In 1930, in Belgium, Gabrielle van der Mal is the stubborn daughter of the prominent surgeon Dr. Pascin Van Der Mal that decides to leave her the upper-class family to enter to a convent, ... See full summary »
Director Billy Wilder salutes his idol, Ernst Lubitsch, with this comedy about a middle-aged playboy fascinated by the daughter of a private detective who has been hired to entrap him with the wife of a client.
This first film version of "The Children's Hour" uses a heterosexual triangle rather than the play's lesbian theme. The plot concerns schoolteachers Karen Wright and Martha Dobie, both of ... See full summary »
A private school for young girls is scandalized when one spiteful student, Mary Tilford, accuses the two young women who run the school of having a lesbian relationship. Written by
Shirley MacLaine, in the documentary The Celluloid Closet (1995), said that nobody on the set of The Children's Hour (1961) discussed the ramifications of the issues regarding homosexuality that are implied, but never spoken about outright, in the film. She said, "none of us were really aware. We might have been forerunners, but we weren't really, because we didn't do the picture right. We were in the mindset of not understanding what we were basically doing. These days, there would be a tremendous outcry, as well there should be. Why would Martha break down and say, 'Oh my god, what's wrong with me, I'm so polluted, I've ruined you.' She would fight! She would fight for her budding preference. And when you look at it, to have Martha play that scene - and no one questioned it - what that meant, or what the alternatives could have been underneath the dialog, it's mind boggling. The profundity of this subject was not in the lexicon of our rehearsal period. Audrey and I never talked about this. Isn't that amazing. Truly amazing." See more »
When Mary is confronted by her grandmother, Mary's arm positions jump from outstretched, limp at her side, and clutching the staircase. She also moves up and down the staircase suddenly. See more »
There's always been something wrong. Always, just as long as I can remember. But I never knew what it was until all this happened.
Stop it Martha! Stop this crazy talk!
You're afraid of hearing it, but I'm more afraid that you.
I won't listen to you!
No! You've got to know. I've got to tell you. I can't keep it to myself any longer. I'm guilty!
You're guilty of nothing!
I've been telling myself that since the night I heard the child say it. I lie in bed night after night praying that it isn't ...
[...] See more »
I just watched "The Children's Hour" for the first time this evening. I must say that I was very impressed. Hepburn and MacLaine gave brilliant performances as the two headmistresses of a girl's school. The cinema photography was outstanding and the direction and writing were fantastic.
Turner Classic Movies ran this gorgeous film this evening and the comments that were made after the run brought several thoughts to mind. After viewing the movie, I decided to get on-line and see what others had to say about this film.
The one comment that was made tonight was that it was thought that the film didn't really `appeal' to the heightened sensibility of the audiences of the 60's. However, I felt that the movie was timeless in its observations and portrayals of its two main characters. Grant it, homosexuality was NOT the main focus of this movie but it does play a very important, albeit, small role.
In today's society, homosexuality is more widely accepted than it was at the time this play was written. However, there is one area in society that it is still 'taboo' to be gay and that is in the teaching profession. There are STILL, more than 40 years after this movie was made, teachers that cannot be who they really are for fear of losing their jobs, the respect of their peers and the trust of parents. Grant it this is not in every part of the country, in every town, but it is still as thus in small-town America. I know this for fact, as I am the life-partner of a teacher. I know what it is like for him to have to hide who he really is and the torture that he goes through because of it. Children can say some very vicious things and I have seen what it can do to a person first-hand. This is why I feel that this picture is very 'true to life'; because in so many ways this is still the way things are today.
Indeed, more people should see this movie! Maybe people would think before spreading rumors. This is a prime example of what one comment can do to a person's life and how it can snowball.
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