Terence Rattigan's play, which had a big success in the West End in 1948, has been faithfully translated to the screen. The celluloid version is crammed with emotional incidents and has two noteworthy tear-jerker scenes.

Terence Rattigan’s play, which had a big success in the West End in 1948, has been faithfully translated to the screen. The celluloid version is crammed with emotional incidents and has two noteworthy tear-jerker scenes.

The background of the story is an English public school with the action spanning barely 48 hours. It is the last day of term, and Andrew Crocker-Harris, an austere disciplinarian, is retiring because of ill health without a pension. The events leading up to the final, powerful valedictory address make up a plot which is rich in incident and human understanding.

The role of the retiring master is not an easy one, but a prize in the right hands. Michael Redgrave fills it with distinction. Almost matching this performance is the role of his wife, played with a mixture of callousness and coyness by Jean Kent.

Nigel Patrick, in a less bombastic part than usual, chalks up another personal success as the science master who becomes ashamed of the intrigue he has had with Kent. Wilfrid Hyde White is as smooth as ever as the headmaster.

The Browning Version

UK

Production

Javelin. Director Anthony Asquith; Producer Teddy Baird; Screenplay Terence Rattigan; Camera Desmond Dickinson; Editor John D. Guthridge; Art Director Carmen Dillon

Crew

(B&W) Available on VHS. Extract of a review from 1951. Running time: 90 MIN.

With

Michael Redgrave Jean Kent Nigel Patrick Wilfrid Hyde White Brian Smith Bill Travers
Follow @Variety on Twitter for breaking news, reviews and more
Post A Comment 0