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One of David Lean's less effective romances
on 2 April 2011
On her way to Switzerland for a holiday, a married woman (Ann Todd) recollects a New Year's Eve party nine years earlier when she rekindled a romance with her former lover (Trevor Howard). Her husband (Claude Rains) forgives her indiscretion but forbids her to ever see him again. So, guess who she meets in Switzerland? Based on the novel by H.G. Wells, this is one of David Lean's romance films of which BRIEF ENCOUNTER and SUMMERTIME are better known but this one fits in snugly in between. It's not as satisfying predominantly because the central character of the wife is rather selfish and narcissistic. She loves Howard in a way she doesn't love her husband but she loves the money and security of the lifestyle Rains can provide her with. Meanwhile, she's only giving the two men in her life only half of herself and frankly, both men deserve better. Fortunately, Todd (PARADINE CASE) is quite good here and does a more than credible job of displaying the contradictory mental state of her character. Guy Green did the cinematography with some lovely French mountains and lakes standing in for Switzerland and Richard Addinsell did the overactive score. With Wilfrid Hyde-White.
The ITV DVD from England is a superb B&W transfer.