Tea And Sympathy
T. It.: Té E Simpatia; Sog.: Basato Sull’opera Omonima Di Robert Anderson; Scen.: Robert Anderson; F.: John Alton; Mo.: Ferris Webster; Scgf.: William A. Horning, Edward Car- Fagno, Edwin B. Willis, Keogh Gleason; Cost.: Helen Rose; Mu.: Adolph Deutsch; Su.: Wesley C. Miller; Int.: Deborah Kerr (Laura Reynolds), John Kerr (Tom Robinson Lee), Leif Erickson (Bill Reynolds), Edward Andrews (Herb Lee), Darryl Hickman (Al Thompson), Norma Crane (Ellie Martin), Dean Jones (Ollie), Jacqueline De Wit (Lilly Sears), Tom Laughlin (Ralph), Ralph Votrian (Steve), Steven Terrell (Phil), Kip King (Ted), Jimmy Hayes (Henry), Richard Tyler (Roger), Don Burnett (Vic); Prod.: Pandro S. Berman Per Metro Goldwyn Mayer; Pri. Pro.: 27 Settembre 1956; 35mm. D.: 122′. Col.
The subject matter could (…) seem audacious for the time period because it approached (without getting too close and in “its latent state”) homosexuality. The Breen Office, however, demanded a prologue and an epilogue, in which the adulterous woman admitted to having suffered the consequences of her act, to be added. In watching it today the “message” of the play (and of the film), no matter how generous it may be (…), appears presented rather schematically, and Anderson’s dialogues are not particularly brilliant. Yet even if the controversial implications are dated (Minnelli attacked group conformity with much more subtlety and virulence with Van Gogh), its melodramatic aspects are a sure force and once again Minnelli uses the film to focus on one of his favourite subjects. Tea and Sympathy shows the war between two seemingly irreconcilable worlds. On one hand the manly world of the college-preparatory school, where students and professors are united and brotherly in their physical exertion and in the defence of exclusively masculine virtues. On the other hand the feminine world: the wives of the said professors, united in their crocheting, their gossip and their domestic duties. But really both of these worlds are a part of the same social class, in which appearance is everything: the most important thing is demonstrating one’s physical strength, showing one’s domestic capacities. The inhabitants of these two worlds are so preoccupied with the exterior that they have nothing more profound, sincere or interior to say to one another. The two worlds, in fact, are actual one and the same».
Franpois Guérif, Vincente Minnelii, Edilig, Paris, 1984