Tea and Sympathy [VHS]
Top Customer Reviews
TEA AND SYMPATHY is the story of Tom Lee, a young student at a boys' prep school. Tom is a loner, interested in music and literature, shy around women, and not much interested in conventional "masculine" pursuits. As a result, he is cruelly taunted by his classmates and the headmaster of his dormitory. The headmaster's wife, Laura, becomes determined to help Tom, in part due to memories of her own "unmasucline" first husband. Her efforts lead to conflict in her present marriage and to a final, dramatic act intended to save Tom from despair.
TEA AND SYMPATHY's author, Robert Anderson, said that the work is not really about homosexuality but about our society's tendency to exclude and persecute those who are different for whatever reason (a pertinent topic during the hysterical, "anti-Red" McCarthy era). Still, it is Tom's lack of "conspicuous" masculinity, his presumed homosexuality, that is the reason why he is treated so cruelly, and the play's and film's use of this subject matter made it highly controversial.
Is TEA AND SYMPATHY dated today? Perhaps. The film's performances are uneven--Deborah Kerr gives a lovely, sympathetic performance as Laura; John Kerr as Tom is good although a bit stiff and somewhat too old for his role; Leif Erickson as the headmaster is bombastic and overstated. The script contains a few lines that are unintentionally funny.Read more ›
I find myself watching this movie every time it airs on television and each time I feel I come away learning something new from it. I highly recommend buying the video.
At 25, John Kerr looks way too old to play Tom, but he's so ernest and pitiable that we can overlook that flaw. Deborah Kerr gives a stunning performance in a role that could have been sleezy in less delicate hands. A film showing a woman crossing all boundaries of propriety with a child was, no doubt, quite controversial in its time; now it is less shocking, more of a tender cautionary tale of two unhappy people who reach out to each other. It captures the heartache of being different and is quite a lovely movie.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Many of the reviews condemn the movie for its so-called dismissal of homosexuality ... saying that Tom must be "saved" from going down the path of homosexuality. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Sue C. Dees
Horrible take on a sensitive subject, a sensitive man. This should have a present day take, now that conventions would allow filmmakers to take on the subject more realistically... Read morePublished 9 months ago by jgus
Great movie. I had a hard time finding it. Wonderful to add to your collection.Published 15 months ago by Rose M. Riley
It's stiil very touching, but extremely dated. But censorship back then had a stranglehold on the arts in general. Read morePublished 17 months ago by addison de witt
This movie is about another time, another culture. Acting by John and Deborah Kerr is superb for a touchy subject..coming of age with a older woman. Read morePublished 22 months ago by David E. Crownover
This is a wonderful film and the misunderstandings between parents, their children, and children's peers. John Kerr and Debora Kerr are both wonderful actors. Read morePublished 23 months ago by BEAVER
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