Controvery about this movie
Someone wanted to know about the controversy of this movie.
It was actually a well-done melodrama. But it doesn't take a rocket scientist to see the controversy.
1) Interacial sexual intercourse
2) Illicit sexual relations between a teacher and a student employee
3) Rape as a sexual awakening
British actress, Anne Heywood plays a mid-30s single, high-school teacher, Miss Evelyn Wycoff, in small-town Kansas, USA,circa 1956. She's fairly attractive and there is never any given reason why she is still a bachelorette in her mid-30s. She seems to be pleasant and prim and proper as per the straight-laced 1950s.
Miss Wycoff quietly seeks advice from an urbane doctor, Dr. Steiner, played by Robert Vaughn. Miss Wycoff seems to be having some physiological difficulty that the movie coyly avoids disclosing. But Dr.Steiner puts us in the know when he discretely and wisely advises Miss Wycoff that, "...our bodies were meant to be used." He's essentially informing Miss Wycoff in a polite, euphemistic, professional but friendly manner that she needs sex.
Miss Wycoff's inner biological urgings are met in an unexpected way one late afternoon when student employee, Rafe (LaFayette), an Afro-American with an athletic physique with no ounce of fat on, assaults and rapes Miss Wycoff on her own desk in the empty classroom.
The controversy is just getting started. Initially traumatized by the rape, Miss Wycoff realizes the sexual intercourse was pleasant and answered her body's biological yearnings. Her body feels just great. 'Give me more' is her body's response to Miss Wycoff's brain. Like a drug addict, Miss Wycoff starts an illicit sexual affair with the student janitor, Rafe. They start having sex on the classroom floor in the evenings. Their relationship is strictly for the sex.
Want more controversy? Eventually, Rafe starts coming around the idea that he is the one being used for someone else's sexual pleasure and he starts acting huffy and prissy. After all the great socially-taboo sex with an attractive, ex-virginal, early 30s white woman, Rafe suddenly and sanctimoniously doesn't like being a plantation sex-slave to the female white master, although Miss Wycoff nevers acts in such an ungrateful manner. But Rafe has started to tire of just a sexual relationship, although he's not interested in any other relationship with Miss Wycoff. Typical guy behavior.
Somehow, and I don't remember; their sexual relationship is uncovered by the townspeople who are appalled. But at least one white teenage male remarks that "Miss Wycoff at least picked a nice-looking colored guy", which is true. The townspeople start staring and murmuring and then treating Miss Wycoff like she has a communcable disease. All this doesn't really last long. Miss Wycoff returns to her apartment to find the landlady has packed all her suitcases and stacked it outside the apartment. And yet the old landlady is waving goodbye to Miss Wycoff from an upper story window and sincerely wishing her good luck.
The movie ends with Miss Wycoff waiting at the train station, sitting on her luggage, staring into the distance, still maintaining a quiet dignity.
Today in 2009, I wonder why the townspeople can be such boneheads. Today you get sex where and when you can get it from a willing opposite-sex partner of legal age.