7.8/10
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134 user 47 critic

The Children's Hour (1961)

Not Rated | | Drama, Romance | 19 December 1961 (USA)
A troublemaking student at a girls' school accuses two teachers of being lesbians.

Director:

William Wyler

Writers:

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

Photos

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Cast

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 William Mims ... Mr. Burton
Sally Brophy Sally Brophy ... Rosalie's Mother (as Sallie Brophy)
Hope Summers ... Agatha - the Tilford Maid
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

There is a whisper that can make a love more tender...and a whisper that can tear a love apart... See more »

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

19 December 1961 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Infamous See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$3,600,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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

Goofs

At 25:41 the books the girl on the left is holding changes. See more »

Quotes

Mrs. Lily Mortar: [about Mary] Oh, what happened? Did she fall?
Karen: No, I was disciplining her.
Mrs. Lily Mortar: And you finally hit her?
See more »

Connections

Featured in Vito (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

Comin' through the Rye
(uncredited)
Traditional Scottish children's song
Lyrics from a poem by Robert Burns (1782)
Included in piano medley
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Lillian Hellman's Women
15 March 2018 | by totalwonderSee all my reviews

Lillian Hellman is an American Icon. A woman ahead of her time, in every department. Her women are never easy to read but they are real. From the icy Regina in "The Little Foxes" to the sisters of "Toys In The Attic" - Jane Fonda played her, brilliantly, in "Julia", Here, her women walked a slightly edgier plane."The Children's Hours" was a big Broadway success and William Wyler, one of the best, directed the film version as "These Three" in the 1930's, washing away any reference to homosexuality. I think that may be one of the reasons why he remade it in 1961 under its original title "The Children's Hour" Audrey Hepburn, Shirley MacLaine, James Garner, Fay Bainter and Miriam Hopkins who also was in the original in Shirley MacLaine's part. The film is compelling and looks wonderful and I think it's more a document of its day by one of the most courageous writers of her day. The strange thing here is that the women are the ones who remain firmly in their day, they show us the outrage from their perspective and that's why it feels "dated" They would behave very differently today but not the rich southerners. I believe, they would also remove their children from the school. just like they did then. The oppressed have move on but the oppressors, have diminished in numbers, but they havent changed much. A fascinating film.


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