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Fri, Feb 17

TEA AND SYMPATHY

deutsch>>
Surprising as it may seem, in the light of the screen’s Production Code, which generally compels evasion of the more delicate sexual in American films, Robert Anderson’s fine play about a schoolboy and a teacher’s wife, „Tea and Sympathy“, has been given a strong and sensitive screen rendering by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. (…) Fortunately, for this production, producer Pandro S. Berman employed the pricipal actors in the original stage play to re-enact their roles. John Kerr is again the taunted schoolboy, Deborah Kerr is the housemaster’s wife and Leif Erickson is the bluff housemaster whose obtuseness precipitates the pain. Furthermore, Mr. Anderson was employed to adapt his own play, and he has done so with a stubborn insistence on the candor and integrity of his theme. His schoolboy, an 18-year-old „off horse“, is still the victim of dark suspicions of his mates. He is suspected of beeing unmasculine, for which his mates have a crueler name. The wife is still moved to be compassionate with her whole being toward this tormented lad. And her husband is still quite plainly something less than a bona fide man. To be sure, Mr. Anderson has toned down a few of the more unpleasant words. The most shocking epithet tossed freely at the hero is „sister-boy“. And some of the more outspoken comments exchanged between husband and wife have been reduced to innuendoes, rather than candid words.
Still the drama is here in all its aspects – the drama of a lonely prep-school boy who finds sympathy and affection only in a woman who finds little in her man. It is a drama that teems with nuances, that clearly notes some painful facts of modern life in a stratum of society that sometimes does its children all sorts of unsuspected wrongs. And it is a drama that hints not only at some of the nastier types in boys’ boarding schools but also at some of the less attractive product that is turned out by
 
 
TEA AND SYMPATHY (Film Still)

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All about Vincente Minnelli, director of "TEA AND SYMPATHY"

Screenings at the festival
Fri, Feb 17, 14:00 Zeughauskino (D, F)
Sat, Feb 18, 18:00 CinemaxX 4 (D, F)

these hives of „sportsmanship“. Indeed, Mr. Anderson has added a couple of sequences that give even sharper emphasis to episodes that were mentioned in the play. (…)
Throughout, Mr. Kerr’s performance of the lad is incredibly sure, as sensitive as a fine mechanism and yet reflective of the callowness of youth. And Miss Kerr, who is no relative, reveals as the housemaster’s wife one of the most genuine and tender female characters we have seen on the screen in a long, long time. Although Mr. Erickson as the master and Edward Andrews as the father of the boy are just a shade too gross and insensitive for the finest possible balance in the play, they make their points unmistakeable by their callous grotesqueries. Darryl Hickman as the hero’s roommate makes a credible prep-school boy, and Norma Crane is appropriately sleazy and pathetic as the prostitute. Vincente Minnelli’s direction is excellent all the way. (…)

(Bosley Crowther in: The New York Times, 28.9.1956.)
 
 

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