Saturday, December 10, 2011

Peggy Recommends: The Children's Hour (DVD)

The Children’s Hour (DVD)

I gave this classic film a second look recently and was glad I did. Based on a 1934 play by Lillian Hellman and brought to film by the great William Wyler, this movie was banned in Boston in 1961. Audrey Hepburn and Shirley MacLaine shine as two long-time friends who run a boarding school for girls. Their quiet world collapses when a spoiled bully in the school spreads the gossip that Hepburn and MacLaine are lovers. Supported by James Garner and Fay Bainter, who received an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress, this film shines with something we gotten used to living without—actual acting. No gizmos, special effects or flashbacks. The whole story is told in the script and in the actresses and actors faces. Depending on your age, you’ll remember the fear, disgust, and venom depicted here that was directed toward homosexuals or you’ll be profoundly grateful that you don’t, and that we’ve traveled such a long way since. PM

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