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The Children's Hour (1961)

 -  Drama  -  19 December 1961 (USA)
7.8
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Ratings: 7.8/10 from 8,807 users  
Reviews: 103 user | 36 critic

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

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

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Nominated for 5 Oscars. Another 2 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

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)
...
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Storyline

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 A.L.Beneteau <albl@inforamp.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

One of Broadway's greatest hits...becomes powerful, adult screen drama! See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

19 December 1961 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Infamous!  »

Box Office

Budget:

$3,600,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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 »

Goofs

Starting at 55:24, Amelia's hand is fully on the piano when looking at her, but on the edge of the piano when seen from behind. This changes three times. See more »

Quotes

Martha: 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.
Karen: Stop it Martha! Stop this crazy talk!
Martha: You're afraid of hearing it, but I'm more afraid that you.
Karen: I won't listen to you!
Martha: No! You've got to know. I've got to tell you. I can't keep it to myself any longer. I'm guilty!
Karen: You're guilty of nothing!
Martha: 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 »

Connections

Referenced in Sex at 24 Frames Per Second (2003) See more »

Soundtracks

Comin' through the Rye
(uncredited)
Traditional Scottish children's song
Lyrics from a poem by Robert Burns (1782)
Included in piano medley
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Moving and Intimate and Powerful
4 April 2005 | by (Area 52) – See all my reviews

A film that shows how a simple lie can unravel the lives of everyone around it. Shirley MacClaine truly captures the pain of unrequited love. The directing of the film brings intimately close with the characters. We see Audrey Hepburn like we've never seen her before, calm cool and collected a far cry from Holly Golightly. The child who plays Mary Tilford is truly evil quite an excellent little drama queen. Her grandmother also plays an excellent role we truly feel for her when she realises her mistakes. We feel her pain. This film shows how what we build up life can be so easily destroyed and it shows society's prejudiced against love. A definite must see for the powerful acting.


19 of 21 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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I think this movie deserves a remake sklary
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karen's orientation at end thefifties
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