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The Killing of Sister George (1968)

X  |   |  Drama  |  12 December 1968 (USA)
7.1
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Ratings: 7.1/10 from 1,470 users  
Reviews: 30 user | 29 critic

George lives with her lover, Childie and plays a cheerful district nurse in a BBC soap opera. However, her character is to be killed off, and George realises that the only other job she can... See full summary »

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Title: The Killing of Sister George (1968)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Beryl Reid ...
...
Coral Browne ...
...
...
Hugh Paddick ...
Freddie
Cyril Delevanti ...
Ted Baker
Sivi Aberg ...
Diana
William Beckley ...
Floor Manager
Elaine Church ...
Marlene
Brendan Dillon ...
Bert Turner
Mike Freeman ...
Noel
Maggie Paige ...
Maid
Jack Raine ...
Deputy Commissioner
Dolly Taylor ...
Tea Lady
Edit

Storyline

George lives with her lover, Childie and plays a cheerful district nurse in a BBC soap opera. However, her character is to be killed off, and George realises that the only other job she can get is the voice of a cow in a children's tv programme. Her life begins to fall apart as Childie has an affair with a predatory tv producer. Written by Paul Baker <bakerjp@unix.lancs.ac.uk>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The story of three consenting adults in the privacy of their own home.

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

X | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

12 December 1968 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

3 gynaikes me diko tous erota  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

When first submitted in 1969 UK censor John Trevelyan refused to grant a certificate unless the seduction scene was toned down and urged all 600 local authorities to boycott the film. 12 councils, including the GLC, overrode him and showed the film with their own X certificate. After heated discussions with the distributor the kissing scene was slightly reduced and Trevelyan eventually passed the movie. All video/DVD versions of the film are the original uncut one. See more »

Quotes

Mercy Croft: Are those bathroom scales accurate?
George: Yes, I think so.
Mercy Croft: Oh good!
See more »

Crazy Credits

During the opening credits, the picture distractingly flips from left to right as the main character travels through claustrophobia-inducing alleyways. See more »

Connections

Featured in Before Stonewall (1984) See more »

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User Reviews

 
A scabrous "comedy" about the ugliness of human longing.
13 November 2007 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

While there is delicate humor here, as in the movie's satire on the twee reassurances and stereotyping of an English soap opera's portrayal of homely English village life, this movie is in the end an unsettling portrait of the human condition, of the ugliness, the uncontrollable and incendiary nature of our sexual and emotional longings and need.

I spent years wanting to see this movie, if only because of its legendary nature and Coral Browne's presence in the cast, and it's nothing like what I imagined. Given the title and all the talk in books about scenes set in a dark and intense demimondaine world of lesbian bars, I pictured some sort of police procedural about lesbians being killed by a serial killer, a Sidney Sheldon-type story.

Ostensibly a portrait of an aging actress's dying career, the heart of the picture is the competition among the characters for love, for the ruthless quest for success and the money and companionship that go with it.

There is constant sado-masochistic emotional gamesmanship here, with characters playing roles that are alternately passive and active. One character pretends to be not much more than a slip of a girl and sits by and watches as others compete for her attentions.

The sex scene in the movie, while ugly in the extreme, is vital to the film's message. (I'm amazed that this aired, even late at night, on Turner Classic Movies, so that I, thankfully, got a chance to see the movie.) Coral Browne's face, stripped of its mask of demure self-possession, exposing the animal (the monster?) that we all are at the core of our being--that's something to see. And unsettling.

I'll never particularly care for Susannah York. She'll always strike me as a bit of an over-praised, over-successful relic of the 1960s, a kind of prissy relic, but what a film, even with some longeurs. And the towering--both literally and figuratively--Coral Browne: what a presence.


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