- Acting of Lead Performers
- Acting of Supporting Cast
- Music Score
- Title Sequence
- Historical Importance
- Would You Recommend?
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term of trial
- kevin sellers
Part teacher movie, part courtroom drama, and a completely fascinating character study, this movie ultimately rises out of the ho hum category thanks to the performance of Laurence Olivier as Graham Weir, a hapless educator in an English inner city school. By film's end we see Weir in all his kindness, idealism, weakness, ambition, and deviousness. It's a tour de force for this amazing actor and even though 1962 was a tough year in which to win the Oscar (Peter O'Toole for "Lawrence" and Gregory Peck for "Mockingbird") you can make a strong argument for Olivier to have at least been given a nomination over Marcello Mastroianni for the piece of fluff called "Divorce Italian Style." Almost as good as Olivier is Simone Signorant as his resentful wife, Anna, who loves and despises her husband in equal measure, often within the space of a kiss. Unfortunately, the rest of the film is not up to the two leads. The main culprit is scenarist (and director) Peter Glenville. His script is riddled with holes. Sub plots, like the little kid with the monstrously tarty mom and the cruel boyfriend, go nowhere, and subsidiary characters, like the assistant headmaster and the hooligan Mitchell (a nicely menacing Terence Stamp) either are left dangling or just disappear from the movie, without further explication. And the courtroom scene is Perry Mason with a British accent. Let's give it a B for Sir Larry. P.S. Great twist at the end, which, on the extremely slim chance that you're reading this before seeing the movie, I won't reveal.
"So degenerate bullies are also cowards are they?"
- Jeff Boston
Dreary film with Miles dreamy over Olivier, who puts up with dreck from Stamp and regular drubbings from Signoret. This 1962 finely acted film reminded me of two disturbing "classics" from the same taboo trashing year, the play (and later a film) "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf" and the film version of "Lolita." Of note in "Term of Trial", a British film, school prayer meetings are mentioned more than once (school-led prayer in American schools was banned by the US Supreme Court earlier the same year) and it showcases corporal punishment, long gone essentially everywhere in America. The last half century has wrought an ever increasing percentage of Mitchells.
The plot given in this review seems incredulous
I have not seen this film. However I will on April 24, 2013. I am interested in reading what appears to be a silly, made for afternoon soap opera, yet staring Laurence Olivia. Will this be an example of an aging star taking any role. Or will he overcome what appears to be a script unworthy of the man who played Rebecca, Marathon Man, ect. Stay tuned.
Every Actor is Excellent in This Film
Do not miss this film. Great acting ensemble and the ending even has an interesting twist!Poor Mr. Weir is such a cipher. He is really quite decent fellow, but nobody appreciates his goodness because he is also such a wuss. I cringed in sympathy for Olivier's character, yet I sympathised with his wife's frustrations. It's a difficult film to watch, but Very Very Good.
Ahead of it's time
The concept, way ahead of it's time. This is a masterpiece of acting and emotions very well played out by a terrific actress, Sarah Miles. From the innocent beginning to the ending twist, this is a must see for any fan of good story and excellent performance.
Definitely worth watching...
I caught a late night TCM showing of "Term of Trial" on 6/10, after not having seen it for years, and would recommend it to anyone looking for a little-known gem of filmmaking. Laurence Olivier and Simone Signoret are terrific, and their scenes together are full of passion and understated (yet raw) sensuality. Sarah Miles debuted in this film as a troubled teen accusing Laurence Olivier's dedicated teacher with molesting her, and she's wonderful. Also on hand is early Terence Stamp, displaying that "must watch him" talent and charisma that were his trademark throughout his career. If you're looking for intelligent filmmaking, give this gem a try.