The Astonished Heart (1950)


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Drama - Romance | 85 minutes

The film begins with a scene in which Barbara rings Leonora to tell her that something has happened to Chris. At this point, we don't know who Chris is or what has happened, only that he has lost conciousness. The film then flashes back a year, to when the old friends Barbara and Leonora meet again after having lost contact for many years. Time has not strained their relationship it seems, and Barbara invites Leonora to her house a few days later to meet her husband. Her husband Chris, a pompous, austere psychologist, gets off to a bad start with Leonora. The two despise each other until one night when Barbara ha...
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s to leave town to look after her mother. Because of this, she is unable to go to the play she had arranged to go with Leonora to. Chris reluctantly decides to go in place of Barbara, and the two hit it off and begin a relationship.
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Twee oude vrienden Barbara en Leonora nemen na vele jaren opnieuw contact op met elkaar. De tijd heeft hun vriendschapsband schijnbaar niet aangetast en Barbara nodigt Leonora een paar dagen later bij haar thuis om haar echtgenoot voor te stellen. Deze laatste kan vanaf het begin niet goed opschieten met Leonora. Het gevoel lijkt wederzijds. Op een avond moet Barbara de stad verlaten om haar moeder wat te helpen. Zo kan ze niet naar het toneelstuk gaan, dat ze van plan was samen met Leonora te bekijken. Chris besluit met tegenzin in de plaats van Barbara te gaan. Maar later komt Barbara voor een verrassing te sta...
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With his previous collaborator David Lean busy on other own projects, Noel Coward had to rely on director Terence Fisher to bring his The Astonished Heart to the screen. Fisher and his stars--Celia Johnson, Margaret Leighton, and Coward himself--vividly convey the playwright's brittle, sophisticated view of the world. Coward stars as Christian Faber, a psychiatrist who falls in love with the much-younger Leonora Vail (Leighton). This means that Faber must convince himself that his blissful 10-year marriage to wife Barbara (Johnson) is truly at an end. Once he's made this compromise with his conscience, Faber furt...
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her deteriorates into petulant jealousy when Leonora begins roaming. The surprise ending is all the more surprising because the audience is pulling for Faber (despite his emotional immaturity) and is hoping that he'll pull himself out of his self-imposed mess. In addition to writing and starring in The Astonished Heart, Noel Coward also composed the musical score.
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