Sunday, 9 February 2020

Separate Tables


Separate Tables is a 1950s movie version of two of Terrence Rattigan one act plays of the same title.
It is essentially a study of nine different types of loneliness and centres its story among the singletons that frequent a small genteel English hotel following the war.
It's a powerful film of a powerful play and the cast Rita Hayworth, Burt Lancaster, David Niven, Deborah Kerr, Wendy Hiller all play at the very top of their game
The main storyline has a retired and lonely major ( Niven) outed as a fraud and a fairly unsuccessful dirty old man. The other guests are reluctantly organised into agreeing with a bitter old widow (an odious  Gladys Cooper) that the major should be asked to leave the hotel but before he is about to go, the Major has to run the gauntlet of the breakfast dining room where the residents are gathered at their own, particular isolated separate Tables.
After one of the party breaks ranks and greets the shamed Major, gradually the others , including Cooper's neurotic daughter Sybil ( Deborah Kerr) join in, and film is left with the gentle optimism  of the kindness of ordinary people.
It's a lovely ending to a rather sad film

34 comments:

  1. I think that movie sounds really interesting. Will have to check it out.

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    1. Do...it's an interesting movie , before it's time

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  2. I quite like movies of that era. They managed to be more thoughtful, somehow.

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  3. Yes I would enjoy this too John-I may of heard of it.When we find out about people's lives there is usually an explanation of their undesirable behaviour - but whether they repent or not I'm not sure x

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  4. Ordinary people truly are kind, especially on the outside. There's a lot they may be thinking but not saying because of kindness, and I've grown to appreciate that. -Kate

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    1. He film shows kindness has to be inspired and led

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  5. Sounds fascinating

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  6. I love these old movies so much and I can't believe this is one I have not seen! Thank you John, I will look this one up.

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  7. Sounds like the template for "Fawlty Towers"!

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    1. My thoughts exactly!! That photo looks like the Fawlty Towers dining room - just the memory makes me laugh. I realize it wasn't a funny movie but it was a very funny TV show.

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    2. I think you may be right. I suspect humour and pathos are linked so closely with these sad kind of characters

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  8. Anonymous12:38 am

    So glad that you recognized this film which has never gotten the attention it deserves. What a wonderful cast, all delivering outstanding performances, especially Gladys Cooper and Wendy Fuller and Rita Hayworth who could do anything.

    I am guessing you saw this onTCM?

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    1. Yes. Niven and hiller did win oscars for their roles

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  9. I haven't seen it for decades; a wonderful film. The heyday of drama turned into film; and filled with superb actors.

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  10. Rattigan was such a brilliant playwright.

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    1. Yes. It's only in recent years that he's started being re-assessed, and is probably now rated as one of the true 'greats'

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  11. I need to find that movie.

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  12. What a cast, I haven't seen this film but must !

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  13. Those tablecloths require pressing.

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  14. the bane of being a full time carer is no theatre no cinema no exhibitions but then i now have no money to go anywhere ..lol ..life is very boring

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    1. Understood and i sympathise ..luckily this gem was on tv

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    2. I have discovered the joy of Talking Pictures on free TV theres some real gems on their

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  15. Good grief John - it's a long time since i saw this film.

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  16. What a fantastic cast!

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  17. I watched it on Saturday also John...I was surprised to see how young the 'aging' Rita Hayworth has become since my last viewing (probably 20 years ago)

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    1. She was heavily suffering from dementia during the filming of the movie

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  18. Thanks for the recommendation. It's on tomorrow (Tue 11 Feb) at 4.40pm on Sony MOvies Classic.

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  19. I saw this on tv ages ago, but barely remember it. Thanks for the reminder. Time to see it again.

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  21. Hi hun, It's funny how standards, films and people have changed over the years.I still love seeing the carry on films with their inuendoes which by todays standards are very tame! hugs goldensinflowerx

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