The Children's Hour details
|Starring:||James Garner, Fay Bainter, Miriam Hopkins, Karen Balkin, Audrey Hepburn, Shirley MacLaine|
The Children's Hour
|Run time:||1 hour 44 minutes|
|Rental release:||05 Jul 2004|
Most helpful review
The Children's HourBy a customer from Wales , 22 Dec 2004
[Highly rated reviewer]The acting in this is just excellent - It was very brave of leading ladies Audrey Hepburn & Shirley MacLaine - to take on such roles - this was one of the first big Hollywood films to tackle lesbianism. Gay film making has progressed a great deal since films like the Children's Hour & The Boys in the Band. And bith MacLaine's & Hepburns characters could have less angst, and I wondefully underplayed James Garner. All in all an excellent acted piece of gay film history
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Brilliant drama, of the eraBy a customer from Burghfield Common, Reading UK , 15 Jul 2010Pure heart-wrenching drama from start to finish. Excellent cast. Apart from the obvious stars who were thrilling, watch out for the clever little actresss Karen Balkin who played the nasty school-girl who sparked off a scandal and two amazing old-time actresses: (1) the mislead dowager grandma Mrs Tilford played by Fay Bainter who was in film since 1934 and (2) Martha's aunt Mrs Lily Mortar who was played by Miriam Hopkins who was in film from 1928 and who played the part of Martha in the 1936 version 'These Three'. I was enthralled. The script was well written, the wordy dialogues were beautifully delivered, I didn't want the film to end. It left me wishing for a sequel! Don't watch this if you want a laugh, but if you can handle good drama you are in for a treat.
Great filmBy a customer from Edinburgh , 10 Dec 2009I wasn't sure what to expect when I first started to watch this film but it was definately a good choice. It has a great story line and not the typical 'happy ever after' ending you often get with Hepburns films. Loved every minute of it!
Take care with chapter pageBy jenosw (4 reviews) from Llangollen, Denbighshire , 10 Oct 2008I found this film really interesting as I haven't seen any films from the golden age of Hollywood that dealt with the serious side of homosexuality before. I can see what the Radio Times review means by saying it was a little too early to really deal with the subject, but on the other hand they had to take small steps to get to where we are today (you know, when Adam Sandler can make 'I now pronounce you Chuck and Larry'! oh brave new world.) I thought the acting was impressive from everyone though and for myself I enjoyed the slightly stagey style - long takes, lots of dialogue; a tonic to modern film making.
A warning about the disc though, I had to stop the film at about 25mins from the end and then find the correct scene via the chapter selection when I was ready to resume. This meant going to the last page and looking through the chapter pictures and I couldn't help but notice that the final picture gives the ending away. As the film developed then I was expecting the ending and couldn't help wondering how I would have reacted had it all been a surprise.
Customer ReviewBy a customer from UK , 23 Jun 2008A brilliant but lesser known/talked about Hepburn movie that I decided to watch after lots of deliberation. I'm glad I did get it as I was surprised to find she was joined by James Garner as well as Shirley Mclaine. The three of them come together to make 'The Children's Hour' an interesting movie that unveils the far reaching effects of gossip, especially the malicious type.
Hepburn (Karen) and Mclaine (Martha) play two life-long friends who have started up an all girls boarding school which is just starting to find its feet. Unfortunately, one of their problem children comes up with a plan to get out of the school for good. She tells her grandmother that the two teachers have an 'unnatural' relationship and she has seen and heard things in the night. All of this is complete rubbish of course but because of half-truths, plain lies and words taken out of context the news of their affair soon travels through to all the other parents and soon the school is empty.
Karen and Martha's life falls apart compltely as they can't even leave the house without being harassed which soon takes a toll on all those involved. The ending is very sad and made me cry but also serves to highlight the point of the movie and is well chosen and filmed.
Quite different from Audrey Hepburn's most famous romantic comedy type stuff but well worth watching.
Children's HourBy tammcd (1 review) from London , 13 Jan 2008Although interesting as a piece of social drama with a lesbian theme, this movie -- like the famous play of a generation earlier -- is even more engaging as a reflection on a broader and more timeless human theme: the power of nasty people to bring down good people with whispering campaigns. In the thirties, the Big Lie that destroyed careers was the Nazi assault on Jewry; in the fifities it was McCarthyism that counted on the fear of communism to bully people into silence. Someone re-making Children's Hour for a 21st audience might struggle to shock by making an issue of covert sexuality, but could possibly get the same points across by having its lead characters ruined by being accused of supporting putative terrorists in defence of the greater good of human liberty.