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The Killing of Sister George (1968)

X | | Drama | 16 December 1968 (USA)
The life of a soap opera actress begins to unravel as she fears her character will be written out of the series.

Director:

Robert Aldrich

Writers:

Frank Marcus (from the play by), Lukas Heller (screenplay)
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Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Beryl Reid ... June Buckridge
Susannah York ... Alice 'Childie' McNaught
Coral Browne ... Mercy Croft
Ronald Fraser ... Leo Lockhart
Patricia Medina ... Betty Thaxter
Hugh Paddick Hugh Paddick ... Freddie
Cyril Delevanti ... Ted Baker
Sivi Aberg ... Diana
William Beckley ... Floor Manager
Elaine Church Elaine Church ... Marlene
Brendan Dillon ... Bert Turner
Mike Freeman Mike Freeman ... Noel
Maggie Paige Maggie Paige ... Maid
Jack Raine ... Deputy Commissioner
Dolly Taylor Dolly Taylor ... Tea Lady
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Storyline

George lives with her lover, Childie and plays a cheerful district nurse in a BBC soap opera. However, her character is to be killed off, and George realises that the only other job she can get is the voice of a cow in a children's tv programme. Her life begins to fall apart as Childie has an affair with a predatory tv producer. Written by Paul Baker <bakerjp@unix.lancs.ac.uk>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The story of three consenting adults in the privacy of their own home.

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

X | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Frank Marcus's play was inspired by a real-life incident which attracted much media attention in Britain in the early 1960s. A radio soap opera, "Mrs. Dale's Diary", had been running since the 1940s when the BBC suddenly decided to replace the leading actors and move the setting to a new town, with new supporting characters. The actress who had played Mrs. Dale for so long, Ellis Powell, never recovered from this career blow and died relatively soon afterwards, mostly as a result of alcoholism. See more »

Quotes

George: Hello Crofters!
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Crazy Credits

During the opening credits, the picture distractingly flips from left to right as the main character travels through claustrophobia-inducing alleyways. See more »

Connections

Featured in Queerama (2017) See more »

User Reviews

 
Beryl Reid's rascally and a real riot...
8 May 2012 | by tim-764-291856See all my reviews

Seeing Beryl Reid mouth silently a four-letter swear word when such things didn't happen in films and drunkenly canoodling with two young nuns in the back of a London cab is both quite outstanding and rather lovable.

Miss Reid, who I only got to see in my childhood as a twee, granny-like innocent (the sort that she plays for real in a TV serial as Sister George, a homely district nurse), I found The Killing Of... both delicious and ever astounding in its frankness and of her rather warped relationship with the much younger Susannah York.

Warped, not because of the age difference, nor of their same-sex partnership, but because June Buckridge (Reid) has a cruel streak that is borne out by her playing sadistic mind games with Alice "Childie" (York).

Sister George, in the best tradition of TV soaps, is being killed off, to make way for an Australian replacement. Hence June's venomous outpourings and increasingly erratic behaviour.

Equally interesting is the London of the late '60s, both in its landmarks but also its people and fashions, whether that's in how they live and/or how they dress and present themselves.

Though real soaps cover such material freely and openly these days, 42 years ago, it must have been a very different kettle of fish. Lesbianism back in those days was not only considered immoral but also a mental aberration and had to be so hidden, in an attempt to prove to those 'righteous' souls that it did not exist. Therefore, it must have been a very brave undertaking as a film, though it originated as a play, written by Frank Marcus.

Having now seen it again, I consider Robert Aldrich's ground-breaking film to be a bit of a classic and one, which, no doubt I'll want to see again in a few years time. It really is a piece of British cinematic history.


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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

16 December 1968 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Das Doppelleben der Sister George See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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