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

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Down 55% 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 »
Nominated for BAFTA Film Award. Another 1 win See more »
User Reviews:
The best way to walk. 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)
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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

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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?

This film was adapted from a Broadway play that originally starred Deborah Kerr, John Kerr and Leif Erickson, who recreate their stage roles in this film. Also in the Broadway cast in supporting roles were Alan Sues (who later appeared on TV's "Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In" (1967)) and Dick York (the first actor who played Darrin on TV's "Bewitched" (1964) starring Elizabeth Montgomery). Joan Fontaine and Anthony Perkins also later appeared in the stage version of "Tea and Sympathy" as cast replacements during its long run. The stage production opened on Sept. 30, 1953 at the Ethel Barrymoore Theatre and ran for 712 performances.See more »
Anachronisms: While Tom Lee (Class of 1946) is still in school, Laura Reynolds drives a 1950 Dodge.See more »
Laura Reynolds:Manliness is not all swagger and mountain climbing. It's also tenderness.See more »
Movie Connections:
The Joys of LoveSee more »


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43 out of 49 people found the following review useful.
The best way to walk., 10 February 2005
Author: dbdumonteil

The movie begins and ends with an old French folk song "plaisir d'amour" (English translation :"joys of love")which was reworked as "can't help falling in love" for Elvis Presley.Since the movie is actually a long flashback,the infinite nostalgia this old chestnut generates fits the movie like a glove.

"Tea and sympathy" might be the best of all Minnelli non-musicals in the fifties/sixties.We even forget that John Kerr (25 at the time) was much too old for this part of an adolescent in search of his sexual identity.John Kerr was the victim of "the cobweb" a couple of years before.His character in "tea and sympathy'" is a relative of the one I mention above as well as of the young hero of "home from the hill" (1960) "Tea and sympathy " was a courageous move for the fifties:it took a lot a nerve to show a boy at the university who refused "normality".What's normality anyway?Is it ,for a man ,swearing or climbing mountains? as luminous Deborah Kerr says.When you're not fond of sports,when you like the ladies' tea and sympathy,when you enjoy music and poetry ,then you are a "sister boy" and maybe even worse...You've got to pay attention to see what heavy things Minnelli was saying at a time it was not that much good to be DIFFERENT.Robert Anderson's play was years ahead and had (or should have had) a deep beneficial influence on mentalities.The scene where one of the "true" boys teaches his unfortunate pal the right way to walk had certainly a strong influence on French director Claude Miller 's "la meilleure façon de marcher"(1975).

But the play (and Minnelli's excellent movie) are often a ruthless portrayal of the "straights" :the young hero's father is a really dumb man -where is his wife by the way? Is she dead? or the perfect housewife?-,a narrow-minded crude character devoid of all the qualities of the heart.The fact that he asks the virile teacher to "make a man of his son" proves his stupidity.This teacher (D.Kerr's husband) ,under a he-man mask actually hides a vulnerability which his sensitive wife feels.He,too , is longing for tenderness,love and affection,but as it's not worthy of a true man,his life will be an unfulfilled one.

Deborah Kerr RULES.She wins over the audience with a mesmerizing performance .It's not only the "sister boy" who falls in love with her.Anyone who sees this wonderful film will too.

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The ending evenstar9
This Movie did not work for me!! SusanJL
Was 'Sister Boy' really a term used at the time? gurgitoy2
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