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Shortly after WWII, flashbacks tell the story of Marise, her husband Paul, and Jean, who was imprisoned with Paul in a German camp. While attempting to escape from the camp Paul is shot, ... See full summary »
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Jan Stewart, a new teacher at The Oaks, a boys' boarding school, becomes instructor and mother-figure to a class of twelve. She must overcome the disapproval of Joe Hargrave, head of the lower school, who has misgivings about Jan's inexperience.Written by
Diana Hamilton <email@example.com>
Greer Garson is my favorite actress of all times, bar none. So many stars have looks and/or charisma, which exceed their talent. They achieve box office draw with these charms, but not so much on critical review. To me, Ms. Garson has it all -- and, as a matter of record, she has scored in both categories. She has such a dimensional, charming presentation, making her fascinating to watch. Along with that, she is quite skillful in portrayal.
Perhaps the reviewer who mentioned Ms. Garson's color films forgot "That Forsyte Woman" from 1949. She did a Disney film much later, "The Happiest Millionaire" with Fred MacMurray, which was of course in color.
This film - Her Twelve Men - is perhaps one of the few weak links in her chain of memorable films. The problem of diminishing offerings became a rueful experience for every Hollywood actress during those decades of studio contracts. As has been stated here, she likely did it to fulfill her contract and to keep working.
Also, as the decade wore on, films became more daring, and Ms. Garson shunned the nudity and coarseness that was being introduced. She is credited with saying that motion pictures should reflect up to the sky, not down to the ground. I appreciate that sentiment. It was shared by others at that time as well.
I think you have to appreciate Ms. Garson to go this film. It's just so boring. And, I just can't like Robert Ryan. A smile seems to be a rarity for his face. He has a critical sort of look while in repose, and appears downright nasty in his negative scenes. He seems very unattractive to me in general, mainly because of this.
If you have any competition for viewing at the time this one comes up, I'd recommend going with the other one. It's not that it is so badly done particularly; it's just such a weak theme in general.
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