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Wow! I like this earlier version much better than The Children's Hour (1961), though [Children's] has many good moments of it's own - just.. different moments.

 

I prefer Joel McCrea over James Gardner Garner across the board. Ditto for Merle Oberon vs Audrey Hepburn.

 

The interfering aunt seems to be about even with good representations from both Catherine Doucet and Miriam Hopkins, as is Martha Dobie portrayed by Miriam Hopkins and Shirley MacLaine - IMO.

 

Also, Bonita Granville takes first prize for her version of Mary - much more sinister.

 

          ________________________

 

I often wonder how Bonita Granville's Mary from These Three and Patty McCormack's Rhoda from The Bad Seed (1956) would have gotten along.

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Wow! I like this earlier version much better than The Children's Hour (1961), though [Children's] has many good moments of it's own - just.. different moments.

 

I prefer Joel McCrea over James Gardner across the board. Ditto for Merle Oberon vs Audrey Hepburn.

 

The interfering aunt seems to be about even with good representations from both Catherine Doucet and Miriam Hopkins, as is Martha Dobie portrayed by Miriam Hopkins and Shirley MacLaine - IMO.

 

Also, Bonita Granville takes first prize for her version of Mary - much more sinister.

 

          ________________________

 

I often wonder how Bonita Granville's Mary from These Three and Patty McCormack's Rhoda from The Bad Seed (1956) would have gotten along.

 

I agree with what you state.      Garner and Hepburn didn't have much chemistry and scenes that focused on those two were rather flat.  (the one film where Hepburn just doesn't cut it for me).    Oberon and McCrea have good chemistry and they are solid.   Hopkins is great in both versions but MacLaine does shine just a little bit more  (of course due to the change in subject matter,  Martha is a defining role for an actor and Shirley runs with it).   

 

Granville's Mary would have taken out McCormack's Rhoda in the third round.   

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Wow, although both brats are evil, Mary (Bonita Granville) is just a bully trying to manipulate people & situations while Rhoda (Patty McCormack) takes pleasure in actually killing people. I do see the parts played similarly, though. I "played" that role my entire childhood!

 

It's one of the more successful remakes, imho. I like both versions and think an "update" was a good idea only for the film quality and more "modern" acting style.

I also agree McCrea was a tad better than Garner. (not Gardner!) but otherwise I enjoy the acting ability of all the female leads-some more pronounced and others more subtle.

 

I love Hopkins' acting in anything -she's always so over the top- fitting this movie perfectly, no matter what role!

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