The Prime Of Miss Jean Brodie (1969)

RONALD NEAME

Bil’s rating (out of 5):   BBBB.5

United Kingdom, 1969.  Twentieth Century-Fox Productions.  Screenplay by , based on her play, adapted from the novel by .  Cinematography by .  Produced by .  Music by .  Production Design by .  Costume Design by , .  Film Editing by .  

Maggie Smith earned her international reputation in this excellent British comedy-drama. She plays an eccentric Scottish teacher at an all-girls’ school in Edinburgh who pushes her pupils towards impractical passions and away from the minor concerns of everyday life. She herself has a personal life which is pretty messy, what with her many romances with other faculty members (including then real-life husband ) and inability to figure out her feelings for anybody including herself. Her wayward teachings, while well-intentioned, end up getting the better of her when one of her students () decides to put a stop to her. The drama crackles, and Smith gives a tour de force performance that commands the screen every minute she graces it. Adapted by Jay Presson Allen from her equally successful stage play.

Academy Award:  Best Actress (Maggie Smith)
Nomination: Best Song (“Jean”)

Cannes Film Festival:  In Competition

Golden Globe Award Nominations:  Best Picture-Drama; Best Actress-Drama (Maggie Smith)

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