Best Movies by Farr
Separate Tables Poster
Released Runtime Category
1958 99 Drama, Romance
Director Language
Delbert Mann English
Rita Hayworth, Burt Lancaster, Wendy Hiller, David Niven, Deborah Kerr, Gladys Cooper

Separate Tables

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What's it About

Adapted by Terrence Rattigan from his own play, this ensemble drama portrays a group of mostly lonely lost souls staying at an English seaside resort run by Pat Cooper (Hiller). The guests include boastful war hero Major Pollock (Niven), mousy spinster Sibyl (Kerr), her overbearing mother (Cooper), and alcoholic American writer John Malcolm (Lancaster). When Malcolm's ex-wife Ann (Hayworth), a faded beauty, appears unexpectedly, the group's collective secrets and dreary emotional baggage come tumbling out into the open.

Why we love it

What in lesser hands could have been a mucky soap-fest becomes instead a subtle, sensitive, intelligent film, thanks to director Mann's deft handling of Rattigan's Oscar-nominated script. A first-rate group of players all rise admirably to the occasion, with Niven and Hiller both winning Academy Awards for their excellent work. "Tables" is a complex human drama of the highest order — just the kind of picture Hollywood rarely makes anymore.

BEST MOVIES BY FARR is your personal guide to great movies to rent, stream, or buy; to watch at home or on-the-go. Led by film advocate John Farr, the Best Movies by Farr team works as a "quality filter" for the discerning moviegoer. Every day, we bring you the best of the best, the fantastic familiar films and hidden gems, to answer that age-old question: "What should we watch tonight?"