The Children's Hour

Watch The Children's Hour

"One simple lie destroyed everything they had."
  • NR
  • 1961
  • 1 hr 47 min
  • 7.8  (18,143)
  • 49

The Children's Hour is a drama film from 1961 directed by William Wyler and starring Audrey Hepburn, Shirley MacLaine, and James Garner. The film is based on a play of the same name by Lillian Hellman and tells the story of two female teachers whose lives are turned upside down when a student tells a lie that destroys their reputations.

Karen Wright (Audrey Hepburn) and Martha Dobie (Shirley MacLaine) are best friends who run a girls' boarding school in New England. They are dedicated to their work and to each other, and everything seems to be going well until one of their students, Mary Tilford, tells her grandmother that she has seen Karen and Martha in a compromising position. Mary's grandmother is a wealthy and influential woman who spreads the rumor throughout the community, causing a scandal and ruining the teachers' reputations.

Karen and Martha try to defend themselves, but nobody believes them. They slowly realize that their lives are being destroyed and that they may lose everything they have worked for. James Garner plays the role of Joe Cardin, a young doctor who is in love with Karen and tries to help her and Martha clear their names.

The film deals with themes such as homophobia, the power of rumors and lies, and the strength of female friendships. It was controversial in its time for its portrayal of lesbianism, which was still a taboo topic in Hollywood. The film was also criticized for its ending, which some people felt was too conservative and unrealistic.

Audrey Hepburn gives a powerful performance as Karen, a woman who is betrayed by someone she trusted and whose life is turned upside down by a lie. Shirley MacLaine is equally impressive as Martha, a woman who is deeply in love with her best friend and who has to watch her suffer because of a false accusation. James Garner provides a romantic subplot that adds some lightness to the film and gives the audience a little bit of hope in the midst of all the drama.

The Children's Hour is masterfully directed by William Wyler, who creates a tense and emotional atmosphere throughout the film. The use of black and white cinematography adds to the film's dramatic impact and gives it a classic feel that has endured over the years.

Overall, The Children's Hour is a powerful and poignant film that deals with important themes that are still relevant today. It is a testament to the strength of female friendships and the devastating consequences of lies and rumors. Audrey Hepburn, Shirley MacLaine, and James Garner give memorable performances that make this film a classic of Hollywood cinema.

The Children's Hour is a 1961 drama with a runtime of 1 hour and 47 minutes. It has received mostly poor reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 7.8 and a MetaScore of 49.

The Children's Hour
Where to Watch The Children's Hour
The Children's Hour is available to watch free on Pluto TV and Tubi TV. It's also available to stream, download and buy on demand at Apple TV, Amazon, Google Play and Vudu. Some platforms allow you to rent The Children's Hour for a limited time or purchase the movie and download it to your device.
  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 47 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    7.8  (18,143)
  • Metascore