Terence Rattigan's pair of one-act plays are deftly woven together into this intelligent, handsome drama, a kind of somber Grand Hotel of lonely and repressed lives at a British seaside hotel in the dreary off-season. David Niven and Wendy Hiller earned well-deserved Oscars for their subdued turns, as a blustery old warhorse hiding a guilty secret and the efficient hotel proprietress, respectively. Burt Lancaster is the alcoholic American whose secret affair with Hiller is complicated when his former wife (Rita Hayworth) breezes in and reopens old emotional wounds, and Deborah Kerr is a mousy woman whose secret love for Niven is shattered by scandal. Director Daniel Mann (Marty) remains true to the good manners and quiet desperation that keeps these sad souls isolated at separate tables. He gracefully floats between the two dramas and patiently allows his repressed characters to open up and reveal their true feelings in their own quiet fashion.
Separate Tables won 2 Oscars at the
1959 Academy Awards