LOVE ACTUALLY: A Century Of British Romance

~1930~The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie

Maggie Smith delivers a tour-de-force performance.


Ronald Neame


  • Maggie Smith
  • Robert Stephens
  • Pamela Franklin
  • Gordon Jackson
  • Celia Johnson
  • Diane Grayson
  • Jane Carr
  • Shirley Steedman
1969, 116 mins, UK
Romance | Drama

Maggie Smith’s incredible turn as an unattached posh private school teacher in Edinburgh in the 1930s continues this powerful retrospective of British romance.

Based on a novel, then turned into a Tony award-winning play, The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie follows Smith as the titular teacher. She encourages romantic and political idealism in her precocious students, educating them in matters of love and art over cold hard facts. Her controversial teaching style captures the attention and indignation of the school’s headmistress, Miss Mackey (Celia Johnson). Unfazed by this Miss Brodie falls into a complicated tryst with fellow teacher Mr. Lowther (Gordon Jackson). When her politics indirectly causes a tragic event, Jean begins to unfold, questioning everything she believes in.

This is widely considered by many to be Smith’s greatest performance, which still resonates today.

    • Best Actress in a Leading Role – Academy Awards 1970
    • Palme d’Or – Festival de Cannes 1969