Rita Hayworth – Separate Tables, a Film Review

Separate Tables is set in a hotel in Bournemouth, a local British seaside resort. With a star studded cast such as Rita Hayworth, David Niven, Wendy Hiller, Burt Lancaster and Deborah Kerr and filmed in Black and White, you get the feel of what a dreary seaside hotel would be like back in the 50’s.

The plot is simple, the entangled stories of the characters enter just like a theatre play as they are introduced one by one. Ann Shackland (Rita Hayworth) arrives at the hotel to see ex-husband John Malcolm(Burt Lancaster) to see if she still has control and power over him, Malcolm is totally consumed by the bottle, a way out to try and forget his failed marriage and love life. David Niven excels as Major Angus Pollock, a British officer type who is a habitual liar and a somewhat bitter man (Niven won the Best Actor award in 1958 for this performance) The vastly under-rated Deborah Kerr ( 6 Oscar nominations and no wins) plays Sybil Railton-Bell a young woman completely tied to her domineering mothers (Gladys Cooper) apron strings. Kerr plays this part delicately and poignantly, so good in fact that by the end of the film you end up feeling sorry for the character.


A mention should go to Cooper who plays the domineering mother type so well in this film and in previous ones. The film has very contrasting character personalities, strong, weak, bitter, sweet which is what makes it such a good film, it also has no violence, just a well written script from an adapted play.

Separate Tables, a story of Social class in the 50’s.

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