Saturday, February 9, 2013

The Children's Hour

1961 American Feature
Alternate Title: The Loudest Whisper

Cast: Audrey Hepburn, Shirley MacLaine, James Garner, Miriam Hopkins, Fay Bainter, Karen Balkin and Veronica Cartwright
Director: William Wyler
Writer: John Michael Hayes, based on the play by Lillian Hellman

A private school for young girls is scandalized when one spiteful student accuses the two young women who run the school of having an intimate relationship.


  • Internet Movie Database: 7.7/10
  • Rotten Tomatoes - Critics: 100% / Audience: 82%
  • OMG rating: 8/10

  • DVD: Available
  • Book: Available


  • Academy Award nominations for Best Supporting Actress (Bainter), Black-and-White Cinematography, Black and White Art Direction, Black and White Costume Design and Sound.
  • Directors Guild of America nomination for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Motion Pictures.
  • Golden Globe nominations for Best Director, Actress - Drama (MacLaine) and Supporting Actress (Bainter).

  • The original Broadway production of Lillian Hellman's The Children's Hour opened on November 20, 1934 and ran for 691 performances. A 1952 revival, directed by Hellman, starred Kim Hunter and Patricia Neal.
  • The play was inspired by the 1809 true story of two Scottish school teachers whose lives were destroyed when one of their students accused them of engaging in a lesbian relationship. At the time of its Broadway premiere, the mention of homosexuality on stage was illegal in New York State, but authorities chose to overlook its subject matter when the production was acclaimed by the critics.
  • The original 1936 film version of the play, titled These Three, was adapted by Lillian Hellman herself. Due to film industry censorship at the time, the lie about the two school teachers being lovers was changed into a rumor that one of them had slept with the others fiancĂ©. These Three was also directed by William Wyler and also co-starred Miriam Hopkins.
  • Casting Call: Doris Day, Katharine Hepburn and Merle Oberon.

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