The Browning Version (1951) - Rotten Tomatoes

The Browning Version (1951)

The Browning Version (1951)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

The Browning Version 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.
Classics , Drama
Directed By:
In Theaters:
Criterion Collection

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Michael Redgrave
as Andrew Crocker-Harris
Jean Kent
as Millie Crocker-Harris
Nigel Patrick
as Frank Hunter
Ronald Howard
as Gilbert
Brian Smith
as Taplow
Bill Travers
as Fletcher
Paul Medland
as Wilson
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
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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.

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


Brilliant work by all here. This is how slow burning powerful drama is done. A masterclass on tone, pitch, and subtlety. There is a clarity of revealing by layers in a well written pot boiler. The power of words to convey powerfully hidden emotions in polite society. Brilliant work by all. I was shocked when I saw the it was a stage play originally, bc it is enhanced by strong, lean cinematography. All the cylinders are firing here. A part of me wanted a touch more for the epilogue to fill it more completely, and it turns out the writer added what is now the ending. I still wanted more interaction to signify a step in the right direction beyond the speech which ends the play. Still a great work, I cant commend this enough for its controlled burn. Fascinating. 4.5 out of 5

Thomas Porter
Thomas Porter

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.

keith shively
keith shively

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

Stella Dallas
Stella Dallas

Super Reviewer

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