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The Children's Hour

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Director: William Wyler, William Wyler, William Wyler
1961 / 108min / 35mm

Adapting Lillian Hellman’s controversial 1934 stage play of the same name, Wyler’s The Children’s Hour—his second film from the same material—sets its scene at a tony girl’s school managed by headmistresses Audrey Hepburn and Shirley MacLaine, long-time friends whose lives are turned upside down when a conniving student begins spreading the rumor that the two are lesbian lovers. The last of three Wyler films on which Ashby served as assistant editor, The Children’s Hour garnered five Academy Award nominations, and signaled the beginning of a sea change in Hollywood’s attitude towards the discussion of homosexuality in films.

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