Out on a Limb, not out on a Leash.

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(screenplay), (novel)
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1 nomination. See more awards »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Anna Vorontosov
...
Paul Lathrope
...
William W.J. Abercrombie
...
Whareparita
...
Headmaster Reardon
Norah Howard ...
Mrs. Cutter
Juano Hernandez ...
Chief Rauhuia
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Storyline

American Anna Vorontosov teaches in a rural school on New Zealand's North Island. Her class of younger students is comprised largely of Maoris. She feels that western methods are not the most appropriate in teaching her students, for who concepts such as "see Jane run" have no cultural context. She wants her students to "feel", from love to pain to joy, and as such her classes are outwardly disorganized and chaotic. Her livelihood is potentially threatened with the arrival of a new senior inspector of primary schools, a Brit name William Abercrombie. To make her classes seem more organized to Abercrombie, Anna enlists the help of one of the older students, fifteen year old Maori, Whareparita. Anna's students, including Whareparita, see her as their guardian angel. Anna's burgeoning friendship with Whareparita may show her that although she has her students' best interests at heart, she may also not fully understand the culture within which she now lives. Teaching is her life, which ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

So busy with her children...SHE DIDN'T HAVE TIME TO GET MARRIED!

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

9 November 1961 (Mexico)  »

Also Known As:

The Spinster  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Color:

(Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Shirley MacLaine chose to do this film instead of 'breakfast at tiffany's'. Something she was known to have regretted later. She did state though that the film wouldn't have been the same without Audrey Hepburn. See more »

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User Reviews

 
Aloof and indifferently-made...but not altogether terrible
10 August 2011 | by (las vegas, nv) – See all my reviews

American schoolteacher on the North Island of New Zealand--unmarried and, indeed, untouched by any man--smokes and takes a nip of brandy once in awhile but cannot escape her Puritan attitudes towards sexual relations. Two men take a fancy to her: a reckless stud with suicidal tendencies and an older school district inspector estranged from his wife and children. Mercurial adaptation of Sylvia Ashton-Warner's novel "Spinster" features some very odd color schemes (from the emerald green landscapes to Shirley MacLaine's house of many colors), not to mention a peculiarly artificial schoolhouse filled with very emotional children. The melodrama on hand eventually proves too much for MacLaine, who dithers about eccentrically but is still unable to come up with an interesting characterization (this mainly the fault of screenwriter Ben Maddow, who treats virginity as an incurable disorder, physical as well as psychological). However, the material is just odd or offbeat enough to keep one watching, and the men (Laurence Harvey and Jack Hawkins) are both very good. ** from ****


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