The Browning Version - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Browning Version Reviews

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February 11, 2018
I really liked this movie, a realistic take on regret. Redgrave is wonderful.
November 7, 2016
The first part is a bit too cliched, but then the film improves somewhat at the end.
½ June 2, 2016
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.

4.5 out of 5
March 13, 2016
In despicable literary characters such as Ebenezer Scrooge, and here, Michael Redgrave's Andrew Crocker-Harris, it is necessary--perhaps even more so now than ever before--to see the triumph of the human spirit and the soul-cleansing power of redemption and forgiveness (both in others and of ourselves).

This is the quintessential document of such a human transformation.
March 13, 2016
In despicable literary characters such as Ebenezer Scrooge, and here, Michael Redgrave's Andrew Crocker-Harris, it is necessary--perhaps even more so now than ever before--to see the triumph of the human spirit and the soul-cleansing power of redemption and forgiveness (both in others and of ourselves).

This is the quintessential document of such a human transformation.
October 6, 2015
Anthony Asquith's adaptation of Terrence Rattigan's play (from the playwright's own screenplay) is a case study of one man's failure and self-loathing. The trick that Asquith pulls off is to wring a measure of sympathy and feeling from viewers for a man who has clearly let himself and those who depended on him down. The fact that the man is a teacher (at a British public boarding school) makes his failure that much more impactful and public. Although it is never addressed directly, one has to wonder how Crocker-Harris moved from point A (a brilliant scholar of the classics with a bright future in front of him) to Point B (a hollowed-out disciplinarian who has ceased to inspire students nor to care). Fortunately, there are no flashbacks here but just Michael Redgrave in torment, as he slowly withdraws from his state of denial and allows himself a full dose of self-realization and, yes, self-loathing, upon the occasion of his retirement due to illness. Perhaps the most poignant moments in the film come about when we are made privy to Crocker-Harris's marriage and his wife's total and utter disregard for his emotions (she openly cheats on him and viciously and cruelly denies him dignity). We may feel pity but also a sense of grieving for his loss (of everything). Only a glimmer of hope remains that self-realization can lead to some sort of resurrection --but Asquith wisely keeps that out of the frame.
November 25, 2013
This is one great play/movie I didn't know what to expect and I got what I was not expecting. This has a quality, a script that is mesmerising, Michael Redgrave is exceptional and the direction is just holds it still and never goes into sentiment. A film about loss and dignity and respect and the changes of life and ones thinking of life.
½ October 5, 2013
Michael Redgrave is perfect as Andrew Crocker-Harris, the retiring classics master of a boys' school who is deeply dissatisfied with his life in this powerful movie.
½ July 20, 2013
I didn't expect this film to be Sharknado, and sure enough, after 20mins, I was close to falling asleep. Luckily, the plot picks up quite intriguingly near the middle, Redgrave's acting is brilliant throughout and by the end, I was almost on tenterhooks. Only 'almost' though as despite all the clever parallels with Agamemnon's story and emotional side to the story, not enough actually happens with the plot. Although genuinely moving, I found the ending rather unsatisfactory both in promise and in realism. 7/10 for me.
November 4, 2012
Another piece of Ikiru..
½ October 22, 2012
Monday, October 22, 2012

(1951) The Browning Version

Based on a play written by Terence Rattigan who was also credited for providing the screenplay for this movie starring Michael Redgrave as Andrew Crocker-Harris, a teacher of many years but is on the final day of retirement so he expects. And as a result of his known shallow like exterior since he's not like any other instructor, everything comes out on full circle for he is very strict with his students and is conservatively full of pride. His behaviour is eccentric which no one understands his jokes but him, and while some of his fellow teachers exploit this, his wife loathes him so much that she's willing to cheat on him, showcasing his attempts at continuing this expected poise also has it's limits.

I have had instructors who act just like this character in which the instructor's jokes are funnny only to the person telling it, and that they're relatively boring and shallow but not as extreme but upon watching this film gives me a better understanding about them.

3.5 out of 4
March 14, 2012
A truly impeccable, touching story of despair dissolving into hope because of the actions of a single person. This is a perfect movie. Perfect.
March 3, 2012
Dans le plus pur style anglais, ce film apriori aussi austère que son personnage principal, s'avère être un fleuron du cinà (C)ma britanique malheureusement un peu oublià (C). Aucun signe extà (C)rieur ne semble pouvoir faire de ce film le chef d'oeuvre qu'il est. Et c'est justement parce qu'Anthony Asquith parvient a capter l'attention du spectateur sans artifice durant tout le film, qu'il faut y voir la marque d'un grand film et d'une leçon de cinà (C)ma. Une retenue dans la mise en scène que l'on retrouvera dans les meilleurs films de James Ivory qui semble être le digne hà (C)ritier de la touche d'Anthony Asquith.
September 10, 2011
This film is as blunt as a doorknob, but the dialogue, cinematography, and acting is some of the best ever.
November 4, 2010
It might work better on the stage, but there's no denying Redgrave's performance.
½ September 25, 2010
A gentle, beautifully understated and moving story about a death and a resurrection of a soul set in a 1940s public school.

Andrew Crocker-Harris (Michael Redgrave) is a burnt out excuse for a teacher; his students fear and dislike him, calling him the "Himmler of the lower fifth?; his peers disrespect him; his superiors do not feel his many years of service warrant a pension. His wife is long past mere disregard and has taken to slow torture by way of nagging and belittling him at every opportunity. Mr Crocker-Harris is not oblivious to any of this, but he is at a loss of what to do; his answer is therefore stoical resignation to the status quo. This all changes with one pupil's small gesture -- the boy gives Himmler Of The Lower Fifth a Browning's translation of Agememnon as a parting present. This moves Andrew Crocker-Harris to tears and inspires him to deliver the film?s climactic speech. The speech had me reaching for a box of Kleenex.

Like every other adaptation of a play, this film is driven by strong performances, the most notable of which is that of Michael Redgrave; it earned him the Best Actor award at Cannes Film Festival. The Browning Version is a great film, definitely worth a look.
August 19, 2010
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.
August 7, 2010
Powerful story of failure and measured redemption. Redgrave is tremendous. How do movies this great slip under the radar for so long?
June 28, 2010
A glimpse of school life in 1950's England. I'm so in love with this movie. An instant favourite of mine. And to think I had never heard of it in my life! Witty, charming, touching and smart. A real gem. They don't make them like this anymore.
½ May 16, 2010
after having my first impression of michael redgrave being the quick-tongued and clever character from the lady vanishes, it is hard for me to imagine now that i would so readily accept him in a role such as this. this is a film adapted from terence rattigans play about an older schoolmaster at a prestigious prep school in england who has elicited the scorn of his students for many years despite having a promising early career. his wife speaks to him with an acid tongue, his health is short, what little of a life he had was crumbling before him. until one student offers a gesture of true kindness. but even that cannot fix all his problems, thought it does seem to start him down a path toward understanding.

this is definitely the performance of a lifetime for redgrave, and there is absolutely no reason why more people havent seen this. it may sound like one of those bad inspirational teacher movies in the vein of dangerous minds, et al. it isnt. it is a true work of art and anthony asquith never was a more honest director than with this film. remarkable.
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