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A Novel Affair (1957)

The Passionate Stranger (original title)
A chauffeur gets the wrong idea when he reads his lady boss's erotic novel.




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Cast overview, first billed only:
Roger Wynter / Sir Clement
Judith Wynter / Leonie Hathaway
Patricia Dainton ...
Emily / Betty
Carlo Giustini ...
Carlo / Mario
Ada Reeve ...
Old Woman
Andree Melly ...
Frederick Piper ...
Mr. Poldy
Miles Easter
Thorley Walters ...
George Woodbridge ...
1st Landlord
Dr. Stevenson
Maurice Lamport / Martin
Barbara Archer ...
Doris - the Barmaid
Marjorie Rhodes ...
Mrs. Poldy


A chauffeur gets the wrong idea when he reads his lady boss's erotic novel.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


How sophisticated can a husband be? Can he write even when he finds his wife and chauffeur between the covers of the season's naughtiest novel?




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Release Date:

4 March 1957 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

A Novel Affair  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


Italian actor Carlo Gustini couldn't master the technique of matching his voice to his lip movements on screen for re recording his dialogue So Robert Rietty was brought in to post synch it. See more »


Cumberland Square
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User Reviews

Interesting idea but doesn't quite come off
28 September 2014 | by (Melbourne, Australia) – See all my reviews

It's a pity 'The Passionate Stranger' isn't better as - by the standards of English 1950's mainstream cinema - it has some interesting and daring ideas.

Having a fantasy sequence (based on a manuscript written by the lead female character) takes up virtually half the film; quite a bold move when the easy option would be to devote 10-15 minutes to it. The fantasy sequence is filmed in colour while the 'real' sequence is in black & white - it's very rare to find a film from any era split in this format.

And the attempts to say something on the contrast between the florid melodrama in romantic literature and how the subtleties of real married life are potentially much richer have great potential.

Alas, 'The Passionate Stranger' doesn't really work. The sluggish fantasy sequence in particular is a weakness as it could've been told in half the time.

And there are too many sloppy & unconvincing aspects to the narrative. Considering he has limited English skills, how is Carlo (Carlo Giustini) able to read an entire novel manuscript so quickly and ably? Why couldn't Judith (Margaret Leighton) put even a slight effort to not make her 'Mario' character somewhat different from Carlo?

Weakest of all, the entire post-fantasy closing segment is reliant on the Carlo completely changing his personality on the basis of a fiction manuscript. His going from a sincere, well-meaning personality to a lecherous and idiotic fool doesn't convince on any level; it also shows the film to have a rather patronising attitude to its 'foreign' character.

While not a success, 'The Passionate Stranger' isn't without its pleasures, in particular the performances of Leighton and Richardson (underused in this film), who create such an enjoyable dynamic as a couple in the 'real' section you wish there had been more of it.

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