The Browning Version (1951) - Rotten Tomatoes

The Browning Version (1951)

The Browning Version (1951)

The Browning Version




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

The Browning Version Trailers & Photos

Movie Info

Michael Redgrave gives his greatest performance as Andrew Crocker-Harris, a boarding-school teacher who realizes that his life may be a failure, in this powerful adaptation of Terence Rattigan's play with a screenplay by Rattigan himself. Poor health forces Crocker-Harris to give up his teaching position after years of thankless service and scorn from his students and colleagues. His marriage to Millie (Jean Kent) is also in free fall, as his wife is openly having an affair with the school's chemistry teacher, Hunter (Nigel Patrick). The sensitivity of one student (Brian Smith) breaks through Crocker-Harris's reserved British exterior, but it takes the final departure of his wife, right before the school's graduation exercises, to wake him up once and for all. He discards his prepared speech and speaks openly to the assembled students, delivering a moving apology for having failed them as their teacher. The film's rich montage of incident and character detail builds to intense emotional heights that make this version of +The Browning Version a classic.more
Rating: Unrated
Genre: Drama, Classics
Directed By:
Written By: Terence Rattigan
In Theaters:
On DVD: Jun 28, 2005
Criterion Collection


Michael Redgrave
as Andrew Crocker-Harri...
Jean Kent
as Millie Crocker-Harri...
Nigel Patrick
as Frank Hunter
Bill Travers
as Fletcher
Ivan Samson
as Lord Baxter
Josephine Middleton
as Mrs. Frobisher
Peter Jones
as Carstairs
Sarah Lawson
as Betty Carstairs
Harold E. Scott
as Rev. Williamson
Judith Furse
as Mrs. Williamson
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for The Browning Version

Critic Reviews for The Browning Version

All Critics (17) | Top Critics (4)

The role of the retiring master is not an easy one, but a prize in the right hands. Michael Redgrave fills it with distinction.

Full Review… | March 26, 2009
Top Critic

Worth watching for Redgrave's powerfully detailed performance as the schoolmaster.

Full Review… | June 24, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

What begins as an anti-Goodbye, Mr. Chips ends, thanks to some psychological point stretching, as an imitation of it.

Full Review… | January 10, 2004
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

The schoolmaster to whom our pity is drawn is a pretty weak and lukewarm individual, hardly fit to be a teacher of growing boys -- even a teacher of classical languages, which he is.

Full Review… | May 20, 2003
New York Times
Top Critic

It's a blues pic for teachers that lays down some hope in the end.

Full Review… | April 14, 2010
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

It's a remarkable piece of writing by Terence Rattigan, the great English playwright, and great direction by Anthony Asquith to drag us through such an arid landscape and keep us interested, involved and finally moved

Full Review… | November 8, 2008
Urban Cinefile

Audience Reviews for The Browning Version


a devastating character study with superb performance by michael redgrave. the antithesis of goodbye mr. chips

Stella Dallas

Super Reviewer

The film can drag at parts, but the end was really moving and made up for the rest of the film. I still think a lot about Redgrave's ending speech.


There's no shortage of horrible movies about teachers who use offbeat and heartwarming techniques to instill a passion for learning. But it's rare to see a story about the opposite: the stoic, demanding, condescending taskmaster who no one likes. And rarer still is a story that can make you feel sympathy for such a man. The entire cast is good, but it's Redgrave who really shines, expertly displaying the heart behind a heartless man. A nearly flawless film.

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