23 user 2 critic

The Astonished Heart (1950)

Approved | | Drama, Romance | 12 April 1950 (Denmark)
This movie begins with a scene in which Barbara (Celia Johnson) rings Leonora (Margaret Leighton) to tell her that something has happened to Chris (Noël Coward). At this point, we don't ... See full summary »


Noël Coward (by) (as Noel Coward), Noël Coward (screenplay) (as Noel Coward)




Complete credited cast:
Noël Coward ... Christian Faber (as Noel Coward)
Celia Johnson ... Barbara Faber
Margaret Leighton ... Leonora Vail
Joyce Carey ... Susan Birch
Graham Payn Graham Payn ... Tim Verney
Amy Veness Amy Veness ... Alice Smith
Ralph Michael Ralph Michael ... Philip Lucas
Michael Hordern ... Ernest
Patricia Glyn Patricia Glyn ... Helen
Alan Webb ... Sir Reginald
Everley Gregg ... Miss Harper
John Salew John Salew ... Soames
Gerald Andersen Gerald Andersen ... Waiter
John Warren John Warren ... Barman


This movie begins with a scene in which Barbara (Celia Johnson) rings Leonora (Margaret Leighton) to tell her that something has happened to Chris (Noël Coward). At this point, we don't know who Chris is or what has happened, only that he has lost conciousness. The movie then flashes back a year, to when old friends Barbara and Leonora meet again after having lost contact for many years. Time has not strained their relationship it seems, and Barbara invites Leonora to her house a few days later to meet her husband. Her husband Chris, a pompous, austere psychologist, gets off to a bad start with Leonora. The two despise each other until one night when Barbara has to leave town to look after her mother. Because of this, she is unable to go to the play she had arranged to go with Leonora to. Chris reluctantly decides to go in place of Barbara, and the two hit it off and begin a relationship. Written by Andy Prowse <souffle_tantrum@postmark.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


A daring experiment in love!


Drama | Romance


Approved | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


Second theatrical movie of Alan Webb (Sir Reginald). His first was Challenge to Lassie (1949). See more »


Christian Faber: The world I deal with is full of cruel stories.
See more »

User Reviews

Interesting study in the psychosis of a psychiatrist because of love
21 June 2017 | by clanciaiSee all my reviews

Noel Coward as a psychiatrist deceives his wife Celia Johnson with Margaret Leighton, who doesn't really love him, which unsettles him completely when he realizes the most elementary of facts of love, namely that passion must pass. The acting is admirable throughout, Celia Johnson is always reliable as a stable character of a wife, Margaret Leighton is as doubtful as ever, she is expert at dubious roles, and Noel Coward, who also wrote both the script and the music for the film, makes a very thorough suitable case for treatment - his major scene is when he reveals to his patient who the real patient is. Like so many of Coward's plays, it's almost trivial in its exposure of very common human dilemmas, a love affair easily topples over into uncontrollable passion and most usually does, but one would have expected a psychiatrist to be able to remain in control. As he gives a lecture in the beginning of the film, he expounds on this very necessity, as he discovers Margaret Leighton in the audience and is faced by the abyss of his own weakness. The music doesn't stick, but it illustrates the whole drama perfectly, adding even more emotion to it. This is not Noel Coward's best film or performance, but it's not his worst either but well up to his reliable standard.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 23 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.






Release Date:

12 April 1950 (Denmark) See more »

Also Known As:

The Astonished Heart See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page

Recently Viewed