the children’s hour

While at times overly melodramatic, this intriguing story features two best friends whose lives are shattered by allegations of being lesbian lovers. (The word “lesbian” is never mentioned, however.) Shirley MacLaine and Audrey Hepburn star as late 20s school teachers trying to make a business of a small boarding school for girls. A manipulative student overhears a conversation, blows it out of proportion, and suddenly the whole town is involved in the scandal. It’s interesting to watch two fine “A” actors in a film on what would have been a “B” movie topic at the time, and pull it off. Warning: typical unrequited lesbian love film ending. [us, 1961]

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