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The Children's Hour

1 rating: 5.0
Classics and Drama movie directed by William Wyler

A child's lie has life-shattering consequences in this Oscar®-nominated* daring adaptation of Lillian Hellman's celebrated play from legendary director William Wyler. Starring Academy Award® winners** Audrey Hepburn and Shirley MacLaine and … see full wiki

Director: William Wyler
Genre: Classics, Drama
1 review about The Children's Hour

"There's always been something wrong...but I never knew what it was until all this happened..."

  • Jan 28, 2009
Based on Lillian Hellman's controversial play (which had previously been filmed in 1936 as "These Three"), THE CHILDREN'S HOUR is a solid piece of dramatic filmmaking. Audrey Hepburn and Shirley MacLaine offer some of their most unguarded, riveting performances.

College chums Martha Dobie (Shirley MacLaine) and Karen Wright (Audrey Hepburn) have opened a small boarding school for girls in the idyllic New England countryside. Just beginning to break even, their joy is further elated when Karen's boyfriend, Dr. Cardin (James Garner) finally pops the question. But when trouble-making brat Mary Tilford (Karen Balkin) starts accusing her teachers of strange, "unnatural" conduct with each other, Martha and Karen's entire world comes crashing down...

THE CHILDREN'S HOUR, the story of how one malicious lie can destroy a whole life, is riveting from start to finish. It has always amazed me why Shirley MacLaine especially never received an Academy Award for her performance. It's a real heartbreaker. The rest of the cast follows suit, including Fay Bainter in her last major movie role; and Miriam Hopkins (who played the role of Martha in "These Three") as Martha's meddlesome Aunt Lily. Karen Balkin does such a great job at playing the hideous sociopath-in-training child terror Mary, that the audience simply wants to reach into the screen and throttle her! She's right up there with Patty McCormack's Rhoda in "The Bad Seed".

Beg, borrow or steal a copy of THE CHILDREN'S HOUR. You'll be eternally grateful that you did.

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