The Passionate Friends were in love when young, but separated, and she married an older man. Then Mary Justin meets Steven Stratton again and they have one last fling together in the Alps. Written by
David Wark <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Invariably this film is bound to be compared to "Brief Encounter" and I guess that's to be expected given they were both directed by David Lean, starred Trevor Howard and featured adultery. Frankly I think any comparison to be unfair because that's where their similarities end. I've seen both and I favor "Passionate Friends". I should add that Ann Todd is not one of my favorite performers. Her demeanor can be expressionless and somewhat off putting. But here she truly shines. In Lean's extensive close ups she reveals inner feelings without uttering a word. And her smiles are explosively radiant. She utterly owns this part. The male parts are equally excellent. All the performances wrap the viewer with their passion and involve him in the characters' fates. This is not light viewing. It's an emotional roller coaster and as the climactic finale unfolded I found myself talking to the screen trying to influence the outcome. Without a doubt this is a story by adults, for adults. Highly recommended.
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