Description: It’s the off-season at the lonely Beauregard Hotel in Bournemoth, and only the long-term tenants are still in residence. Life at the Beauregard is stirred up, however, when the beautiful Ann Shankland arrives to see her alcoholic ex-husband, John Malcolm, who is secretly engaged to Pat Cooper, the woman who runs the hotel. Meanwhile, snobbish Mrs Railton-Bell discovers that the kindly if rather doddering Major Pollock is not what he appears to be. The news is particularly shocking for her frail daughter, Sibyl, who is secretly in love with the Major.
Adapted by John Gay and Terence Rattigan from Rattigan’s play and produced by star Burt Lancaster’s independent company, Delbert Mann’s Separate Tables (1958) showcased the acting talents of its British-American cast in a character study of isolated individuals making tentative connections in a seaside hotel. True to Lancaster and long time producing partner Harold Hecht’s preference for off beat material, Separate Tables’s then-frank exploration of repression and loneliness involves sexual frigidity, perversion, jealousy, domestic violence and divorce, with the confines of the hotel enhancing the characters’ emotional claustrophobia. As an alcoholic writer and his aging beauty ex-wife, Lancaster and Rita Hayworth play against glamorous, potent type; David Niven and Deborah Kerr reveal the considerable turmoil beneath the prim surfaces of a blowhard retired military man and a mother-dominated spinster. More a mature succès d’estime than a popular hit, Separate Tables nevertheless received seven Oscar nominations including Best Picture, Screenplay and Actress for Kerr. Wendy Hiller won the Best Supporting Actress statuette for her resigned hotel manager and Niven added a Best Actor prize to his award from the New York Film Critics. (allmovie)
Subtitles:English, French, Spanish (srt.)