Two Loves


1h 40m 1961
Two Loves

Brief Synopsis

A conservative teacher struggles with her values while teaching natives in New Zealand.

Photos & Videos

Film Details

Also Known As
I'll Save My Love, The Spinster
Genre
Romance
Drama
Adaptation
Release Date
Jan 1961
Premiere Information
Los Angeles opening: 24 May 1961
Production Company
Julian Blaustein Productions
Distribution Company
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Inc.
Country
United States
Screenplay Information
Based on the novel Spinster by Sylvia Ashton-Warner (London, 1958).

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 40m
Sound
Mono (Westrex Recording System)
Color
Color (Metrocolor)
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
2.35 : 1

Synopsis

American-born Anna Vorontosov teaches school in a remote, primitive section of northern New Zealand. Her experimental teaching methods have won her the love and affection of her pupils and their parents and the admiration of the unhappily married school inspector, Abercrombie. Her personal life, however, is less secure; frightened of love and sexually inhibited, she has always been aloof with men. Eager to break down this barrier is Englishman Paul Lathrope, a somewhat irrational and immature fellow teacher who aspires to be a singer. Though Anna is attracted to him, she refuses to submit to his advances. One day she is shocked to learn that one of her helpers, Whareparita, a 15-year-old unmarried Maori girl, is expecting a child. Equally devastating to Anna is the discovery that both the young girl and her relatives are eagerly awaiting the baby. This calm acceptance of nature so disturbs Anna that she begins to question her own way of life. Then Whareparita's baby dies at birth, and Paul is killed in a motorcycle accident--possibly suicidal. Shortly before the funeral Anna learns that it was Paul who fathered Whareparita's dead infant. Overcome with guilt, Anna blames her frigidity for the tragic turn of events. It is only when Abercrombie convinces her that no one is directly responsible for the actions of another person that Anna is able to absolve herself of guilt. Encouraged by the gentle and tender love offered by Abercrombie, she at last realizes that she has nothing to fear from life.

Film Details

Also Known As
I'll Save My Love, The Spinster
Genre
Romance
Drama
Adaptation
Release Date
Jan 1961
Premiere Information
Los Angeles opening: 24 May 1961
Production Company
Julian Blaustein Productions
Distribution Company
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Inc.
Country
United States
Screenplay Information
Based on the novel Spinster by Sylvia Ashton-Warner (London, 1958).

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 40m
Sound
Mono (Westrex Recording System)
Color
Color (Metrocolor)
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
2.35 : 1

Articles

Two Loves


In the early 1960s Shirley MacLaine was known as Hollywood's resident "kook" by virtue of the quirkily appealing image she established in her first dozen film roles, including her Oscar®-nominated turns in Some Came Running (1958) and The Apartment (1960). She surprised critics and audiences alike by taking on the role of a drab, repressed schoolteacher in Two Loves (1961), based on the novel Spinster by Sylvia Ashton-Warner (1908-84), the New Zealander educator, writer, novelist and poet. MacLaine plays Anna, a Pennsylvania-born schoolteacher who takes a job in rural New Zealand, where she applies innovative teaching methods to the special needs of Maori children Ð just as Ashton-Warner did in real life.

With plain clothing, little makeup and her hair twisted into a severe bun, MacLaine underplays her sexually frustrated character, who succeeds as an educator but cannot become intimate with either of the two men in her life - supportive school administrator Jack Hawkins and lonely, tormented fellow teacher Laurence Harvey. Her situation reflects a quote by Ashton-Warner: "The truth is that I am enslaved in one vast love affair - with 70 children." Anna is continually shocked by the permissiveness of the Maori families, and the story reaches a dramatic climax after her 15-year-old aide (Nobu McCarthy) becomes pregnant.

Reviewers of the day did not react well to MacLaine's daring change of image. "Interesting" was the most positive word Variety could come up with in describing her performance, and Films in Review offered the opinion that "Director Charles Walters should have declined the assignment. So should Miss MacLaine." The movie was better received in Europe, and Walters was nominated for the prestigious "Golden Bear" award at the Berlin International Film Festival.

Viewed today in the overall context of MacLaine's career, Two Loves is noteworthy as her first foray into character acting she would further develop in The Children's Hour (1962) and Desperate Characters (1971), and which would flower fully in such films as The Turning Point (1977), Terms of Endearment (1983) and Madame Souzatska (1988), in which she comes full circle by again playing a teacher.

Producer: Julian Blaustein
Director: Charles Walters
Screenplay: Ben Maddow (from the novel 'Spinster' by Sylvia Ashton-Warner)
Art Direction: George W. Davis, Urie McCleary
Cinematography: Joseph Ruttenberg
Editing: Fredric Steinkamp
Original music: Bronislau Kaper
Cast: Shirley MacLaine (Anna Vorontosov), Laurence Harvey (Paul Lathrope), Jack Hawkins (Abercrombie), Nobu McCarthy (Whareparita), Ronald Long (Headmaster Reardon), Norah Howard (Mrs. Cutter), Juano Hernandez (Rauhuia).
C-97m. Letterboxed.

by Roger Fristoe
Two Loves

Two Loves

In the early 1960s Shirley MacLaine was known as Hollywood's resident "kook" by virtue of the quirkily appealing image she established in her first dozen film roles, including her Oscar®-nominated turns in Some Came Running (1958) and The Apartment (1960). She surprised critics and audiences alike by taking on the role of a drab, repressed schoolteacher in Two Loves (1961), based on the novel Spinster by Sylvia Ashton-Warner (1908-84), the New Zealander educator, writer, novelist and poet. MacLaine plays Anna, a Pennsylvania-born schoolteacher who takes a job in rural New Zealand, where she applies innovative teaching methods to the special needs of Maori children Ð just as Ashton-Warner did in real life. With plain clothing, little makeup and her hair twisted into a severe bun, MacLaine underplays her sexually frustrated character, who succeeds as an educator but cannot become intimate with either of the two men in her life - supportive school administrator Jack Hawkins and lonely, tormented fellow teacher Laurence Harvey. Her situation reflects a quote by Ashton-Warner: "The truth is that I am enslaved in one vast love affair - with 70 children." Anna is continually shocked by the permissiveness of the Maori families, and the story reaches a dramatic climax after her 15-year-old aide (Nobu McCarthy) becomes pregnant. Reviewers of the day did not react well to MacLaine's daring change of image. "Interesting" was the most positive word Variety could come up with in describing her performance, and Films in Review offered the opinion that "Director Charles Walters should have declined the assignment. So should Miss MacLaine." The movie was better received in Europe, and Walters was nominated for the prestigious "Golden Bear" award at the Berlin International Film Festival. Viewed today in the overall context of MacLaine's career, Two Loves is noteworthy as her first foray into character acting she would further develop in The Children's Hour (1962) and Desperate Characters (1971), and which would flower fully in such films as The Turning Point (1977), Terms of Endearment (1983) and Madame Souzatska (1988), in which she comes full circle by again playing a teacher. Producer: Julian Blaustein Director: Charles Walters Screenplay: Ben Maddow (from the novel 'Spinster' by Sylvia Ashton-Warner) Art Direction: George W. Davis, Urie McCleary Cinematography: Joseph Ruttenberg Editing: Fredric Steinkamp Original music: Bronislau Kaper Cast: Shirley MacLaine (Anna Vorontosov), Laurence Harvey (Paul Lathrope), Jack Hawkins (Abercrombie), Nobu McCarthy (Whareparita), Ronald Long (Headmaster Reardon), Norah Howard (Mrs. Cutter), Juano Hernandez (Rauhuia). C-97m. Letterboxed. by Roger Fristoe

Quotes

Trivia

Notes

Location scenes filmed in California. Prerelease titles: The Spinster and I'll Save My Love.

Miscellaneous Notes

Released in United States Spring May 1961

CinemaScope

Released in United States Spring May 1961