8.2/10
3,963
55 user 28 critic

The Browning Version (1951)

Not Rated | | Drama | 6 April 1951 (UK)
Forced to retire from an English public school, an unpopular professor must confront his failure as a teacher and husband.

Director:

Anthony Asquith

Writers:

Terence Rattigan (by), Terence Rattigan (screenplay)
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ON DISC
Nominated for 2 BAFTA Film Awards. Another 7 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Michael Redgrave ... Andrew Crocker-Harris
Jean Kent ... Millie Crocker-Harris
Nigel Patrick ... Frank Hunter
Wilfrid Hyde-White ... Dr. Frobisher (as Wilfrid Hyde White)
Brian Smith ... Taplow
Bill Travers ... Fletcher
Ronald Howard Ronald Howard ... Gilbert
Paul Medland Paul Medland ... Wilson
Ivan Samson Ivan Samson ... Lord Baxter
Josephine Middleton Josephine Middleton ... Mrs. Frobisher
Peter Jones ... Carstairs
Sarah Lawson ... Betty Carstairs
Scott Harrold Scott Harrold ... Rev. Williamson (as Scott Harold)
Judith Furse ... Mrs. Williamson
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Storyline

Andrew Crocker-Harris, a classics teacher at an English school, is afflicted with a heart ailment and an unfaithful wife. His interest in his pupils wanes as he looks towards his final days in employment. Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

6 April 1951 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Konflikt des Herzens See more »

Filming Locations:

Dorset, England, UK See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Javelin Films See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The opening theme music behind the credits is Arnold Bax's finale to the score for David Lean's 1948 film version of "Oliver Twist (1948)". See more »

Quotes

[Crocker-Harris is making his farewell speech to the whole school. He starts with a very dry, erudite speech but soon abandons it]
Andrew Crocker-Harris: You must excuse me. I had prepared a speech, but I find now that I have nothing to say. Or rather, I have three very small words, but they are most deeply felt. They are these: I am sorry. I am sorry because I have failed to give you what you had the right to demand of me as your teacher: sympathy, encouragement, and humanity. I'm sorry because I have deserved the ...
[...]
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Connections

Version of Das Abschiedsgeschenk (1962) See more »

Soundtracks

Trumpet Voluntary
(uncredited)
Music by Jeremiah Clarke
Arranged by Jerome King
De Wolfe Music Ltd
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User Reviews

 
Harrowing, troubling and cleansing
14 July 2005 | by JekyllBoote-1See all my reviews

Until a week ago I had never seen this film.

I was lent a videocassette of it (taped from the TV) by a friend who urged me to watch it. "But you must watch it alone", they stipulated.

I am not sure whether my friend's act was one of great kindness or great cruelty. I do know that watching the film was extremely harrowing and upsetting.

It is difficult to convey quite what is so troubling and disturbing about this film without giving the plot away, but I was unprepared, among other things, for the frankness about sexual matters in such an old film (especially the frankness regarding female sexuality). Given that Rattigan was himself a homosexual (albeit, in a pre-Wolfenden age, a closeted one), it is possible (indeed, possibly too easy) to perceive a homosexual subtext in the film, should one choose to. But it is not necessary.

At first I was half expecting something sentimental in the "Goodbye, Mr Chips" vein (and this is, indeed, ironically referred to in "The Browning Version"), but this film is no facile tear-jerker. I did not read the other IMDb reviews before watching the film, and I was unprepared for the shock to my system that this amazing film has delivered.

I am not sure that I can unreservedly recommend the film, if only because it is so deeply unsettling and emotionally raw. A film set in an English public school of the early 1950s suggests a world of emotions reined-in and denied. But the terrible crises that occur in "The Browning Version" expose real emotions in a way that, even now, is rare.

This film urgently needs to be made available on DVD. For those who can withstand the intensity of its onslaught, it constitutes a salutary emotional cleansing.

This is a beautiful, and perennially relevant film.


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