A filmed play (by Terence Rattigan), for sure, but this is the kind of play that's just so excellent the film never comes close to suffering from staginess. It plays kind of like the flipside of Goodbye, Mr. Chips. Michael Redgrave stars as a crotchety old Classics teacher, Andrew Crocker-Harris, in a boys' school. It is his last day before retirement. To the students, he is something of a monster. They refer to him as "the Croc". They know he is retiring because of heart troubles, and it amuses them to think the man has a heart at all. Of course, he does, and the film peels back his layers until it is found, crushed and bleeding on the floor. He is married to a much younger woman (Jean Kent), and the love they had once has turned into bitter resentment on both sides. Kent has been cheating on Redgrave with the science teacher, Nigel Patrick. Kent has never lied to Redgrave about the affair, preferring to taunt him with his sexual worthlessness. The film is a very introspective look at one man's failure in life. It's about as well written a character study as has ever been made. Redgrave's performance is simply off-the-charts. I have no qualms about calling it one of the all-time greats of the medium. I think the film makes one major miscalculation - the vigorous applause after Crocker-Harris' departing speech. It makes dramatic sense, I guess, but it doesn't make any logical sense. Otherwise, this would be a masterpiece.