The Children's Hour (1961)
Director: William Wyler
Stars: Audrey Hepburn, Shirley MacLaine, and James Garner
Almost 30 years after Lillian Helman's play made history by referencing homosexuality during a time when it was illegal to do so on any New York stage, director William Wyler put the story on screen. The story goes as follows: a spoiled private school student seeks revenge on her teachers, who've disqualified her from a school event for bad behavior, by promoting a lie that her teachers were in a lesbian relationship, thus ruining their lives.
Considering the Hays Code was still in effect during production, the movie was met with some pushback. Samuel Goldwyn, the only producer willing to finance the film, had screenwriter John Michael Hayes change the lie to infidelity in a heterosexual relationship instead. But by the time filming began, the Hays Code was loosened, allowing Hayes to use the original plot.
Side note: In the documentary The Celluloid Closet (1996), Shirley Maclaine admitted she and Audrey Hepburn never talked about their characters' homosexuality. â€”TA