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Barbara Vining (Glynis Johns) is seventeen-years-old and living with her family in a 1950s postwar English village. Her father, Henry (Walter Fitzgerald), is a newspaper journalist and mother, Vi (Megs Jenkins), a homemaker; her maiden aunt, Evelyn (Pamela Brown) also lives in their home. Barbara attends a co-educational comprehensive school. And, for the first time in her life, Barbara is in love. The object of her affection is a sensitive and handsome gentleman, Stephen Barlow (Leo Genn), who teaches Latin to the graduating class at her school. Barlow is an Englishman, married to a beautiful, but very insecure and lonely American lady, Kay (Gene Tierney). Barbara disappears after a tutoring session at the Barlow home and is "in absentia" for three days. During that time, Stephen Barlow is asked to resign and nearly cautioned by the police, as rumors have run amok throughout the village. Many people, including his wife, are uncertain regarding what to think. Was it simply a case of ...Written by
"Personal Affair" is from Rank Films and stars Leo Genn, Gene Tierney, and Glynis Johns. Johns was nearly 30 when she played Barbara Vining, a student in love with her teacher, Stephen Barlow (Genn). Stephen has Barbara come to his home for tutoring; while she's there, Barlow's wife Kay confronts Barbara about her feelings. Embarrassed and upset, Barbara runs from the house. A distressed Stephen calls her at home and arranges to meet her in an out of the way area. When Barbara doesn't come home, suspicion falls on Stephen.
This is a really neat and suspenseful film, thanks to its good cast, writing, and direction. The audience (this audience anyway) isn't really sure what went on between teacher and student, if anything, so it keeps you guessing as to what happened, and the gossip condemns Barlow.
Pamela Brown is terrific as Barbara's bitter aunt who seems to get a lot of pleasure out of the suffering of others; Walter Fitzgerald and Megs Jenkin are wonderful as Barbara's agonized parents. Johns is very sweet and comes off as very young and innocent. Leo Genn is always good. Tierney has probably the most interesting role as a beautiful, somewhat snobby woman who nevertheless is insecure. She does it very well.
Well worth seeing.
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