Synopsis by Mark Hockley
Based on James Barlow's novel The Burden of Proof, this is a thoughtful drama revolving around the relationship between a schoolteacher and his students, in particular a fifteen year old girl (played by the debuting Sarah Miles, although she was in fact 21 at the time), who has become infatuated with him. But when he rejects her advances during a school trip to France, out of spite she accuses him of rape. The resulting court-case dominates the latter stages of the film. In its depiction of school life there does seem to be a ring of truth, even if the situations are somewhat exaggerated and for its time this was very strong stuff with its controversial scenario. But the early 60s was an era when film-makers were challenging social taboos, and subjects that had until then remained off-limits were being explored. Victim (1961) is another good example of this trend. As the movie also examines the precarious state of the man's marriage, this also gives more poignancy to his predicament. A fine cast is employed here, including a young Terence Stamp who went on to become a major star of the late 60s.
sexual-assault, attack, bully, class [social], contempt, convict, court [law], courtroom, criminal, crush, demands, dishonesty, employment, false-accusation, instructor, love, marriage, milquetoast, morale, morals, motel, pacifism, parent, room, rowdies, school, schoolmaster, schoolteacher, sex, student, teacher, teenagers, trial [courtroom], trip, truth, tutor, wife, mill