Connecting Rooms is a 1970 British drama film written and directed by Franklin Gollings. The screenplay is based on the play The Cellist by Marion Hart. The film stars Bette Davis, Michael Redgrave, and Leo Genn.
The plot explores the relationships shared by the residents of a seedy boarding house owned by dour Mrs. Brent. Among them are busker Wanda Fleming, who is flattered by the attention paid her by rebellious pop songwriter wannabe Mickey Hollister, and former schoolmaster James Wallraven, who has been accused of pedophilia and reduced to working as a janitor in an art gallery.
The Paramount Pictures release was filmed on location in the Bayswater section of London, England. It was made in 1969, was given a limited release in the United States in 1970, and finally opened in the UK in 1972.
In a scene set in the West End theatre district, a theatre marquee lists Margot Channing as one of the cast of the play it is housing. Channing was the name of the character Bette Davis portrayed in the 1950 classic film All About Eve.
- Bette Davis ..... Wanda Fleming
- Michael Redgrave ..... James Wallraven
- Alexis Kanner ..... Mickey Hollister
- Kay Walsh ..... Mrs. Brent
- Leo Genn ..... Dr. Norman
- Olga Georges-Picot ..... Claudia
- Richard Wyler ..... Dick Grayson
- Mark Jones ..... Johnny
- Gabrielle Drake ..... Jean
- Brian Wilde ..... Ellerman
- John Woodnutt ..... Doctor
Principal production credits
- Producers ..... Dimitri De Grunwald, Jack Smith
- Original Music ..... Joan Shakespeare, John Shakespeare
- Cinematography ..... John Wilcox
- Art Direction ..... Herbert Smith, Morley Smith
- Costume Design ..... Harry Haynes, Tina Haynes
In his review in the webzine Film Threat, Phil Hall describes the film as "a compelling and often heartbreaking drama" and adds "Redgrave, who was never the most subtle screen actor . . . manages to reign in his hammy tendencies and find the angst and isolation in the disgraced teacher's existence." Regarding Davis, Hall writes: "When her secret is revealed, Davis' character says absolutely nothing. Instead, her body freezes slightly while her eyes (yes, those Bette Davis eyes) give a look which is initially shameful, but then suddenly appear to present endless relief. In her silence and her ocular expression, Davis achieves a state of grace which is astonishing to behold."