Film Friday Bonus Post: The Childrens Hour

I’ve already done my movie selection for this week, but got to thinking about some events that I’ve witnessed this week and sums up my thoughts without having to write a long post about it.


The above title was written by Lillian Hellman as a play in the early thirties, there is also the original film version called We Three wich starred Merle Oberon, Miriam Hopkins and Joel Mcrea

The Children’s Hour starred Audrey Hepburn Shirley MacLaine and James Garner

(Miriam Hopkins had a role as the aunt in the 1961 version)

Both movies directed by William Wyler.



The film plot follows Karen and Martha opening a small private school, and Martha’s aunt an ex travelling actress who helps out.

The women run a successful establishment save for one particularly rebellious student Mary, who is the granddaughter of the wealthiest woman in town, who is also one of the schools supporters.

The child Mary is nasty and spoiled and seeks to create as much trouble for the young teachers as she possibly can, they in turn  are no longer willing to put up with her, so she tells her grandmother a lie about the teachers.

The lie being that the Karen and Martha are having an affair, which of course is not true but it reverberates throughtout  the small town in which they live and destroys the relationship between Karen and her suitor although he stands by them but he has doubts and of course wrecks the friendship and relationship between the two women.

They try to fight it but Mary found out that another school friend has been stealing and she blackmails her into reinforcing her lie.

Parents remove their children from the school and they face financial as well as personal ruin after they lose their court case, which is splashed all over the media rendering them unemployable.

They have no one to turn to except each other for support and shuffle around their school armed with the knowledge that they are innocent.

A chance discovery by Rosalies mother that she stole the bracelet and breaks down and tell her mother all including the lie who then tells Mary’s grandmother who finally then realises what she is and also the great wrong she has done to Karen and Martha.

the women of course are relieved but angry as their lives have been destroyed  no public apology will ever really restore their reputations.

Martha admits to Karen that it was true she did love her, but not what was deemed in the proper way, and she hangs herself.

The last funeral scenes were incredibly moving as Martha is laid to rest and you se Karen leaving neither looking left or right head held high as she passes by those she once thought of as friends and her lover and leaves.

In the original film they created a love triangle as lesbianism was not allowed to be portrayed on film during that time, and you see Karen with her young doctor and Martha leaves, knowing she loves him.

A lie can be a powerful living and breathing entity and when fed by whispers it can destroy all in its path.


About therabbitholez

I returned to this blog in September 2014, after a 2 year absence, due to depressive illness and homelessness. This journey charts the rocky road to recovery and my feelings about it, and getting a home together after losing everything, this too has been a rocky rocky, both things connected on many levels, but separate at the same time. If you want to know more please read my blog:) and comment on any blog you like I enjoy the interaction, and belong to a great community on here. Thanks for reading.:)
This entry was posted in Blog, Blogging, Film, Film Review and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.