The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie


The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie

Critics Consensus

No consensus yet.



Total Count: 17


Audience Score

User Ratings: 4,821
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Movie Info

It is the thirties and Jean Brodie, a teacher in her prime, takes in her new class at the Marcia Blaine School for Girls in Edinburgh, Scotland. She gathers her girls around, clearly picks her favorites and lets them know that they are the "crème de la crème." While she is ostensibly their teacher, tasked with teaching them history and literature, she instead teaches them of life, or so she thinks.


Maggie Smith
as Jean Brodie
Robert Stephens
as Teddy Lloyd
Celia Johnson
as Miss MacKay
Gordon Jackson
as Gordon Lowther
Jane Carr
as Mary McGregor
Lavinia Lang
as Emily Carstairs
Margo Cunningham
as Miss Campbell
Isla Cameron
as Miss McKenzie
Rona Anderson
as Miss Lockhart
Ann Way
as Miss Gaunt
Molly Weir
as Miss Alison Kerr
Helena Gloag
as Miss Kerr
John Dunbar
as Mr. Burrage
Kristin Hatfield
as Schoolgirl
Hilary Berlin
as Schoolgirl
Jennifer Irvine
as Schoolgirl
Gillian Evans
as Schoolgirl
Janette Sattler
as Schoolgirl
Diane Robillard
as Schoolgirl
Antonia Moss
as Schoolgirl
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Critic Reviews for The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie

All Critics (17) | Top Critics (3)

  • Maggie Smith's tour-de-force performance as a school-teacher slipping into spinsterhood is one of several notable achievements in this sentimental and macabre personal tragedy.

    Jun 12, 2008 | Full Review…

    Variety Staff

    Top Critic
  • Maggie Smith is handed a part in the eccentric, trite, purposeful and finally pathetic Jean Brodie which allows her to play to all her considerable strengths.

    Jun 24, 2006 | Full Review…

    Derek Adams

    Time Out
    Top Critic
  • Maggie Smith in one of those technically stunning, emotionally distant performances that the British are so damn good at.

    Jan 1, 2000 | Full Review…
  • Growing up and leaving our childhoods behind is such a furious tangle of triumph and heartbreak, and this seemingly innocuous story about a capricious teacher and her doting girls captures it all so succinctly, and so beautifully.

    Jun 25, 2019 | Rating: 4.5/5 | Full Review…
  • As is so often the case, you can't help thinking that Oscar voters are easily impressed. Watching the film today, Maggie Smith's flamboyant acting looks awfully hammy,

    Mar 10, 2011 | Full Review…
  • Maggie Smith deservedly won the 1969 Best Actress Oscar for playing a charismatic, authoritarian teacher in a Scottish girls school in the early 1930s.

    Jan 1, 2011 | Rating: B+ | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie

  • Feb 10, 2014
    Interesting how Maggie Smith got into the older roles at such a young age. She gives a wonderful and memorable performance every time out though.
    John B Super Reviewer
  • Dec 12, 2012
    I hope Maggie Smith isn't crestfallen to have me say "wow, I didn't realize she WAS so beautiful," but she was definitely a beauty in this movie. Not that she isn't now, but there are no qualifiers on the younger her. Her acting and sheer presence carried the movie which was rather ruderless--although I guess we were waiting to see when she would get the az and I loved hearing everyone's Scottish brogues....mai leetle gels. Indeed!
    Bathsheba M Super Reviewer
  • Nov 20, 2012
    It's a lot like Mona Lisa Smile; only far better.
    Marcus W Super Reviewer
  • Jun 30, 2012
    The movie cleverly examines the dark side of the inspirational teacher narrative but more importantly, it exposes the dangers of simply embracing modernity for its own sake. Also, Smith is perfection in this.
    Alec B Super Reviewer

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