The Browning Version

1951

The Browning Version

Critics Consensus

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89%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 19

95%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 740
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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.

Cast

Michael Redgrave
as Andrew Crocker-Harris
Jean Kent
as Millie Crocker-Harris
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
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Critic Reviews for The Browning Version

All Critics (19) | Top Critics (4) | Fresh (17) | Rotten (2)

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

    Mar 26, 2009 | Full Review…

    Variety Staff

    Variety
    Top Critic
  • Worth watching for Redgrave's powerfully detailed performance as the schoolmaster.

    Jun 24, 2006

    Tom Milne

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

    Jan 10, 2004 | Full Review…
  • 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.

    May 20, 2003 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…
  • The year's top acting job, beyond any doubt-beyond any doubt of mine, at least-was that of Michael Redgrave as the despairing schoolmaster in The Browning Version, a superior item from Britain.

    Nov 25, 2019 | Full Review…
  • When you have Michael Redgrave giving one of the best performances in cinematic history on top of it all, there's not much else left to say other than: bravo.

    Jun 10, 2019 | Rating: 4.5/5 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The Browning Version

  • Apr 08, 2009
    a devastating character study with superb performance by michael redgrave. the antithesis of goodbye mr. chips
    Stella D Super Reviewer
  • Dec 27, 2008
    almost a 4. it started off ever so well and slightly petered out towards the end but it was still a very decent film. i'd like to watch it again, less interrupted than i was on first viewing. it was almost a classic. almost entered into my fav movies list. nigel patrick was as always believeable as usual as frank hunter yet it was michael redgrave who stands out with his portrayal as the bitter crocker-harris, a teacher who's forgotten but slowly remembering what it's all about. it's all too easy in life to forget to feel anything and it's very well portrayed here. yesterday i watched anthony asquiths "the importance of being earnest" and that wasn't bad if not a little too slow by the same director but this was miles better. very enjoyable indeed
    Sanity Assassin ! Super Reviewer

The Browning Version Quotes

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