The Children's Hour

1961

Action / Drama / Romance

53
Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 86%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Upright 84%
IMDb Rating 7.8 10 12316

Synopsis


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Director

Cast

Audrey Hepburn as Karen Wright
Shirley MacLaine as Martha Dobie
James Garner as Dr. Joe Cardin
Veronica Cartwright as Rosalie Wells
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
810.45 MB
1280*720
English
NR
23.976 fps
1hr 48 min
P/S 2 / 4
1.64 GB
1920*1080
English
NR
23.976 fps
1hr 48 min
P/S 1 / 7

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by Claudio Carvalho 9 / 10

Cruel and Heartbreaking Story about the Destructive Power of a Lie

Karen Wright (Audrey Hepburn) and Martha Dobie (Shirley MacLaine) 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 (James Garner), who is the nephew of the powerful and influent Mrs. Amelia Tilford (Fay Bainter). While the spiteful and liar Mary (Karen Balkin), 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 (Miriam Hopkins) in another room. Lily accuses Martha of being jealous and having an unnatural relationship with Karen. Mary's roommate Rosalie Wells (Veronica Cartwright) 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 against Amelia and have their lives destroyed. Further, Karen calls off her engagement with Joe when he asks her if what was said about Martha and she was true. The lie ends in a tragedy.

"The Children's Hour" is a cruel and heartbreaking story that shows how destructive power of a lie may be. William Wyler is among my favorite directors and this film is a little gem with a magnificent screenplay. Shirley MacLaine has awesome performance in the role of a woman that does not accept her (homo) sexual preference and the girl Karen Balkin is amazing in the role of one of the meanest characters I have ever seen. In the mid 90's, in São Paulo, Brazil, the owners of the Escola Base were falsely accused of pedophilia in a national scandal and had their lives destroyed. Years later, it was proved that they were innocent, in a case of life copycatting fiction. My vote is nine.

Title (Brazil): "Infâmia" ("Infamy")

Reviewed by totalwonder 8 / 10

Lillian Hellman's Women

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.

Reviewed by Richie-67-485852 8 / 10

Children NOT at Play

This is a well done tasteful movie about many issues starting with the rumor mill or gossip that plagues everyone yet all contribute to it one way or another. However, when it gets out of hand, it can destroy. Another issue is the believability of a child and when they say something. If they have never learned to lie then they are beyond reproach. If they did learn to lie what defense do adults have? We all visit with teachers who have to be fit and perfect if for the only reason that they are teaching kids verbally and by example too. There is rush to judgment, doubt and hidden bias at work in this film that when you mix it all together a fine must see movie is upon you. Watch the expressions on the old grandmas face when the kid is whispering in her ear. Priceless! Also watch the little brat kids face too as she acts out quite effectively "if looks could kill" on another little girl. Enjoy James Garner who is as handsome as ever. The film takes the viewer by surprise. You see it starts out rather mundane and slowly surfaces here and there until we are grabbed. Then, it doesn't let go. Stay with it through all this because your emotions will go full cycle and run toward the comeuppance part. Also consider the ending. Was there any truth to all these lies? Does it take one to know one? Enjoy

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