7.3/10
2,093
52 user 18 critic

Tea and Sympathy (1956)

Approved | | Drama | 5 November 1956 (France)
Tom Lee is a sensitive boy of 17 whose lack of interest in the "manly" pursuits of sports, mountain climbing and girls labels him "sister-boy" at the college he is attending. Head master ... See full summary »

Director:

Vincente Minnelli

Writers:

Robert Anderson (screenplay), Robert Anderson (based on the play by)
Reviews
Won 1 Golden Globe. Another 2 nominations. See more awards »

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5/10 X  

Grace hastily marries a French aristocrat during WWII, but is separated by circumstance from him for almost nine years. And when reunited, Charles's philandering causes them to divorce and ... See full summary »

Director: Jean Negulesco
Stars: Deborah Kerr, Rossano Brazzi, Maurice Chevalier
The Hucksters (1947)
Drama | Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A World War II veteran wants to return to advertising on his own terms, but finds it difficult to be successful and maintain his integrity.

Director: Jack Conway
Stars: Clark Gable, Deborah Kerr, Sydney Greenstreet
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

When his fiancée Valentine dumps him, prominent lawyer Geoffrey Sherwood goes on a bender and winds up married to a stranger, Miriam Brady. They decide to give their marriage a chance. ... See full summary »

Director: Alfred E. Green
Stars: Bette Davis, Ian Hunter, Colin Clive
The Hard Way (1943)
Drama | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Embittered, ambitious Helen Chernen sees an opportunity to escape her drab small-town life by becoming a 'stage mother' to her musically-talented younger sister.

Director: Vincent Sherman
Stars: Ida Lupino, Joan Leslie, Dennis Morgan
Drama | Thriller | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A young Irish woman hates England so much she becomes a Nazi spy.

Director: Frank Launder
Stars: Deborah Kerr, Trevor Howard, Raymond Huntley
Union Depot (1932)
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Travelers of different and varied backgrounds meet and interact on one night in a metropolitan train station and its environs.

Director: Alfred E. Green
Stars: Douglas Fairbanks Jr., Joan Blondell, Guy Kibbee
Young Bess (1953)
Biography | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

The early life of Elizabeth I, from her childhood until her accession to the throne of England in 1558.

Director: George Sidney
Stars: Jean Simmons, Stewart Granger, Deborah Kerr
Jewel Robbery (1932)
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Crime | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A gentleman thief charms a Viennese baron's wife and also conducts a daring daylight robbery of a jewellers.

Director: William Dieterle
Stars: William Powell, Kay Francis, Helen Vinson
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A defrocked Episcopal clergyman leads a bus-load of middle-aged Baptist women on a tour of the Mexican coast and comes to terms with the failure haunting his life.

Director: John Huston
Stars: Richard Burton, Ava Gardner, Deborah Kerr
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

In war-torn London, Maurice Bendrix (Van Johnson) falls in love with neighbor Sarah Miles Deborah Kerr). They begin an illicit romance behind Sarah's husband's back. While war does not last... See full summary »

Director: Edward Dmytryk
Stars: Deborah Kerr, Van Johnson, John Mills
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

When a 16-year-old, neglected by his movie producer father, gets in trouble, his father doesn't believe his claim of self-defense.

Director: John Frankenheimer
Stars: James MacArthur, Kim Hunter, James Daly
Invitation (1952)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Always believing she had a happy marriage, a young wife's trust in her husband is shaken when she discovers that her father had paid him to marry her.

Director: Gottfried Reinhardt
Stars: Van Johnson, Dorothy McGuire, Ruth Roman
Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
Deborah Kerr ... Laura Reynolds
John Kerr ... Tom Robinson Lee
Leif Erickson ... Bill Reynolds
Edward Andrews ... Herb Lee
Darryl Hickman ... Al
Norma Crane ... Ellie Martin
Dean Jones ... Ollie
Jacqueline deWit ... Lilly Sears
Tom Laughlin ... Ralph
Ralph Votrian ... Steve
Steven Terrell Steven Terrell ... Phil
Kip King ... Ted
Jimmy Hayes Jimmy Hayes ... Henry
Richard Tyler Richard Tyler ... Roger
Don Burnett ... Vic
Edit

Storyline

Tom Lee is a sensitive boy of 17 whose lack of interest in the "manly" pursuits of sports, mountain climbing and girls labels him "sister-boy" at the college he is attending. Head master Bill Reynold's wife Laura sees Tom's suffering at the hands of his school mates (and her husband), and tries to help him find himself. Written by Ron Kerrigan <mvg@whidbey.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Where does a woman's sympathy leave off -- and her indiscretion begin?

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

5 November 1956 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

Tea and Sympathy See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$1,737,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (35 mm optical prints)| 4-Track Stereo (35 mm magnetic prints) (Westrex Recording System)

Color:

Color (Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.55 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Deborah Kerr and John Kerr are not related. See more »

Goofs

While Tom Lee (Class of 1946) is still in school, Laura Reynolds drives a 1950 Dodge. See more »

Quotes

Bill Reynolds: When I was a kid here in this school, I've had my problems too. I used to sit in my room and listen to phonograph records hour after hour. I had a place where I used to go and cry my eyes out.
Laura Reynolds: Oh, Bill.
Bill Reynolds: But I've got over it, Laura. I learned how to take it. Now when the headmaster's wife gave you that silver teapot, she told you what she tells all of the other master's wives that you've got to be an interested bystander.
Laura Reynolds: Yes, yes, I know.
Bill Reynolds: Just as she says, Laura. All you're supposed to do is ...
[...]
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Angels & Demons (2009) See more »

Soundtracks

The Joys of Love
Written by G.B. Martini and Richard Dyer-Bennett
Performed by John Kerr (dubbed by Gene Merlino)
Song based on "Plaisir d'Amour"
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Tea with lemon, please! No sugar.
31 August 2005 | by jotix100See all my reviews

Robert Anderson's "Tea and Sympathy" was a hit on the New York stage. Its subject matter was a shock to many people at the time, but alas, on second viewing, this film seems a bit dated. Of course, one has to put oneself back in the fifties, when the play opened on Broadway, it almost seems a daring attempt to speak about homosexuality back then. If you haven't seen the film, please stop reading now.

Vincente Minelli made the best of the adaptation by playwright Anderson for the screen. In fact, most of the perception about Tom's homosexuality seems to be center stage, but no one really focuses on the one that really is and is trying to hide the fact: Bill Reynolds!

We realize at the end of the film that Tom was a mixed up young man, rather than a gay man coming to terms with his feelings. In fact, if one watches closely, Tom seems to be terribly attracted by Laura, but he is too shy to do, or say anything that will make him be seen differently by her. Also, Laura confronts Bill toward the end of the film and confesses the way she feels about Tom, and what she almost did the night before in order for the young man to have a real sexual experience, which occurs later on.

While "Tea and Sympathy" concentrates on the lonely Tom, it presents us a masculine Bill, who confesses he had gone through the same things Tom is experiencing now, at one time in his life, but who in reality is hiding his own homosexuality from everyone. Bill is the most dangerous individual because he will probably prey on the young men under his care and force them into satisfying his own gay urges, as has been seen in the case of Catholic priests abusing children. It is also revealing that in the last scene when Tom finds him at home, he is listening to the classical music Tom loved and Laura is has divorced him.

Deborah Kerr, having played Laura on stage, brings her own interpretation of the role, which in a way works. Also the same could be said of John Kerr, who originated the role of Tom. The only thing is that one doesn't see strong chemistry between the co-starring Kerrs, in our humble opinion.

Leif Erickson gives a subtle reading on Bill Reynolds. While he is not the center of the story, he looms large in the background because we realize that instead of asking the guys under him to behave he seems to be enjoying that someone else is being ridiculed as a sissy. Edward Andrews, Daryl Hickman and Norma Crane are seen in supporting roles.

Being dated aside, the film shows how America dealt with this subject in that era.


32 of 48 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 52 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Free Movies and TV Shows You Can Watch Now

On IMDb TV, you can catch Hollywood hits and popular TV series at no cost. Select any poster below to play the movie, totally free!

Browse free movies and TV series

Stream Trending TV Series With Prime Video

Explore popular and recently added TV series available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed