My thanks to Patrick Flynn for passing along this commentary from Turner Classic Movies about the making of the cinematic version of Robert Anderson's 1953 play, Tea and Sympathy, which a dozen of us (stout and true...:-) discussed tonight. As this excerpt explains, the screenwriters made many changes, which helps explain why the film didn't come out until 1956.
"The final version differed from the play in that it removed the suggestion that Tom or Bill held any latent homosexual tendencies, and it did not include a scene in which Tom swims in the nude with a gay music teacher [David Harris]. In addition, the film adds a flashback framing structure, in which Tom returns to a school reunion and, after reminiscing about the past, reads the letter from Laura expressing her remorse at having slept with him, an act that destroyed her marriage. The play ends with Laura's famous line, 'Years from now, when you talk about this--and you will--be kind.' In the film, the line ends the flashback."