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Index Introduction Plot Synopsis Author Biography His picture Life and Career Stage plays Television Plays Our Textbook includes Summary of the part of the drama that our textbook includes: Word - Notes Movies made on this Novel British Motion Picture(1944) Picture of the DVD Cast and introduction British Motion Picture(1951) Picture of the DVD Cast and introduction
INTRODUCTIONThe Browning Version is the play that cemented Terence Rattigans reputation as aserious, mature playwright. It is viewed as one of his best works, and one of the bestone-acts ever written. First performed at the Phoenix Theatre, London, England, onSeptember 8, 1948, The Browning Version was coupled with another one-act byRattigan entitled Harlequinade under the umbrella name, Playbil l. This show ran for245 performances, and Rattigan received the Ellen Terry Award for The BrowningVersion, his second. (The first was won two years earlier for The Winslow Boy.)The Browning Version made its New York debut with Harlequinade on October 12,1949, but only ran for sixty-two performances. While praise from British audiencesand critics was nearly universal when the play was performed in England, Americancritics were generally not as kind to the Broadway version, perhaps due to thesubject matter.
The Browning Version concerns the life of Andrew Crocker-Harris, a classicsschoolmaster at a British public school. Andrew is disliked by his unfaithful wife Millie,his colleagues, and his students. Rattigan based the character and the story of TheBrowning Version on a classics master he had at school as a student.The Browning Version is sometimes derided for being too sentimental, but manycritics draw a distinction between its sympathetic sentiment and overt sentimentalism.Most critics and scholars be lieve that Rattigan s skills as a playwright transcend suchproblems. Though only a one-act play, The Browning Version is a well-crafted andcomplete psychological study, indicative of his future direction as a playwright.As John Russell Taylor writes in The Rise and Fall of the Well-Made Play, "TheBrowning Version, as well as being at once Rattigans tightest and most natural-seeming construction job up then and his most deeply felt play, marks the beginning ofhis most distinctive and personal drama."
Plot SynopsisThe story is about Andrew Crocker-Harris, he’s been teaching at a public school for eighteen years,and is forced to retire prematurely owing to ill-health. Lack of success with his pupils has blightedhis youthful ambition and promise and, with his embittered wife Millie, he faces a future of povertyand disappointment. Millies desire for her own particular brand of love, emotional and physical, isas great as Andrews desire for the fulfilment of his own platonic ideal.The tragedy is that neither can satisfy the others needs. Millie has been seeking consolation in anaffair with Hunter, the science master, who is about to discard her. Andrew finds his protectivearmour of indifference and lovelessness pierced by the action of a small boy, Taplow, who giveshim a second-hand copy of Brownings translation of The Agamemnon of Aeschylus, his masersfavourite play. The violent outburst of emotion which greets this little gesture of goodwill, andMillies spiteful attempt to destroy its value in Andrews eyes -pretending the gift was only a piece offlattery calculated to evade a punishment -brings the marriage to a crisis. In the last few minutesbefore he leaves, Andrew makes an unexpected gesture of defiance towards the Headmaster whohas constantly humiliated him, and finds in the applause that greets his frank apology for his failingsto the assembled school, courage to face a new life. He rejects Millie, who has by this time alsobeen cast off by her lover.
Author BiographyTerence RattiganSir Terence Mervyn Rattigan (June 10, 1911 – November 30, 1977) was one of Englands mostimportant 20th century dramatists. He was born in London of Irish extraction, educated atHarrow and Trinity College, Oxford, and his plays are generally situated within an uppermiddle class background.Life and careerSuccess as a playwright came early, with the comedy French Without Tears in 1936, set in acrammer. Rattigans determination to write a more serious play produced After the Dance(1939), a satirical social drama about the Bright Young Things and their failure to politicallyengage. The outbreak of the Second World War scuppered any chances of a long run. Afterthe war Rattigan alternated between comedies and dramas, and after the war, establishinghimself as a major playwright: the most famous of which were The Winslow Boy (1946),The Browning Version (1948), The Deep Blue Sea (1952), and Separate Tables (1954).Rattigan believed in understated emotions, and craftsmanship, which after the overnightsuccess of John Osbornes Look Back in Anger in 1956 was deemed old fashioned.Rattigan responded to his critical disfavour with some bitterness. Some churlish interviewsserved only to confirm the view that he had no sympathy or understanding of the modernworld. His plays Ross, Man and Boy, In Praise of Love, and Cause Célèbre, however showno sign of any decline in his talent.
He was homosexual, with numerous lovers but no long-term partners. It has been claimed that hiswork is essentially autobiographical, containing coded references to his sexuality, which he keptsecret from all but the closest friends. There is some truth in this, but it risks being crudelyreductive, for example the repeated claim that Rattigan originally wrote The Deep Blue Sea as aplay about male lovers, turning into a heterosexual play at the last minute, is unfounded. Hisfemale characters are written as females and are in no sense men in drag.He was diagnosed as having leukaemia in 1962 and recovered two years later, but fell ill again in1968. He disliked the Swinging Britain of the 1960s and moved abroad, living in Bermuda, andliving off lucrative screenplays (for a time he was the highest-paid screenwriter in the world). Hewas knighted in the early seventies and moved back to Britain, where he experienced a minorrevival in his reputation before his death from bone cancer in 1977 at the age of 66.Fifteen years after his death, largely through a revival of The Deep Blue Sea, at theAlmeida Theatre, London, directed by Karel Reisz, Rattigan has increasingly been seen as one ofthe centurys finest playwrights, an expert choreographer of emotion, and an anatomist of humanemotional pain. A string of successful revivals followed, including Man and Boy at the DuchessTheatre, London, in 2005, with David Suchet as Gregor Antonescu, and In Praise of Love at theChichester Festival Theatre and Separate Tables at the Royal Exchange, Manchester, in 2006.His play on the last days of Nelson, A Bequest to the Nation was revived on Radio 4 forTrafalgar 200, starring Janet McTeer as Lady Hamilton, Kenneth Branagh as Nelson, andAmanda Root as Lady Nelson.
His Stage Plays 1934 First Episode (written with Philip Heimann) 1936 French Without Tears 1939 After the Dance 1942 Flare Path 1943 While the Sun Shines 1944 Love in Idleness 1946 The Winslow Boy 1948 Playbill (comprising Harlequinade and The Browning Version) 1949 Adventure Story 1950 Who is Sylvia? 1952 The Deep Blue Sea 1953 The Sleeping Prince 1954 Separate Tables (comprising Table By the Window and Table No. 7) 1958 Variation on a Theme 1960 Ross 1960 Joie de Vivre (written with Robert Stolz and Paul Dehn) 1963 Man and Boy 1970 A Bequest to the Nation 1973 In Praise of Love (comprising After Lydia and Before Dawn) 1976 Duologue (stage adaptation of All On Her Own, see below) 1977 Cause Célèbre
Television Plays1951 Final Test1962 Heart to Heart1964 Ninety Years On1966 Nelson - A Portrait in Miniature1968 All On Her Own1972 High SummerStage PlaysSeveral of his later plays were adapted for film and/or television. Thebest-known are:The Winslow Boy (1948 and 1999)The Browning Version (film: 1951 and 1994;TV: 1955 and 1985)The Deep Blue Sea (1955)Separate Tables (1958)
Summary of the part of the drama thatour textbook includes:Frank is Open ; Crocker Harris is ReservedYoung Frank is quite open to his students. He doesn’t keep any distance whiledealing with his students. Taplow is not a student of his class but still he takes a lotof interest in him. His long conversation with Taplow reveals his open nature. Onthe other hand, Mr. Crocker Harris is quite reserved. He doesn’t mix up with hisstudents. He maintains some distance with them.Frank Cares Little ; Crocker Harris a strict Follower of RulesFrank doesn’t believe in observing formalities. He cares little regarding rules andregulations. Mr. Crocker Harris follows them very strictly. In this regard he is differentfrom other teachers. He never leaks out results till they are formally announced.Two School MastersThis one-act-play is a story of two school teachers and a student named Taplow.Mr Crocker Harris is a middle aged teacher while Mr Frank is a young colleague ofMr Harris. Taplow is a student of lower fifth class. He is a boy of 16. Both theteachers provide a striking contrast. They have only one thing in common. Theybelong to the same school.
Frank-Envious of Crocker HarrisMr Crocker Harris is feared and even respected. He has a wonderful hold overhis students. They are scared of him. Frank admits that he is envious of MrCrocker Harris. Perhaps he lacks that ‘effect’ which Harris has left over hisstudents. Frank encourages Taplow to criticize Crocker Harris. Actually, heurges him to intimate Harris. This clearly reveals the working of his mind. Heeven asks Taplow to ‘cut’ Crocker Harris. He lacks Harris’s devotion. Heteaches science but shows no interest in his subject. This shows his lack ofdedication and commitment towards his profession.Crocker Harris-Shrivelled Inside Like a NutTaplow says that Crocker Harris is shriveled inside like a nut. It is quite true.He is a not open. He doesn’t like flattery. Nor does he like anyone who likeshim. He is a hard task-master. He gives extra work to Taplow even on thelast day of school. This he does to punish Taplow for being absent for a daylast week. Sometimes he cracks jokes. His ‘classical’ jokes lack humour. Noone understands them except him. They are as dry and humourless as hehimself is.Millie CrockerMillie Crocker is the wife of Crocker Harris. She is a thin woman in her latethirties. She is rather more smartly dressed than the ‘general run ofschoolmasters’ wives. Both Frank and Taplow feel her presence. Taplowfeels uneasy. He fears that perhaps she heard him talking ill of Mr. Harris.She sends Taplow to a chemist. She agrees to take the blame on her incase Mr Crocker Harris comes in Taplow’s absence
WORD - NOTESExcerpt a part taken from a book or an article etc.Lower fifth in lower fifth standardRemove result of promotionForm class of schoolTerm fixed or limited period of school yearCriterion a standard of judgementFavourable suitable/that favoursSlackers idlers/lazyMuck useless/dirtAeschylus a great Greek dramatistAgamemnon a play written by AeschylusStrung bound/wovenSound appear/lookBitter displeased/unpleasantKept in detained after the class as punishment in schoolComfort consolationPretty well quiteChap person
Outright straightImitating copyingThroaty that comes out of throat/heavyHuman human qualitiesEvidently clearlySevere hard/harshSadist one who enjoys troubling othersPause lullFrightening that causes fearShrivelled reduced/squeezedFunny StrangeExaggerating over stretchingClassical old fashionedReadily at onceGeneral run commonInfinitely endlesslyFrantically like a mad manCape cloakBursar a person who manages the financial matters of aSchool/collegePrescription medical recommendations by a doctor
THE BROWNING VERSIONBritish Motion Picture(1944)
THE BROWNING VERSIONBritish Motion Picture(1944)United Kingdom, 1994U.S. Release Date: 10/14/94 (wide)Running Length: 1:37MPAA Classification: R (Mature themes, language)Theatrical Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1Cast:Albert FinneyGreta ScacchiMatthew ModineBen SilverstoneMichael GambonJulian SandsDirector: Mike FiggisProducers: Ridley Scott and Mimi PolkScreenplay: Ronald Harwood based on the film by Terence RattiganCinematography: Jean Francois RobinMusic: Mark Isham"The Browning Version is the story of a man and his wife and the school -- atriangle set in a beautiful prison. It is a film about a man finding the courageto transcend all the things in his life that conspire against him."- Mike Figgis, director of The Browning Version
THE BROWNING VERSIONBritish Motion Picture(1951)
THE BROWNING VERSIONBritish Motion Picture(1951)The Browning Version, British motion picture about a boarding school teacher trying to cope with hiswife’s infidelity, based on a play by Terence Rattigan. Released in 1951, the film won awards at theCannes Film Festival for Rattigan’s screenplay and for Michael Redgrave’s performance as AndrewCocker-Harris, the schoolteacher.DirectorAnthony AsquithCastMichael Redgrave (Andrew Crocker-Harris)Jean Kent (Millie Crocker-Harris)Nigel Patrick (Frank Hunter)Wilfrid Hyde-White (Frobisher)Brian Smith (Taplow)Bill Travers (Fletcher)Ronald Howard (Gilbert)Paul Medland (Wilson)Ivan Samson (Lord Baxter)Josephine Middleton (Mrs. Frobisher)Peter Jones (Carstairs)Sarah Lawson (Betty Carstairs)Scott Harold (Reverend Williamson)Judith Furse (Mrs. Williamson)AwardsCannes Film Festival Award for Best Male Performance (1951): Michael RedgraveCannes Film Festival Award for Best Screenplay (1951): Terence Rattigan