Blindly devoted to her pupils and fiercely determined to imbue her gray 1930s Edinburgh surroundings with passion and color, Scottish schoolmarm Miss Brodie (Smith) is very much her own person — a spirited, eccentric freethinker given to divulging her personal life and politics in the classroom. But she soon runs afoul of the rigid headmistress (Johnson), who's determined to see Brodie out the door of her exclusive girls' school.
English actress Smith captivated viewers in 1969 with her Oscar-winning portrayal of the title character in director Neame's outstanding film. Based on a novel by Muriel Spark, this hit film doesn't shy from presenting Brodie's enthusiasm for Mussolini or her affair with a married man (real-life hubby Stephens). A poignant character study of a woman whose incomplete life and untamed spirit combine to blur her judgment, the movie is a fabulous showcase for Maggie Smith's dazzling talent.