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Tea and Sympathy (1956)
1956’s Tea and
Sympathy is a diluted filmization of Robert Anderson’s Broadway play.
The original production was considered quite daring in its attitudes
towards homosexuality (both actual and alleged) and marital
the film softpedals these elements, as much by adding to the
text as by subtracting from it.
Kerr plays a sensitive college student who prefers the arts to sports; as such,
he is ridiculed as a “sissy” by his classmates and hounded mercilessly by his
macho-obsessed father Edward Andrews.
Only student Darryl Hickman treats
Kerr with any decency, perceiving that being different is not the same as being
Deborah Kerr, the wife of testosterone-driven housemaster
Leif Erickson, likewise does her best to understand rather than condemn John for
his “strangeness.” Desperate to prove his manhood, John is about to visit town
trollop Norma Crane.
Though nothing really happens, the girl cries
“rape!” Both John’s father and Deborah’s husband adopt a thick-eared “Boys will
be boys” attitude, which only exacerbates John’s insecurities.
pity for John and at the same time resenting her own husband’s boorishness,
Deborah offers her own body to the mixed-up boy.
“When you speak of this
in future years…and you will…be kind.” With this classic closing line, the
original stage production of Tea and Sympathy came to an end.
censorship interference, MGM insisted upon an epilogue, indicating that Deborah
Kerr deeply regretted her “wrong” behavior. -- allmovie
Cast: Deborah Kerr,
John Kerr, Leif Erickson, Edward Andrews, Darryl Hickman, Norma Crane, Dean
Jones, Jacqueline deWit, Tom Laughlin, Ralph Votrian, Steven Terrell, Kip King,
Jimmy Hayes, Richard Tyler, Don Burnett
About this movie
Title: Tea and Sympathy (1956)
Directed by: Vincente Minnelli
Date of birth: February 28, 1903, Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
Date of death: July 25, 1986, Beverly Hills, California, U.S
Writing credits: Robert Anderson
Music: Adolph Deutsch
Country: United States
Runtime: 122 min.
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