A rebellious student at a girls' school accuses two teachers of lesbianism.


William Wyler


Lillian Hellman (play), John Michael Hayes (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
Nominated for 5 Oscars. Another 1 win & 6 nominations. See more awards »





Complete credited cast:
Audrey Hepburn ... Karen Wright
Shirley MacLaine ... Martha Dobie
James Garner ... Dr. Joe Cardin
Miriam Hopkins ... Mrs. Lily Mortar
Fay Bainter ... Mrs. Amelia Tilford
Karen Balkin Karen Balkin ... Mary Tilford
Veronica Cartwright ... Rosalie Wells
Mimi Gibson ... Evelyn
Debbie Moldow Debbie Moldow ... Student
Diane Mountford Diane Mountford ... Student
William Mims ... Mr. Burton
Sally Brophy Sally Brophy ... Rosalie's Mother (as Sallie Brophy)
Hope Summers ... Agatha - the Tilford Maid


Karen Wright and Martha Dobie are best friends since college and they own the boarding school Wright and Dobie School for Girls with twenty students. They are working hard as headmistresses and teachers to grow the school and make it profitable. Karen is engaged with the local doctor Joe Cardin, who is the nephew of the powerful and influential Mrs. Amelia Tilford. While the spiteful and liar Mary, who is Amelia's granddaughter and a bad influence to the other girls, is punished by Karen after telling a lie, Martha has an argument with her snoopy aunt Lily Mortar in another room. Lily accuses Martha of being jealous and having an unnatural relationship with Karen. Mary's roommate Rosalie Wells overhears the shouting and tells Mary what Mrs. Mortar had said about her niece. The malicious Mary accuses Karen and Martha of being lesbians to her grandmother and Amelia spreads the gossip to the parents of the students that withdraw them from the school. Karen and Martha lose a lawsuit ... Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


This story contains a shocking accusation - please don't tell it to anyone, especially the immature! See more »


Drama | Romance


Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


Audrey Hepburn had a dog named "Mr. Famous" that she would bring to the studio while she was making this film. Mr. Famous got out of her trailer one day for about an hour and Hepburn had the studio police looking for him. They eventually found him on top of a wall that he had somehow managed to climb. See more »


(At around 1hr 21 mins) Karen moves her hands off Jack's back twice. See more »


Mrs. Lily Mortar: God will punish you.
Martha: He's doing all right.
See more »


Referenced in The Ingraham Angle: Episode dated 19 June 2020 (2020) See more »


"No Place Like Home' (uncredited)
Lyrics by John Howard Payne
Music by H.R. Bishop (as Sir Henry Bishop)
Included in piano medley
See more »

User Reviews

Stands the test of time, Excellent acting, good story line, heartfelt
22 August 2007 | by emilyh113See all my reviews

My favorite review of this film is a short, concise one entitled WOW written in 2000 (read it and you'll read my feelings exactly!). I believe it says a lot that over 40 years later, we still want to comment and view this movie (a movie that is not necessarily a popular classic that people know about). I had never heard of this movie until looking on Netflix and deciding to rent all the Audrey Hepburn movies. While she is fabulous, I thought Shirley M was the shining performance in this movie. James Garner is so genuinely loving and likable (as usual!) The other characters are also fabulous but for length I won't list them all! I highly recommend this film to someone who appreciates dramatic film with good character development. It is definitely not what I expected from something on an Audrey Hepburn list (which makes me love her more)! Some raters feel that this movie has homophobic undertones and is not appropriate for today's society (because we are so open minded now???). As someone who has worked with youth of today in a small town, I believe it is still relatable. I think it would open up a good discussion because I felt hope in the midst of tragedy (I don't want to give away anything but basically a "what could you have done instead" dialog).

I weeped at the end but would watch it again as it is superb. I would give it a 10 but having only seen it once, I feel biased as I'm sure there are minor flaws somewhere! I give it a 9.9/10 instead!

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Frequently Asked Questions

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Release Date:

19 December 1961 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Infamous See more »


Box Office


$3,600,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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