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A minor gem from the David Lean canon has been lovingly restored to mark the Lean centenary, and watching it now is a pleasure. This is his romantic drama of an adulterous affaire de coeur, starring Trevor Howard, Ann Todd who was to become Lean's A passionate friend wife and, most importantly, Claude Rains, whose performance gives the movie its astringency, and makes sense of its emotional reticence.
There is an obvious similarity to Lean's Brief Encounter, which is a clue to its relative neglect, and it admittedly suffers in comparison. The Passionate A passionate friend does not have the same unaffected simplicity; it rather coyly sidesteps the question of friennd, and the narrative structure, with its A passionate friend form, does not work quite as well.
A passionate friend Quite frkend, it isn't as real, and yet it has fervency, and flair. Howard plays Steven Stratton, a research scientist once in love with Mary Todda beautiful woman who was to break his heart, rejecting him because she was afraid of love's destructive fire, and preferring instead a passionless, but companionable marriage with super-wealthy A passionate friend Howard Justin Rains. The movie opens with Mary on holiday in Switzerland, passiojate for her husband to join her, but finding herself in the hotel room next to Stratton's, with an adjoining balcony.
This Cowardian moment is another oassionate to Brief Encounter. The discovery carries A passionate friend back to their last meeting at a New Year's Eve A passionate friend just before the second world war; despite being both married, the spark is struck anew, and they catastrophically revive their affair, a development heralded by a second flashback, showing the early, original AA of their relationship.
In Brief Encounter, Celia Johnson's husband was a heartbreakingly docile chap who, though apparently intuiting what was happening in his wife's heart, appeared to trust in her ultimate monogamous decency.
Rains's character is very different: It is only with the second, apparent betrayal in Switzerland that his restraint pxssionate and he instigates divorce proceedings against her, actually naming Stratton as co-respondent - a sensational act of indiscretion and cruelty which is difficult to appreciate in The experience pushes poor Mary to the brink of madness, and it is her poignant vulnerability which ironically and even tragically awakens new, more tender and protective feelings in A passionate friend.
It was thought of as a "woman's picture" in the United States on first release, though Douglas Sirk, the master of the genre, would probably have wanted a clearer, closer look at what Mary is thinking and feeling. Trevor Howard, with his habitual smoothness, is A passionate friend on screen A passionate friend Rains, who maintains a dangerous, simmering emotion throughout.
He disapproves of romance, and even suggests that it is Germany's susceptibility to romanticism that led it to nazism. It is very much his film, and Lean A passionate friend a bravura moment of editing in showing Rains' maddened imagining of his wife's adultery at the Swiss hotel in his absence.
It may be a less distinguished cousin to Brief Encounter, but as the third point in the love-triangle, Rains is razor-sharp, the story is A passionate friend, and Lean's adaptation reworked from an original script by Eric Ambler has one of the most hilarious Freudian slips in cinema history. Topics Film.
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