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The Children's Hour (1961)

Not Rated  |   |  Drama  |  19 December 1961 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.8/10 from 9,609 users  
Reviews: 106 user | 38 critic

A troublemaking student at a girls' school accuses two teachers of being lesbians.



(play), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
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Title: The Children's Hour (1961)

The Children's Hour (1961) on IMDb 7.8/10

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Nominated for 5 Oscars. Another 1 win & 6 nominations. See more awards »



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Complete credited cast:
Fay Bainter ...
Karen Balkin ...
Mimi Gibson ...
Debbie Moldow
Diane Mountford
William Mims ...
Mr. Burton
Sally Brophy ...
Rosalie's Mother (as Sallie Brophy)


Karen Wright and Martha Dobie are best friends since college and they own the boarding school Wright and Dobie School for Girls with twenty students. They are working hard as headmistresses and teachers to grow the school and make it profitable. Karen is engaged with the local doctor Joe Cardin, who is the nephew of the powerful and influent Mrs. Amelia Tilford. While the spiteful and liar Mary, who is Amelia's granddaughter and a bad influence to the other girls, is punished by Karen after telling a lie, Martha has an argument with her snoopy aunt Lily Mortar in another room. Lily accuses Martha of being jealous and having an unnatural relationship with Karen. Mary's roommate Rosalie Wells overhears the shouting and tells Mary what Mrs. Mortar had said about her niece. The malicious Mary accuses Karen and Martha of being lesbians to her grandmother and Amelia spreads the gossip to the parents of the students that withdraw them from the school. Karen and Martha lose a lawsuit against ... Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


different . . . See more »




Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

19 December 1961 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Infamous!  »

Box Office


$3,600,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Miriam Hopkins who played Martha in the original film These Three (1936) played the part of Martha's Aunt Lily. Merle Oberon, who played Karen in the original film, turned down the part of Mrs. Tilford. 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 »


Mrs. Lily Mortar: God will punish you.
Martha: He's doing all right.
See more »


Featured in If These Walls Could Talk 2 (2000) See more »


Loch Lomond
Traditional Scots-Gaelic song first published in 1841
Included in piano medley
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Excellent and heart-breaking
15 November 2000 | by (xxxx) – See all my reviews

When Martha Dobie and Karen Wright are accused of lesbianism, they're entire world comes crashing down. Karen loses the man she loves and so happens to have been engaged to for two long years, Joe (James Gardner). Martha loses her life, basically, and everything that she's ever had. And this is all because of a vicious little brat that anyone with common sense wants to slap when they watch this movie, Mary Tilford. To say in the least, the end in completely unexpected. It makes you think that the world is over, and it takes time to adjust to the fact that this is"just a movie". But a terrificly wonderful movie at that. Heart breaking and wonderfully filmed, the "Children's Hour" is a terrific movie with outstanding actresses. Audrey Hepburn and Shirley MaClaine light up the screen! A definite 10.

30 of 39 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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I think this movie deserves a remake sklary
stupid decisions homesick251960
karen's orientation at end thefifties
If you were casting the film now... aktbard
Karen Balkin galaxyquest86
Remake! Remake! Remake! brownbunny00
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