Separate Tables


Action / Drama / Romance


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July 18, 2014 at 11:28 PM



Burt Lancaster as John Malcolm
Rita Hayworth as Ann Shankland
David Niven as Major Angus Pollock
Deborah Kerr as Sibyl Railton-Bell
759.13 MB
23.976 fps
1hr 40 min
P/S 0 / 6

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by ferbs54 8 / 10

Do Check Into The Beauregard Hotel!

"Separate Tables" (1958) is a movie that I'd been wanting to see for many years, and it was worth the wait. A "Grand Hotel"-type of story that takes place at a quaint English inn by the sea, it features any number of interesting characters, marvelously depicted by a host of great talents. Thus, we get a love triangle between Burt Lancaster, his ex-wife Rita Hayworth (40 years old in this film and still looking very pulchritudinous) and the charming hotel owner Wendy Hiller, who really did earn her Best Supporting Actress Oscar here. We meet the repressed mess of a spinster played by Deborah Kerr, as well as her impossibly overbearing mother (Gladys Cooper, doing here what she did to Bette Davis in 1942's "Now, Voyager"). We get to know retired Army major David Niven, and learn his dark secrets. (Niven, too, earned his Oscar for this fine portrayal; he also costarred with Kerr in another 1958 film, "Bonjour Tristesse.") And finally, we encounter a pair of young lovers, Rod Taylor and the yummy Audrey Dalton, who can't decide if they should marry or not. Many dramatic encounters abound (some of them sexually frank for 1958), and Hayworth's mature and adult performance might come as the pleasantest surprise of the bunch. Personally, I would say that big Burt picks the wrong gal to go off with at the film's conclusion, but I suppose that this is a matter of personal taste. The bottom line here is that this classic film is a wonderful treat for viewers who appreciate good screen writing and who relish deliciously served acting by a bunch of real pros. And this nice, crisp-looking DVD only adds to the pleasure. So do yourself a favor and check into the Beauregard Hotel!

Reviewed by braggs123 10 / 10

If you like human nature you'll love this movie.

I enjoyed this movie immensely. I went back and watched parts of it over because it was done so well.

The actors show the greatness and degradation of human nature under the duress of great personal obstacles and non-ideal circumstances.

Burt Lancaster is both bold and vulnerable, directly honest and compassionately understanding.

One person exhibits unsurpassed understanding with unselfish love. To me, this is a love story on many levels; manipulative love, selfish, lonely love, the love of people's opinion, love battling fear and finally... well, you need to watch it and see.

Reviewed by bkoganbing 9 / 10

Stitched Together Rather Nicely

As presented in London and on Broadway Separate Tables was two one act plays set in a residential hotel in the seaside resort of Bournemouth. The stories involving Burt Lancaster and Rita Hayworth and the one involving David Niven and Deborah Kerr were presented separately. Fortunately producers Burt Lancaster, Harold Hecht, and James Hill had the good sense to hire Terrence Ratigan to stitch the two acts together into one well done coherent drama. Came out rather nicely.

Burt and Rita's story involve a former married couple who's volatile personalities make it impossible for them to live together and their sexual attraction makes it impossible for them to function without. Lancaster is a working class writer and Hayworth is a chic fashion model. Different temperaments and different worlds. Lancaster in fact is now engaged to Wendy Hiller, the proprietress of the hotel everyone is staying at.

Deborah Kerr is the shy and plain daughter of a domineering Gladys Cooper who is essentially playing the same role she did in Now Voyager. Kerr is attracted to the hale and hearty Major played by David Niven. But Niven is not all he claims to be. He's not a major from Montgomery's Eighth Army, but rather a former lowly supply lieutenant who never saw any combat. And he's got a sexual problem in that he likes to molest women in dark places like movie theaters. In fact he was arrested for it in a nearby town and is panic stricken that the rest of the residents will find out and see through him.

The Major is one of Terrence Rattigan's most personal creations. Rattigan was a gay man living in the pre-Stonewall era when such topics were not talked about. Noel Coward was about as explicit as one could get in British society. The Major was a man playing a role in his whole life and gay people before Stonewall did just that, presenting a facade to the world at large. If Separate Tables were written today, I've no doubt David Niven's character would be explicitly gay.

David Niven had one of the strangest careers in Hollywood. He was a man of acting ability this film certainly proves it. But producers always looked no farther than him as a debonair charming leading man. He carried a host of mediocre films by dint of charm. Separate Tables is one of the few films where he really does create a three dimensional human being.

David Niven was also one of the most popular individuals in Hollywood. As charming in real life as he was on the screen, he was a great raconteur with a host of stories that kept everyone at gatherings entertained. His friends included people of all political persuasions from Humphrey Bogart to William F. Buckley, Jr. That and the fact that Tony Curtis and Sidney Poitier split the vote being both nominated for The Defiant Ones got David Niven the Best Actor Oscar in the only time he was ever nominated.

Ironically though the Oscar really did nothing for his career. He went right back to playing the same charming lightweight roles for the most part the rest of his life.

Wendy Hiller got an Oscar in the Best Supporting Actress category. Her's is a subtle understated performance. She's a wise and compassionate woman that Wendy. In love with Burt Lancaster she sees what her duty is in that relationship and she's ready to be a friend to David Niven when Gladys Cooper wants him expelled from the hotel.

What a pity Deborah Kerr never won an Oscar other than an honorary one in the Nineties as a lifetime achievement. Her role as Sybil is about as different from Anna Leonowens in The King and I as from the sluttish Mrs. Holmes in From Here to Eternity. Typecast as prim and proper ladies at first, a backup to Greer Garson at MGM, Kerr broke out with an astonishing range of parts in the Fifties. She never gets the credit due her.

Intelligent and literate, Separate Tables is old fashioned considering the times it was written in. But the characters absorb you in their problems and you leave it with the fervent wish that they all find some healing together or apart.

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