Separate Tables (1958)

DELBERT MANN

Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBBB

USA, 1958.   Hill-Hecht-Lancaster Productions, Clifton Productions.   Screenplay by , , based on a play by Terence Rattigan.   Cinematography by .   Produced by .   Music by .   Production Design by .   Costume Design by , .   Film Editing by , .  

Enormously enjoyable ensemble drama that takes place at a sleepy seaside resort run by Wendy Hiller. The many guests of the inn interact for two hours, sometimes successfully, sometimes not as the drama proceeds. Burt Lancaster is having an affair with Hiller, but is thrown into confusion when ex-wife  (in one of her last notable roles) shows up asking for another chance. Deborah Kerr (in an excellent performance) is a painfully shy old maid travelling with her mother. David Niven plays a lonely ex-colonel with a spotted past who strikes up a bond with Kerr, much to the chagrin of her conservative mother (). Low key and lovely, and very entertaining.

Academy Awards:  Best Actor (David Niven); Best Supporting Actress (Wendy Hiller)
Nominations: Best Picture; Best Actress (Deborah Kerr); Best Adapted Screenplay; Best Cinematography-BW; Best Score of a Dramatic or Comedy Picture

Golden Globe Awards:  Best Actor-Drama (David Niven)
Nominations: Best Picture-Drama; Best Actress-Drama (Deborah Kerr); Best Supporting Actress (Wendy Hiller); Best Director (Delbert Mann)

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