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26 of 26 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good but not classic.
This love triangle between psychiatrist Christian Faber (Noel Coward) and his wife of twelve years Barbara (Celia Johnson) and the other women Leonora Vail (Margaret Leighton) is very much a 1950 film and dates in the same way endearing way as Brief Encounter and Passionate Friends.

Written by Noel Coward who plays the male lead, and also wrote a pretty good...
Published on 27 Jan. 2011 by Amazon Customer

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3.0 out of 5 stars Howard not Coward!
Trevor Howard would have been better cast in the lead role rather than the Master himself and this film would have made a nice companion piece to Brief Encounter. (all previous players being perfectly in place.) Coward is too old and mannered to be entirely convincing in this role but as a Coward fan it is mildly entertaining.
Published 3 months ago by stonehenge


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26 of 26 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good but not classic., 27 Jan. 2011
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Amazon Customer (Bournemouth UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Astonished Heart [DVD] [1950] (DVD)
This love triangle between psychiatrist Christian Faber (Noel Coward) and his wife of twelve years Barbara (Celia Johnson) and the other women Leonora Vail (Margaret Leighton) is very much a 1950 film and dates in the same way endearing way as Brief Encounter and Passionate Friends.

Written by Noel Coward who plays the male lead, and also wrote a pretty good film score that points up the action extremely well. It also includes Coward's lifetime partner Graham Payn in the role of his assistant Tim Verney.

The scenes between Noel Coward and Celia Johnson are very successful but otherwise this well acted and written film just does not come to life as it should, mainly because Coward is too old for the young Margaret Leighton and unable to generate the passion and angst needed, one wonders what an actor like Claude Rains would have made of the role.

This an enjoyable backward glance at 1950 film making, but not a classic.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Another facet of Coward, 18 Dec. 2011
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This review is from: The Astonished Heart [DVD] [1950] (DVD)
Since this is, like Brief Encounter, an expansion of a playlet from Tonight at 8.30 it is still a swift 85 minutes. The cast is the Coward "family" of Joyce Carey,Celia Johnson, Graham Payn, etc all of whom are used to the manner and style of Cowards' writing. He himself is a little ill at ease playing the part of the man whose love life and over intellectualisation of everything ultimately destroys him.YET the basic premise of the plot holds true and the oft quoted "physician heal theyself" is applicable to the psychiatrist who loses control through emotions and is unable to resolve the situation.It is a chance to see Coward challenging himself in another acting role, even if the result is not 100% convincing. It should however be noted for fashion historians that Margaret Leightons' clothes by Molyneux and Celia Johnsons' by Digby Moreton are terrific.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Romance of the Silver Screen, 13 Jan. 2014
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This review is from: The Astonished Heart [DVD] [1950] (DVD)
Noel Coward Led Black and White Film ---- Loyal Dowdy Wife ( Celia Johnson ) and Glamourous Mistress ( Margaret Leighton -- magnificently Played ) --- Usual Stuff etc but there is a Refreshing twist at the end -- if you can call it that ! --- I love this Type of Old Fashioned Stiff Upper Lip Drama ....... Recommended !
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Vintage Coward, 26 Feb. 2011
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Adele Winston (Barnet, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Astonished Heart [DVD] [1950] (DVD)
This is a perfect period piece. Anyone just discovering Terence Rattigan through his centenary celebrations should also try this. Celia Johnson (Brief Encounter) stars with Noel Coward and Margaret Leighton. And of course the frocks are lovely, too.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Noel Coward., 29 Nov. 2013
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This review is from: The Astonished Heart [DVD] [1950] (DVD)
As one expects, an elegant and polished performance by Noel Coward, one of the greatest playwrites of the post-war period.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Astonishingly good with heartfelt acting, 15 Dec. 2014
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J. Scott-mandeville "jackie veronica" (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Astonished Heart [DVD] [1950] (DVD)
This is a very under-rated film. There are superb performances from the three protagonists, Celia Johnson, Noel Coward, and especially the fabulous Margaret Leighton. The story seems trite and trivial by today's mores, but in the in 1950 the moral temper was different and this challenges the accepted standards of the day. The tone is sophisticated, the dialogue excellent, and anything that Noel Coward puts his pen to is worth attention. I thoroughly enjoyed this film and as a lifelong fan of Celia Johnson ad Margaret Leighton, this is pure indulgence.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Howard not Coward!, 5 Mar. 2015
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This review is from: The Astonished Heart [DVD] [1950] (DVD)
Trevor Howard would have been better cast in the lead role rather than the Master himself and this film would have made a nice companion piece to Brief Encounter. (all previous players being perfectly in place.) Coward is too old and mannered to be entirely convincing in this role but as a Coward fan it is mildly entertaining.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Decent melodrama stymied by Noel Coward's central performance, 24 Nov. 2014
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The CinemaScope Cat - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Astonished Heart [DVD] [1950] (DVD)
As her husband (Noel Coward) lies dying, his wife (Celia Johnson) calls her husband's mistress (Margaret Leighton) to come over to see him before he expires. While waiting for her to arrive, the wife reflects on how and when the love triangle began. The title comes from the Bible, Deuteronomy 28:28, "The Lord shall smite thee with madness, blindness and astonishment of heart". Based on one of his one act plays featured in TONIGHT AT 8:30, Noel Coward wrote the screenplay and the film's underscore as well as playing the leading role. What might have been a decent romantic melodrama along the lines of his BRIEF ENCOUNTER falls flat in no small part by Coward's egregious miscasting. In a film about a man destroyed by passion, the rather dowdy Coward can't seem to even say his own lines with any conviction. It's hard to imagine Leighton and Johnson suffering for love of Coward when he can't summon up anything remotely resembling fervor. For example, there's a scene where a "jealous" Coward is harassing Leighton to find out about her former lovers with all the intensity of a tired schoolmaster quizzing a backward student! Not addressed is the concern that both the women are too good for him. Co-directed by Terence Fisher and Antony Darnborough. With Joyce Carey, Michael Hordern and Graham Payn.

The DVD courtesy of Strawberry Media is a very nice transfer in its original 1.33 aspect ratio.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars THE MASTER MISCAST, 17 Jan. 2012
By 
RANDEL (BOYNTON BEACH, FL) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Astonished Heart [DVD] [1950] (DVD)
I adore Coward, but his performance in this film is a hollow, mannered embarrassment. Film provides no veil of illusion.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Film, 26 Feb. 2014
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This review is from: The Astonished Heart [DVD] [1950] (DVD)
This is an excellent film, very good quality audio and video. A great story with good old British actors.
Many thanks.
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The Astonished Heart [DVD] [1950]
The Astonished Heart [DVD] [1950] by Terence Fisher (DVD - 2011)
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