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Honored Contributor
Posts: 18,615
Registered: ‎11-08-2014

"SEPARATE TABLES" BURT LANCASTER RITA HAYWORTH SATURDAY 8:00 P.M. EASTERN TCM

8:00 p.m. Eastern, Saturday --  "Separate Tables".    Burt Lancaster, Deborah Kerr, Rita Hayworth, David Niven, Wendy Hiller, Gladys Cooper, Cathleen Nesbitt

 

A TCM favorite, and one of mine, no matter how often shown.  Film adaptation of famous Terence Rattigan play, that is an engrossing, emotional wringer. 

 

The setting of a genteel, English seaside residential hotel houses a collection of seething or repressed personalities--  enigmatic Burt, hearty Niven; the cowed, timid daughter of an autocrat, Deborah Kerr; glamorous and seductive Rita, and on and on.

 

Busy body central:

 

 

Recipient of no fewer than 7 Oscar nominations, and David Niven and Wendy Hiller won in their respective categories. When you've seen the film a few times you can better savor the subtlety of a Wendy Hiller as the doomed-to-disappointment hotel owner.  But every one of this stellar cast is good.

 

Rod Taylor fans-- we even get a little of him, along with Audrey Dalton! 

 

 

Had to go a little overboard with images here.  But with this cast, who can blame me?  Great Saturday night watch.

Honored Contributor
Posts: 9,855
Registered: ‎02-07-2011

Re: "SEPARATE TABLES" BURT LANCASTER RITA HAYWORTH SATURDAY 8:00 P.M. EASTERN TCM

Agree this is an excellent movie.  IMO Hiller and Kerr are the best although Niven won the best actor oscar.

 

Hiller was great in A Man for All Seasons and Pygmalion.  Fortunately, she got an award whereas Kerr, also a great actress, never did.  Another Academy blunder!

 

 

Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 7,097
Registered: ‎09-05-2014

Re: "SEPARATE TABLES" BURT LANCASTER RITA HAYWORTH SATURDAY 8:00 P.M. EASTERN TCM

[ Edited ]

I'm so glad you love this film.  It's a favorite of mine also and I watch it frequently on DVD.

 

Some things I've learned:

 

David Niven's performance is one of the shortest screen times to have won a Best Actor award.

 

Rita was married to one of the film's producers, James Hill, at the time and was terrified to be working with such a team of accomplished actors.  I think that this trepidation helped shape her performance and she dazzles with brilliance.  Would have been nice for her to have also received a nomination.

 

I love the theme song "Separate Tables" sung by Vic Damone.  Such big theme songs were popular in the 1950's even with dramas (think Written on the Wind and Peyton Place for example.)  The director absolutely did not want a sentimental song attached to the credits and was furious when he found out about its inclusion while watching a screening.  Burt apparently snuck it in post-production after promising he wouldn't and director Mann severed his ties with his production company as a result.

 

May Hallatt, who plays the billiards playing resident Miss Meacham, originated the role on Broadway and was sent out to Hollywood for the film.

 

Wendy Hiller was very reluctant to take the role.  The stage production involved two distinct one act playlets with the same actors playing 4 main characters.  The film roles went to Kerr, Lancaster, Niven and Hayworth.  Hiller balked at being billed below these four big stars, but was convinced otherwise.  She said after winning the Oscar that much of her performance is with her back to the camera.  Watch the film and notice this!

 

 

Honored Contributor
Posts: 9,435
Registered: ‎06-14-2010

Re: "SEPARATE TABLES" BURT LANCASTER RITA HAYWORTH SATURDAY 8:00 P.M. EASTERN TCM

With a cast like this, how could the movie be anything but excellent!!!!!  This movie will be on my DVR for sure! 

Respected Contributor
Posts: 2,399
Registered: ‎08-20-2012

Re: "SEPARATE TABLES" BURT LANCASTER RITA HAYWORTH SATURDAY 8:00 P.M. EASTERN TCM

One of my favorites. The first picture makes one want to watch it.

Honored Contributor
Posts: 18,615
Registered: ‎11-08-2014

Re: "SEPARATE TABLES" BURT LANCASTER RITA HAYWORTH SATURDAY 8:00 P.M. EASTERN TCM

Love getting this input.  @kaydee50 ,  had forgotten Wendy Hiller was in "A Man for All Seasons",  another wonderful film.  Hiller and magnificent Paul Scofield, what a sure fire winner!

 

@Johnnyeager,  your back stories are GREAT.   Your insight about Rita sounds bang on.  In this film, her vulnerability (and no doubt some of her own insecurities) give her performance a poignant immediacy.  She's so lovely, a broken blossom.

 

Will be watching for Hiller turning away from the camera!  That's some pretty mighty confidence on the part of a screen actor/actress!  She was fab. 

Honored Contributor
Posts: 18,615
Registered: ‎11-08-2014

Re: "SEPARATE TABLES" BURT LANCASTER RITA HAYWORTH SATURDAY 8:00 P.M. EASTERN TCM

This is such an irresistable clip of adorable Rod Taylor in later life, talking about the making of "Separate Tables".  The "Del" that he's affectionately referring to is the director, Delbert Mann.

 

Rod Taylor always seems so nice, and refreshingly self-deprecating, brushing off his own role as a youthful "punk":

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P8ho__zO1k0&list=PLnitZkvAxPdHg8C9eZ2e7C26hvzv9Gih0&index=9