Separate Tables


Separate Tables

Critics Consensus

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Total Count: 14


Audience Score

User Ratings: 1,339
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Movie Info

Based on Terence Rattigan's play, Separate Tables is about a number of characters and their adventures at a British seaside hotel. Among the guests are an alleged war hero (David Niven), a timid spinster (Deborah Kerr) and her domineering mother (Gladys Cooper), and a divorced couple (Burt Lancaster, Rita Hayworth) trying to re-ignite their romance despite the presence of his mistress (Wendy Hiller). All of the characters' lives become intertwined in the course of the film as the story examines love affairs and secrets. Separate Tables is a fine, textured drama, filled with terrific performances and was nominated for several Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Actress (Deborah Kerr), Best Actor (David Niven), Best Supporting Actress (Wendy Hiller), Best Screenplay From Another Medium, Best Cinematography and Best Music. Niven and Hiller won Oscars for the film.


David Niven
as Major Pollack
Wendy Hiller
as Miss Pat Cooper
Rita Hayworth
as Ann Shankland
Burt Lancaster
as John Malcolm
Deborah Kerr
as Sibyl Railton-Bell
Gladys Cooper
as Mrs. Railton-Bell
Cathleen Nesbitt
as Lady Matheson
Felix Aylmer
as Mr. Fowler
Rod Taylor
as Charles
May Hallatt
as Miss Meachum
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Critic Reviews for Separate Tables

All Critics (14) | Fresh (10) | Rotten (4)

  • It seems the perfect vehicle for social realism; but somehow it is not real.

    Jul 19, 2018 | Full Review…
  • How do you assemble a wonderful ensemble and then waste their talents? Here's an example.

    Aug 15, 2011 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…
  • The well-made play and once well-thought of film seems to be lifeless when viewed today.

    Jun 1, 2011 | Rating: C | Full Review…
  • Terence Rattigan's old-fashioned melodrama is well-acted by the entire ensemble. Surprisingly, it was nominated for Best Picture and garnered Oscars for David Nivel as a Major with fake identity and Wendy Hiller as the reserved hotel manager.

    Jul 24, 2008 | Rating: B | Full Review…
  • Very strong, controversial (for 1958) drama starring Hayworth, Kerr.

    Mar 22, 2008 | Rating: 4/5
  • Drama com excelentes atuações (especialmente de Niven e Kerr), Vidas Separadas possui roteiro enxuto que extrai o máximo de sua galeria de personagens patéticos que buscam a dignidade.

    Apr 22, 2003 | Rating: 5/5

Audience Reviews for Separate Tables

  • Mar 13, 2014
    Niven once mentioned in his autobiography that he was never a great actor but he really comes to the fore in this tale of strangers coming together at a hotel initially separated but eventually interacting in a marvelous way.
    John B Super Reviewer
  • Jun 04, 2013
    Little more than a glorified soap opera, one that belittles gossips and gossiping while diving headlong into the same, thereby allowing one both the pleasure of looking down at others as well as the pleasure of looking down at people who are low enough to take pleasure in such common and tawdry filth. Or, in a word, British. All the this is raised slightly by a super cast, simply enjoyable to watch.
    Kevin M. W Super Reviewer
  • Jan 24, 2009
    It is interesting to see some of the better movies of the 50's. I only watched this as the TV guide rated it 4 *'s. Can you imagine "living" at a seaside hotel for four years the way Major Pollock did? The movie was fine. When you "live" in a hotel for a long time, and in high society Britain, everybody knows everyone else's business. This can make for an interesting story. I was amazed to read however that two of the ensemble of actors won Academy Awards,
    Red L Super Reviewer
  • May 15, 2007
    A bit stagy, but performances from Kerr, Niven, Lancaster, Hayward and Hiller plus superior camerawork elevate this into the stratosphere.
    Anthony V Super Reviewer

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