On the verge of forced resignation, a strict old-fashioned teacher rethinks his life.On the verge of forced resignation, a strict old-fashioned teacher rethinks his life.On the verge of forced resignation, a strict old-fashioned teacher rethinks his life.
Andrew Crocker-Harris (Albert Finney) is an embittered, disliked teacher of Greek and Latin at a British public school. After nearly 20 years of service, he is being forced to retire on the pretext of his health and might not even be given a pension. The boys regard him as a Hitler, with some justification. His wife Laura (Greta Scacchi) is unfaithful, and lives to wound him any way she can. Andrew must come to terms with his failed life and regain at least his own self-respect. —Reid Gagle
a well-done "small" film.
This is one of those movies that are easy to overlook because of their lack of special effects, bone-rattling audio, and sexual situations. Nevertheless, The Browning Version tells a poignant story of an aging teacher who is being shunted aside in favor of a younger replacement. Albert Finney is wonderful as Crocker-Harris, "the Hitler of the lower sixth," whose health is failing and whose enthusiasm for teaching is gone. Greta Scacchi is equally good as his unfaithful wife. Her nuanced performance is one way in which this version is superior to the much-admired Michael Redgrave issue of 1951. In the latter, Jean Kent plays an unrelenting bitch who cares not a whit for her husband's plight. One cannot, under any circumstances, imagine how the two characters ever got together. In the new rendition, however, one can see how the lovely Miss Scacchi might have fallen for the athletically built Finney. As a result, one can better appreciate the disillusionment and bitterness that inform her character as she contemplates what he has become.
- Dec 19, 2001
Contribute to this page
Suggest an edit or add missing content