7.3/10
1,921
47 user 16 critic

Tea and Sympathy (1956)

Approved | | Drama | 5 November 1956 (France)
Tom Lee is a sensitive boy of 17 whose lack of interest in the "manly" pursuits of sports, mountain climbing and girls labels him "sister-boy" at the college he is attending. Head master ... See full summary »

Director:

Writers:

(screenplay), (based on the play by)
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Won 1 Golden Globe. Another 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
... Laura Reynolds
... Tom Robinson Lee
... Bill Reynolds
... Herb Lee
... Al
... Ellie Martin
... Ollie
... Lilly Sears
... Ralph
Ralph Votrian ... Steve
Steven Terrell ... Phil
... Ted
Jimmy Hayes ... Henry
Richard Tyler ... Roger
... Vic
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Storyline

Tom Lee is a sensitive boy of 17 whose lack of interest in the "manly" pursuits of sports, mountain climbing and girls labels him "sister-boy" at the college he is attending. Head master Bill Reynold's wife Laura sees Tom's suffering at the hands of his school mates (and her husband), and tries to help him find himself. Written by Ron Kerrigan <mvg@whidbey.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Where does a woman's sympathy leave off -- and her indiscretion begin?

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

5 November 1956 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Chá e Simpatia  »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,737,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(35 mm optical prints)| (35 mm magnetic prints) (Westrex Recording System)

Color:

(Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.55 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Premiered at the prestigious Radio City Music Hall. See more »

Goofs

A pair of china dogs are back to back in a master shot (overall wide view). But when the camera moves in for close-ups, the dogs are face-to-face. See more »

Quotes

Laura Reynolds: Manliness is not all swagger and mountain climbing. It's also tenderness.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Just Shoot Me!: Tea & Secrecy (2000) See more »

Soundtracks

The Joys of Love
Written by G.B. Martini and Richard Dyer-Bennett
Performed by John Kerr (dubbed by Gene Merlino)
Song based on "Plaisir d'Amour"
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Rather than analyzing it to death...
30 September 2008 | by See all my reviews

This film came to audiences at a rather schizophrenic time, things were changing, but not that much. Roles were assimilated, but not too drastically. People were questioning things, as long as it wasn't radical.

Women were still patronized, there were still clear role boundaries (witness the scene where Tom is knitting and catches derision for spending ten minutes in a sewing circle.) Not sure why that was a crime of the century, but whatever.

Deborah Kerr is tender and memorable as an unhappy wife to the school master at a prep school who realizes her marriage is a sham. She realizes this when she sympathizes with a student and resident at her home, a confused young man who simply is shy and has doubts about his future. There are some nuances regarding sexuality, but in all honesty that was a side-story, from what I inferred.

The message I take away from this film is not simply about ostracism and hatred; Minnelli as director also addresses female emotion, the reasons why Kerr empathizes with the young man, and how he eventually moves on. In the long rung, it is life affirming, although rather opaque in its message.

Discrimination and hatred take many forms, and sometimes the subtler forms are most repellent. Highly recommended. 8/10.


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