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38 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Excellence of Miss Jean Brodie
This film is simply the 'creme de la creme'. Maggie Smith is superb as the teacher who fascinates and enchants her inner circle of students, 'the Brodie Set', and has the screen presence and acting talent to evoke entirely convincingly the character who declares 'give me a girl at an impressionable age and she is mine for life'. The film is witty and entertaining, and...
Published on 15 July 2004

versus
8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars No subtitles
This is a wonderful film which I would love to own but due to the lack of any subtitles I won't purchase it. This is appalling laziness. I wish Amazon would publish subtitle info but they don't.
Published 19 months ago by Les Howell


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38 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Excellence of Miss Jean Brodie, 15 July 2004
By A Customer
This film is simply the 'creme de la creme'. Maggie Smith is superb as the teacher who fascinates and enchants her inner circle of students, 'the Brodie Set', and has the screen presence and acting talent to evoke entirely convincingly the character who declares 'give me a girl at an impressionable age and she is mine for life'. The film is witty and entertaining, and although not entirely true to the book, the quality of the acting, by the young girls in particular, more than compensates. Celia Johnson (better known for her starring role in 'Brief Encounter') is also excellent as the Headmistress Miss Mackay, whose aim in life is to rid her conservative school of the radical Miss Brodie. Among the changes in the film, however, is the foregrounding of Miss Brodie's interest in fascism and the effect that this has on the least intelligent of her set, Mary McGregor. Without giving the story away- and I would advice that people read the book so as to discover the true fate of Mary- the film's portrayal of Miss Brodie's destructive influence is perhaps somewhat exaggerated and disturbing. Nevertheless, the film as a whole is just as bewitching as Miss Brodie and a must-see for Maggie Smith fans.
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Finally - Out in the UK, 22 Jun 2010
This review is from: The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie [DVD] [1969] (DVD)
Thank you Acorn. Finally someone has decided to release this wonderful film on DVD in the UK. Ignore all the messages here saying how the DVD won't play in the UK, they relate to the US, NTSC version which was previously the only version available. This is the UK, PAL, version that will plays perfectly. Can't wait.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Give me a girl at an impressionable age...", 17 Mar 2006
By 
Mark Stevenson (Inverness United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
I rate this film as one of my top 10 all-time movies. Though quite different to the superb novel, for me it succeeds in all areas. Excellent acting & direction, and a very convincing recreation of 1930s Edinburgh despite practically all of it being filmed in a studio. I would also add a special mention for the haunting music. You end up feeling both charmed & saddened by the characters in equal measure. This U.S. dvd has very interesting commentaries (they are often very dull!) by the director & actress Pamela "Sandy" Franklin. It is just a shame that the sublime Ms Smith wasn't available.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The downfall of Miss Jean Brodie, 23 May 2009
By 
D. Wilson - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
When I first saw this film on the television a few years ago i felt quite sorry for Miss Brodie at the end of the film. however, watching it again I notice that she actually brings about her own downfall. She is quite pompous and does not seem to have any respect for authority and only believes in her own ideology. Above all it is an excellent watch!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Forsooth! A great film, 15 Aug 2007
By 
Androo (UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
Normally I'd be cross with a film that takes such liberties with the novel it's based on, but for once I'll forgive Jay Presson Allen (who wrote the play and screenplay) since it can't have been an easy job. For what it's worth, what happens in the film doesn't really happen in the book. The characters are all mixed up, new bits are invented, and the ending is completely different.
But never mind. The new ending is dramatically effective, if not faithful.
Central to the movie is Maggie Smith's oscar-winning performance and it's everything it's cracked up to be. You'll soon wish you'd said half the things she says. You may even find yourself noticing people who bid you good morning with predestination in their smiles, or making disparaging comments about chrysanthemums.
For me, a problem with the movie is that I so enjoy Miss Brodie in her prime, that when she starts to move past her prime, it's a bit of a blow, so the ending is rather sad, though somewhat inevitable.
The film moves forward in time, and the girls do a great job of being both very little girls and quite mature girls. The whole cast does a terrific job.
It's a 1969 film, so not exactly progressive in its production, but there's a charm to the way the film is set and threaded together, though the school is too obviously for me a stage set.
The DVD has a few theatrical trailers and a commentary by the director and the actress who plays Sandy.
All in all, a very enjoyable film you can watch many times (as I have). Which makes it a great puzzle it's only available on region 1.
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34 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Creme de la Creme, 7 Mar 2002
This film is fabulous, mainly due to Maggie Smith's fantastic portrayal of Miss Jean Brodie. The film now is certainly a camp classic, Miss Brodie rules her class with stories of love, truth and composure. I've never seen such good posture, I thought Smith had swallowed a yard stick. All actors are superb, I especially loved Celia Johnson and Pamela Franklin as the sly Sandy, one of Miss Brodie's 'gels'. The film's insight into Marcia Blaine's School for Girls is a tour de force and recommended for anyone who wants to see an actress who truly is in her 'prime'!
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "I am a teacher! First, last, always!", 11 Dec 2005
By 
Kona (Emerald City) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
Maggie Smith won an Academy Award for her portrayal of Jean Brodie, an unconventional and outspoken teacher in a stuffy Edinburgh girls' school, who encourages her students to be just like herself. Miss Brodie proudly says she is "in her prime," and expounds on the glories of a life full of passion and commitment. Miss Brodie is, in reality, a spinster, still sadly attracted to her unscrupulous ex-lover and often living in the past. She has a small group of students she is especially close to, but two of the girls take her instruction too literally, and this leads to tragedy.
Maggie Smith was so young and beautiful when she made this movie! She dominates the screen with her charisma and power. She tosses off many funny and memorable lines of dialogue with her delightful Scottish brogue, and delivers them with righteous indignation and withering glances. Pamela Franklin is excellent as one of Jean's disciples, and Rod McKuen's music is lovely. This film is a must for fans of Maggie Smith.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Jean,Jean, the roses are red., 6 Mar 2012
By 
Dave (Holmfirth, Yorkshire United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie [DVD] [1969] (DVD)
I watched this last night and what a superb piece of entertainment it is; if more theatre than cinema.
Edinburgh looks beautiful, the supporting cast is very good, Pamela Franklin is excellent as the "assassin" Sandy and I'm still whistling the theme song, however, as anybody who has watched the film knows, none of this matters in the least.
Maggie Smith as Miss Jean Brodie is simply mesmerising, I just couldn't take my eyes off her. Here we have the central mystery of this film, just what is it that is so alluring about this odd character and why am I writing the nth Amazon review of this film.
Miss Brodie has many faults, she lies both to herself and others, she is manipulative, she loves power (one can see why she admires the fascists) she enjoys conflict and she has to win. Yet despite (or perhaps because of) all this in full flight Miss Brodie really is an inspiration. Her motives may be dubious, her results, in one case, tragic but she brings some sorely needed colour to the grey environs of Marcia Blaine's. One feels the majority of her pupils will have their horizons widened and their lives enriched.
Do her motives then really matter? Does one unintended and unpredictable tragedy cancel out much that is positive?
Of course Mary McGregor is not the only person damaged by Miss Brodie's machinations. It is, however, hard to feel very sorry for dull Mr Lowther or wicked Mr Lloyd.
Sandy is more complicated, her "betrayal" surely hurts her as much as it hurts Miss Brodie but, unlike Miss Brodie, Sandy does have self-knowledge. I'm sure she genuinely believes her former idol is "dangerous" but she also knows there is a lot of, less virtuous, sexual jealousy behind her decision. Sandy makes a conscious moral choice (as we all sometimes must) and weeps for her own lost innocence at the end of the film.
So behind all the brilliant set pieces and quotable quotes we have a very subtle, nuanced film that leaves lots to the imagination and many questions unanswered. It is thoroughly entertaining and sometimes laugh out loud funny but also thought provoking.
The sort of teacher who had favourites, antagonised the head, ignored the curriculum and provoked fierce loyalty is now pretty much extinct but if you are old enough to have had one you will remember. They call such people "inspirational" but in small children what they are usually inspiring is love. Most survive unscathed and carry nothing worse than a taste for poetry, or art, or science into their adult lives.If one or two run away to fight for the wrong side in the Spanish civil war and die,or a few more have their hearts broken perhaps that is the price we pay for having colour in our lives.
So here's to you bonnie Jean, monster that you are, I'm sorry that your prime has passed.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding performances., 1 April 2014
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This review is from: The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie [DVD] [1969] (DVD)
I recall in 1961 when the book came out that a number of my contemporaries were ecstatic over it. Some even had the title as "The Pride of Miss Jean Brodie"! This would indeed serve as an alternative title for the lady teacher prides herself on her little band of pupil followers.

Having taught in a number of schools myself, both north and south of the Scottish boarder (including Wales), I find it difficult to imagine any teacher as blatant as Miss Brodie would have got away with it for so long without being dismissed. But that would not serve the author's purpose and so instead we have an entertaining display of eccentricity from Miss Brodie that cannot fail to rub off onto some of her protégés.

This film production from 1969 is well cast, produced and directed with outstanding performances from Maggie Smith, Celia Johnson, Pamela Franklin, Robert Stephens and others. (The Scottish inflections become a little watered down at times but never sufficiently to detract from one's enjoyment of the film.) For me Celia Johnson should merit particular praise for her steadfast rendition of a headmistress who is not without a sense of humour.

Excellent sound and picture quality throughout. Worthy of being in any serous collection of classic films from the mid-twentieth century.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Education can be just as damaging as it is inspiring, 7 Sep 2011
This review is from: The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie [DVD] [1969] (DVD)
For all those films about the positive inspirational power of education, there are films about the darker side of education. The time you spend at school, particularly at secondary school, will help shape your adult life. As the formidable Miss Brodie(Maggie Smith) boasts: "Give me a girl at an impressionable age and she is mine for life."

The film is set in an Edinburgh girls' school in the nineteen-thirties. As with many films based on earlier decades, it does have a sixties tinge to it (particularly in the sentimental score), but this doesn't matter. Anyone who went to a girls' school in whatever period will recognise the environment portrayed on screen, the characters, and the hothouse atmosphere.

Miss Brodie is a legendary teacher who dedicates her life to the education of her 'gells'. She adopts an exclusive set of them who become the Brodie set: weepy Monica, pretty Jenny, dopey Mary, and "dependable" Sandy (Pamela Frankelin). However Miss Brodie's idea of education- high culture mixed with fascist glorification- is not that of Miss McKay's (Celia Johnson), the headmistress of Marcia Blaine's School for Girls. As well as her 'gells', Brodie has the devotion of bumbling music master Mr Lowther (Gordon Jackson) and lapsed Catholic art teacher Teddy Lloyd (Robert Stephens). She spurns her real love, Mr Lloyd, in favour of Mr Lowther, who she can control. However Miss Brodie crosses the line in her attempts to keep Mr Lloyd satisfied when she reveals to Sandy that she plans to use Jenny as her substitute. On hearing this, "dependable" Sandy begins her betrayal and sets about the downfall of Miss Jean Brodie...

The script is packed with witty one-liners, glorious put-downs, and dramatic revelations. It's incredibly quotable and I'm sure many teachers have been inspired to borrow a few Brodie-isms. The cast is superb- Maggie Smith is both hilarious and poignant as Miss Brodie; Robert Stephens is suitably vulgar and more than a little pervy as Mr Lloyd; and Pamela Frankelin perfectly portrays Sandy's transformation from giggly schoolgirl to ruthless assassin to disillusioned young woman.

The novel is more realistic, though the structure is more complex, but I think few people who read the novel will be disappointed with this film. Even if the plot is implausible, I'm sure every schoolgirl will recognise the emotions and characters portrayed. If the world of an all-girls school is unfamiliar to you, revel in the juicy melodrama.
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The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie [DVD] [1969]
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