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The Children's Hour (1961) - movie overview

The Children's Hour (1961)

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Plot Description

DVD Release Date
• R1: Dec 3, 2002
• R2: 5 Jul 2004

Budget $3,600,000

Running Time
1 hour, 47 minutes

Country USA

Studio United Artists

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Other Titles
• The Children's Hour
• Infamous! (1961)
• The Infamous (1961)
• The Loudest Whisper (1961)
• Infam (1962)
• Loudest Whisper

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Genre: Drama, Gay/Lesbian, School / Campus, Society, Tragedy, Blackmail, Psychodrama, Courtroom, Love

Tagline: What Made These Women Different?

Plot: Karen Wright (Audrey Hepburn) and Martha Dobie (Shirley MacLaine) are just beginning to succeed in their struggle to make the Wright-Dobie School for Girls a going concern. Karen believes she will soon be able to marry Joe Cardin (James Garner). However, Karen has to discipline Mary Tilford (Karen Balkin). Mary always wants her own way and, worse, is a congenital liar. Mary complains to her grandmother Mrs. Tilford (Fay Bainter). To lend strength to her complaint, Mary repeats part of a conversation that she overheard, but barely understood--a conversation in which Martha’s aunt Lily (Miriam Hopkins) accused Martha of having an unnatural attachment to Karen. Mrs. Tilford is horrified and spreads the word to the parents of the other girls--with disastrous results.

THE CHILDREN’S HOUR is William Wyler's second version of Lillian Hellman’s controversial 1934 Broadway play. In Wyler’s first version, THESE THREE, made in 1936, the lesbian theme was entirely suppressed. In contrast, THE CHILDREN’S HOUR, somewhat belatedly, allowed the theme out of Hollywood’s closet. THE CHILDREN’S HOUR is clearly set in the 1960s but retains many of the 1930s attitudes toward lesbianism--the result is a movie that hovers curiously between the 1930s and the 1960s.

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 Directed by
William Wyler
Ben-Hur, Roman Holiday, The Best Years of Our Lives
 Written by
Lillian Hellman
The Little Foxes, Julia, The Chase
Audrey Hepburn
My Fair Lady, Breakfast at Tiffany's, Roman Holiday
James Garner
The Notebook, The Great Escape, Space Cowboys
Veronica Cartwright
Alien, The Birds, Scary Movie 2
Shirley MacLaine
The Apartment, Being There, Bewitched
Miriam Hopkins
Trouble in Paradise, The Heiress, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
Fay Bainter
Woman of the Year, Jezebel, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty
 Music By
Alex North
Spartacus, Good Morning, Vietnam, A Streetcar Named Desire

 Recommended Movies
Movie Title Agree Disagree
Victim (1961)
These Three (1936)
Lost and Delirious (2001)
Holes (2003)
Citizen Kane (1941)
Kama Sutra: A Tale of Love (1996)
Devils, The (1971)
Bad Seed, The (1985)

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