathy (1956)
Tea and Sympathy
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Tea and Sympathy (1956) More at IMDbPro »

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Down 12% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Robert Anderson (screenplay)
Robert Anderson (based on the play by)
View company contact information for Tea and Sympathy on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
5 November 1956 (France) See more »
Where does a woman's sympathy leave off -- and her indiscretion begin?
Tom Lee is a sensitive boy of 17 whose lack of interest in the "manly" pursuits of sports, mountain... See more » | Add synopsis »
Won Golden Globe. Another 1 win & 1 nomination See more »
User Reviews:
Tea with lemon, please! No sugar. See more (40 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Deborah Kerr ... Laura Reynolds

John Kerr ... Tom Robinson Lee

Leif Erickson ... Bill Reynolds

Edward Andrews ... Herb Lee

Darryl Hickman ... Al

Norma Crane ... Ellie Martin

Dean Jones ... Ollie
Jacqueline deWit ... Lilly Sears

Tom Laughlin ... Ralph

Ralph Votrian ... Steve
Steven Terrell ... Phil
Kip King ... Ted
Jimmy Hayes ... Henry
Richard Tyler ... Roger
Don Burnett ... Vic
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Bob Alexander ... Bob (uncredited)
Paul Bryar ... Alex (uncredited)

Chuck Courtney ... Boy in Soda Fountain (uncredited)
Parker Eggleston ... Boy in Soda Fountain (uncredited)
Virginia Eiler ... Alumna (uncredited)
Robert Ellis ... Second Boy (uncredited)
Del Erickson ... Ferdie (uncredited)
Ron Gans ... Dick (uncredited)
Sol Gorss ... Burly Man (uncredited)
Harry Harvey Jr. ... First Boy (uncredited)
Mary Alan Hokanson ... Mary Williams (uncredited)
Byron Kane ... Tennis Umpire (uncredited)
Mike Lally ... Man at Bonfire (uncredited)
Peter Leeds ... Headmaster at Bonfire (uncredited)
Tom McKee ... Alumnus (uncredited)
Madge Meredith ... Alumna (uncredited)
Gene Merlino ... Tom Robinson Lee (singing voice) (uncredited)
Harold Miller ... Alumnus (uncredited)
Peter Miller ... Pete (uncredited)
Michael Monroe ... Earl (uncredited)
Norman Ollestad ... New Young Boy (uncredited)
Ralph Reed ... Boy in Soda Fountain (uncredited)
Bobby Santon ... Young Boy (uncredited)
Bert Stevens ... Man at Bonfire (uncredited)
Dale Van Sickel ... Burly Man (uncredited)
Charles Webster ... Alumnus (uncredited)
Wilson Wood ... Alumnus (uncredited)

Directed by
Vincente Minnelli 
Writing credits
Robert Anderson (screenplay)

Robert Anderson (based on the play by)

Produced by
Pandro S. Berman .... producer
Original Music by
Adolph Deutsch 
Cinematography by
John Alton 
Film Editing by
Ferris Webster 
Art Direction by
Edward C. Carfagno  (as Edward Carfagno)
William A. Horning 
Set Decoration by
F. Keogh Gleason  (as Keogh Gleason)
Edwin B. Willis 
Makeup Department
Sydney Guilaroff .... hair stylist
William Tuttle .... makeup artist
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Joel Freeman .... assistant director
Sound Department
Wesley C. Miller .... recording supervisor (as Dr. Wesley C. Miller)
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Helen Rose .... wardrobe: Miss Kerr
Editorial Department
Charles K. Hagedon .... color consultant
Music Department
Alexander Courage .... orchestrator (uncredited)
Other crew
Mary K. Frank .... producer: stage play
Crew believed to be complete

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
122 min
Color (Metrocolor)
Aspect Ratio:
2.55 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (35 mm optical prints) | 4-Track Stereo (35 mm magnetic prints) (Westrex Recording System)
Australia:PG | Australia:G (original rating) | Finland:K-12 | Sweden:15 | UK:X | USA:Approved (PCA #18176) | West Germany:16

Did You Know?

Premiered at the prestigious Radio City Music Hall.See more »
Continuity: A pair of china dogs are back to back in a master shot (overall wide view). But when the camera moves in for close-ups, the dogs are face-to-face.See more »
Tom Lee:When I was a kid here in this school, I've had my problems too. I used to sit in my room and listen to phonograph records hour after hour. I had a place where I used to go and cry my eyes out.
Laura Reynolds:Oh, Bill.
Tom Lee:But I've got over it, Laura. I learned how to take it. Now when the headmaster's wife gave you that silver teapot, she told you what she tells all of the other master's wives that you've got to be an interested bystander.
Laura Reynolds:Yes, yes, I know.
Tom Lee:Just as she says, Laura. All you're supposed to do is once in a while give the boys a little tea...
See more »
Movie Connections:
The Joys of LoveSee more »


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27 out of 41 people found the following review useful.
Tea with lemon, please! No sugar., 31 August 2005
Author: jotix100 from New York

Robert Anderson's "Tea and Sympathy" was a hit on the New York stage. Its subject matter was a shock to many people at the time, but alas, on second viewing, this film seems a bit dated. Of course, one has to put oneself back in the fifties, when the play opened on Broadway, it almost seems a daring attempt to speak about homosexuality back then. If you haven't seen the film, please stop reading now.

Vincente Minelli made the best of the adaptation by playwright Anderson for the screen. In fact, most of the perception about Tom's homosexuality seems to be center stage, but no one really focuses on the one that really is and is trying to hide the fact: Bill Reynolds!

We realize at the end of the film that Tom was a mixed up young man, rather than a gay man coming to terms with his feelings. In fact, if one watches closely, Tom seems to be terribly attracted by Laura, but he is too shy to do, or say anything that will make him be seen differently by her. Also, Laura confronts Bill toward the end of the film and confesses the way she feels about Tom, and what she almost did the night before in order for the young man to have a real sexual experience, which occurs later on.

While "Tea and Sympathy" concentrates on the lonely Tom, it presents us a masculine Bill, who confesses he had gone through the same things Tom is experiencing now, at one time in his life, but who in reality is hiding his own homosexuality from everyone. Bill is the most dangerous individual because he will probably prey on the young men under his care and force them into satisfying his own gay urges, as has been seen in the case of Catholic priests abusing children. It is also revealing that in the last scene when Tom finds him at home, he is listening to the classical music Tom loved and Laura is has divorced him.

Deborah Kerr, having played Laura on stage, brings her own interpretation of the role, which in a way works. Also the same could be said of John Kerr, who originated the role of Tom. The only thing is that one doesn't see strong chemistry between the co-starring Kerrs, in our humble opinion.

Leif Erickson gives a subtle reading on Bill Reynolds. While he is not the center of the story, he looms large in the background because we realize that instead of asking the guys under him to behave he seems to be enjoying that someone else is being ridiculed as a sissy. Edward Andrews, Daryl Hickman and Norma Crane are seen in supporting roles.

Being dated aside, the film shows how America dealt with this subject in that era.

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