The Browning Version

Fabulous Movie !

A heavy one, I should say. About a teacher in a school who has problems in teaching as well as problems at home.

Michael Redgrave delivers an outstanding performance as the teacher who is forced to go into early retirement, and also faces the prospect of losing his pension. He has a difficult relationship with his wife, who is carrying on an affair with another teacher.

The pupil who gives him the gift of a Greek tragedy book makes the day (!) or the film, as he touches the raw nerves of the teacher who breaks down and cries upon receiving the gift.

This is a really complex movie, which culminates with a moving speech by the teacher in front of the school assembly. It is a great apology speech for having failed the students over the years. The teacher is driven to this speech by various factors, not the least of which is his failing marriage.

In the end, you think about this movie – that is the biggest tribute to such a classic movie – usually we don’t think about the impact of movies and just move on. Not with this movie. It is an impactful and emotional movie which makes one sit up and empathize with the misery of the teacher who is hit on all sides. Poor thing !

I liked the movie, as it made me fixated to the TV – I did not even get up for a glass of water, which tells me that I did not want to miss anything which transpired. Great movie from the Fifties – I would look for more like this one.


Vijay Srinivasan
11th August 2013


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