Her Twelve Men (1954) Poster

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Very sentimental and predictable BUT also fun and worth a look
MartinHafer19 September 2007
This is a rather easy film to predict and it was pretty schmaltzy--having a very liberal helping of sentimentality thrown into the mix. However, despite this, the acting and script were so much fun that I still encourage you to give the film a look--especially since it's a lovely film that can be enjoyed by the entire family.

Greer Garson (in one of the later roles of her career) plays a new teacher at a boys boarding school. Since all the faculty had been men, people at the school are taken a bit back by her arrival. However, since it is sweet old Greer, it's not surprising that the kids all come to love her and need her. She is like a slightly sterner version of the movie Maria Von Trapp, but without all the singing! About the only story element I disliked was when Greer wrote letters to one lonely boy in which she pretended to be the kid's uncaring mother and father. Lying to the boy seemed cruel and stupid--as one day he's bound to realize his parents were too self-absorbed to even bother writing. Why she didn't just send him letters in her name or arrange for mail to come for him I just didn't understand.

Still, the film is enjoyable and sweet, so I suggest you give it a try. Not among Garson's best, but still a likable little film.
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Sentimental and delightful
bowiebks15 October 2002
I found it to be quite an affecting, warm-hearted film. Surely nobody could have played the new teacher as well as Miss Garson, and it is always a pleasure to see Robert Ryan playing a "good guy" instead of a pyscho-killer! Many excellent small parts for worthwhile players such as Barbara Lawrence, Ian Wolfe, Ivan Triesault, Frances Bergen, etc. Maybe it is just a big hunk of middle-brow sentimentality but I loved it!
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"Her Twelve Men" is a dandy little gem of film, worthy of viewing.
babbo77771 June 2005
I saw the film last year and I was very impressed with the subtle yet warm portrayal given by Greer Garson.Perhaps it was the empathy she displayed, that is all too lacking these days among the Educational elite.Or,it may have been the foreboding sense of tragedy(seen too often among todays youth) that could only been avoided by the devotion and tenderness of an educator such as was played by Ms. Garson in this underrated film.Its thesis is one that should never be considered"dated" or "outmoded":There is a priceless reward waiting for the professional who can achieve exploits in classroom erudition by forging an emotional bond with a neglected child.
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Greer Garson in color!!!!!!
the lioness11 January 2005
Greer Garson portrays a teacher at an all boys school in this familiar vehicle from MGM studios. She must be a teacher to her students and a mother simultaneously. In the process, she attracts three suitors.

I love Garson and I'm a huge fan, however,I will also agree this is not her best film. Its only for those who are big fans of the actress. Also, for those who are die-hard fans of Garson, if you need another reason to see it? She's in color! It was filmed in color and is not one of Turner's colorized films. Garson fans like myself know the majority of her films were done in black and white.

While I agree with the previous post stating this film is a familiar vehicle for Garson, I disagree with him on the statement that Garson could have chosen a better film to appear in. I'm sure the previous poster has not forgotten that when this film was made, Garson was still under contract to MGM and the company had been dealing with a shift in power during this period. The powers that be at the studio would not give the actress parts that were fitting of her abilities and range. As a result, she took films like this to avoid being shunned by the film community and to continue working. She also was trying to avoid being sued by the studio for breach of contract. Eventually, she did grow tired of being stuck in films like this so she did what any graceful woman like herself would do...she waited for her contract to expire by taking films like this. When her contract was up, she left.

For more inside information of Garson, the poster above should read her book, "A Rose for Mrs. Miniver" to get an in depth understanding of this great actress.

Also, on a sad note, this is one of Garson's films that has never gone to video. :(
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Her Twelve Men: Memo to Mayor Bloomberg in New York City ***1/2
edwagreen27 March 2013
Warning: Spoilers
What a wonderful, heartwarming film this was. A total pleasure to view, especially seeing Robert Ryan in a total change of pace as a strict teacher, but with a heart of gold.

Our mayor in New York City should see this 1954 film. The genius claims that it doesn't matter how many children are in a class as long as there is an effective person in front of the room. How wrong he was. Though her class of 12 boys were troubled, she had the time to seek out the exact problem and work with the students to overcome their emotional problems, in their case-neglect by the parent.

To me, Richard Haydn stole the show as the headmaster, a stern person who wouldn't tolerate insubordination but who came to realize in the end that Mrs. Stuart's methods were right on the mark.

Greer Garson had the right sentiment to play the new teacher and Barry Sullivan added to the cast as the parent neglecting his nasty son.

It is so true that boys will be boys, but even these boys could be reached.
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A not so brilliant, pretty,redhead female teacher, has a heart of gold
alberto-5210 March 2006
Warning: Spoilers
This is certainly one of the films, which most teachers ought to see before and during their professional lives. It narrates the charming saga of a not so brilliant female teacher who, by the way, has a tremendous sense of humanity. From the opening, many teachers would remember and recognize how their final professional choice, didn't come at first sight, but instead, after a few shocks with reality. And a very hard reality, which obliged them to review the situation and put many golden dreams away. The same happened to this charming redhead, Jan Stewart. She recalls her former dreams while flying to the place where she will become the teacher of twelve boys in a boarding school. Sometimes rich boys may cry and Jan does her best to avoid it, although often misunderstood by the little devils she has to take care of. Greer Garson is competent as always and Robert Ryan is also well as the competent teacher that finally falls in love with Jan. Also noteworthy is the young actor who plays the rejected rich boy, dropped in a boarding school by his insensitive parents. Don't know his name. And a crazy coffee pot provides extra fun. Finally this is not the first color film of Greer Garson. It's true that she rarely was seen in color, but before this film she was seen in color in "Scandal at Scourie", an MGM Technicolor movie from 1953, also starring Walter Pigeon, Donna Corcoran and Agnes Moorehead. As a leading lady, Garson was seen only in three color films, every one in a different process: Scandal at Scourie (Technicolor); Her Twelwe Men (Ansco Color/Print by Technicolor) and Strange Lady in Town (Warnercolor). Then Greer Garson in color, was a matter of supporting cast or special appearances. A pity. I was a boy when I saw her last films. But I miss her. I liked her.
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Garson Of The Oaks
bkoganbing9 September 2011
Her Twelve Men marked Greer Garson's farewell to MGM, the studio that had brought her over from the United Kingdom in 1939 and for whom three years later brought home an Oscar for Mrs. Miniver which also was The Best Picture of that year.

This film is hardly in the category of Mrs. Miniver, but it's a pleasant enough family film about a woman who takes a first time teaching job at a private boy's school called The Oaks. In fact it's also the first time this venerable institution ever hired a woman and that fact proves unsettling to a lot of people, kids and faculty.

But Greer turns out to be a natural for the job and some of these kids in the boarding school turn out to need a woman's touch. Her scenes with young Donald MacDonald who plays a kid who was essentially dumped at the school while his jet setting parents are gadding about the globe are especially touching.

Greer has three male admirers as well, faculty members Robert Ryan and James Arness and Barry Sullivan multi-millionaire widower father of another troubled youth Tim Considine. Guess who she ends up with.

Richard Haydn plays the school headmaster who is opposed to her at first, but who gradually sees having a woman on the staff ain't the worst thing possible. Haydn who is normally pulling out all the stops playing fussbudgets is rather restrained in his performance and the usual shtick is under wraps.

Her Twelve Men holds up well since those Eisenhower days and is still a good family film.
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Spin & Marty fans should see this film
fugazzi4916 October 2008
I grew up in the 50's and like most kids my age was a big fan of the Mickey Mouse Club.In it's first season one of the segments was Spin & Marty.It was a serialized story about two boys at a western summer camp - who even got to ride horses thus becoming the envy of every boy watching. Spin (the All-American boy) was played by Tim Considine,and Marty (the snobby rich kid) by David Stollery.It became a HUGE hit & the sensation of that first season.Both boys appear in Her Twelve Men,and met there.Tim originally tried out for the part of Marty,but was offered Spin instead.Disney still needed a Marty and Tim told them he had recently worked with a boy who would be just right for the role,David Stollery from Her Twelve men!So this film was somewhat responsible for the ideal casting of that well-loved Disney serial.This information was related by Tim & David in the interview feature of the Disney Treasures DVD Box Set that came out a couple years ago.
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Melodramatic pulp
ts-folke25 May 2019
A silly tale starring the brilliant noir tough, Robert Ryan. Ryan is miscast as a no-nonsense realist teaching young privledged boys truths regarding distant parents and why they are placed in the private school. Opposite a prim Greer Garson, Ryan buries his throbbing passions for her behind a mask of phony disinterest. It takes his discovery of fake letters that Garson penned to a diminutive boy for Ryan to unleash his libido and confess his loin surgings to her. In the end his passions save the boys from a departing Garson but leaves a confused widower and his loner son bewildered and lost.
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Sentimental, predictable story for Garson's last film at MGM...
Doylenf9 September 2002
GREER GARSON's long career at MGM came to an end in a sentimental tale about a new teacher at an all boys school who triumphs over inexperience and falls in love too. A slim tale for Garson with Robert Ryan and Barry Sullivan hovering in the background as possible suitors, it is strictly formula stuff and worth watching only if you're an ardent fan of Greer Garson. It strives to be no more than a modest programmer.

It's almost quaint to see how "rambunctious" the boys are by today's standards, so mild is their behavior. Richard Haydn as the school's headmaster is effective and the boys are competent enough child actors, but it all has the feeling of having been done before.

As I say in my article on Greer Garson due to appear in FILMS OF THE GOLDEN AGE: "At a time when she could have used a different kind of role to broaden her appeal, Garson let herself be cast in the sort of vehicle that had an all too familiar ring to it."

Of interest to fans of James Arness, he has a brief role as a physical ed coach at a time when he had not yet emerged as a TV western star.
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Lesson Plans for Greer Garson
wes-connors23 September 2011
With other job prospects drying up, still beautiful Greer Garson (as Jan Stewart) takes a position at an all-boys boarding school. She is the first female teacher at "The Oaks", so the kids amusingly call her "Sir." First crisis involves Ms. Garson finding the boys have adopted a puppy. Garson butts heads with fellow teacher Robert Ryan (Joe Hargrave) over the school's "no dogs allowed" rule. She eventually teaches Mr. Ryan how a woman closer to his age can do just as well as the pretty young blondes he rides around with. Garson responds to each new problem by raising her eyebrow. Heck, whatever she's doing, it works...

Going to the head of the class are thirteenth arrival Tim Considine (as Richard "Dick" Oliver) and neglected Donald MacDonald (as Bobby Lennox). They get the story lines. Young Considine's future "Spin and Marty" partner David Stollery (as Jeff Carlin) is also present. The kids are all right. James Arness plays the coach. This was the last MGM contract film for Garson, who was a superstar from 1942 ("Mrs. Miniver") to 1946, placing in the "Quigley Poll" of box office stars at #9, #6, #6, #3, and #7 during those years. Garson did not retire, and scored notably when a good role came along in "Sunrise at Campobello" (1960).

**** Her Twelve Men (8/11/54) Robert Z. Leonard ~ Greer Garson, Robert Ryan, Tim Considine, Donald MacDonald
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Mainly for Garson fans
misctidsandbits23 September 2011
Greer Garson is my favorite actress of all times, bar none. So many stars have looks and/or charisma, which exceed their talent. They achieve box office draw with these charms, but not so much on critical review. To me, Ms. Garson has it all -- and, as a matter of record, she has scored in both categories. She has such a dimensional, charming presentation, making her fascinating to watch. Along with that, she is quite skillful in portrayal.

Perhaps the reviewer who mentioned Ms. Garson's color films forgot "That Forsyte Woman" from 1949. She did a Disney film much later, "The Happiest Millionaire" with Fred MacMurray, which was of course in color.

This film - Her Twelve Men - is perhaps one of the few weak links in her chain of memorable films. The problem of diminishing offerings became a rueful experience for every Hollywood actress during those decades of studio contracts. As has been stated here, she likely did it to fulfill her contract and to keep working.

Also, as the decade wore on, films became more daring, and Ms. Garson shunned the nudity and coarseness that was being introduced. She is credited with saying that motion pictures should reflect up to the sky, not down to the ground. I appreciate that sentiment. It was shared by others at that time as well.

I think you have to appreciate Ms. Garson to go this film. It's just so boring. And, I just can't like Robert Ryan. A smile seems to be a rarity for his face. He has a critical sort of look while in repose, and appears downright nasty in his negative scenes. He seems very unattractive to me in general, mainly because of this.

If you have any competition for viewing at the time this one comes up, I'd recommend going with the other one. It's not that it is so badly done particularly; it's just such a weak theme in general.
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This is an example of why a career faded
vincentlynch-moonoi29 August 2017
Warning: Spoilers
MGM had one of the finest actresses that ever graced a Hollywood sound stage. And putting her in flicks like this one is why her career suddenly faded in the early 1950s. Shame on MGM.

It's not that this is a bad film, but the role could have easily been played by a second rate actress. A teacher/house mother in a private boy's school. Brother! She must have been so happy that her contract was over. She does fine in an uninspiring script.

Her two male co-stars don't do so well. Robert Ryan as a love interest. No thank you. Not after playing all those villainous roles. It just didn't work. On the other hand, Barry Sullivan had very little to do here. Richard Haydn was as pompous as he always was, here as the headmaster. It is interesting to see James Arness in an early role as a P.E. teacher, and Tim Considine as one of the boys (although I was not impressed).

There are a dozen Greer Garson films so much better than this. Try my favorite -- "Random Harvest" with Ronald Colman. Now that was a real movie!
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