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The Passionate Friends (1949)

Approved | | Drama | 26 January 1949 (UK)
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.

Director:

David Lean

Writers:

H.G. Wells (novel), Eric Ambler (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Ann Todd ... Mary Justin
Claude Rains ... Howard Justin
Trevor Howard ... Professor Steven Stratton
Betty Ann Davies ... Miss Joan Layton
Isabel Dean ... Pat Stratton
Arthur Howard Arthur Howard ... Smith - the Butler
Guido Lorraine Guido Lorraine ... Hotel Manager
Marcel Poncin Marcel Poncin ... Hall Porter
Natasha Sokolova Natasha Sokolova ... Chambermaid
Hélène Burls Hélène Burls ... Flowerwoman
Jean Serret Jean Serret ... Emigration Official
Frances Waring Frances Waring ... Charwoman
Wenda Rogerson Wenda Rogerson ... Bridge Guest
Helen Piers Helen Piers ... 1st Woman - Albert Hall
Ina Pelly Ina Pelly ... 2nd Woman - Albert Hall
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Storyline

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 <dwark@atge.automail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Their affair took on a life of its own.

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English | French

Release Date:

26 January 1949 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

One Woman's Story See more »

Filming Locations:

Chamonix, Haute-Savoie, France See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Cineguild See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The first of three consecutive films Todd and Lean made together during their marriage. See more »

Goofs

When Mary and Steven are chatting on the park bench, the cigarette switches from being in Mary's mouth to being out of the frame between shots. See more »

Quotes

Mary Justin: I'm not a very good person, Steven. I wanted your love - and I wanted Howard's affection and the security he could give me.
Professor Steven Stratton: I can give you security too, and more than affection.
Mary Justin: You don't really know me at all. My love isn't worth very much.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Phantom Thread (2017) See more »

Soundtracks

Auld Lang Syne
(uncredited)
Traditional
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Brief Encounters
7 June 2013 | by st-shotSee all my reviews

The Passionate Friends is the first of three films that director David Lean made with Ann Todd in and she gives a fine performance in this mannered British melodrama that evokes in ways two other popular British films of the era, Lean's Brief Encounter and the Todd starring The Seventh Veil.

Former lovers Mary Justin (Todd) and Steven Stratton (Trevor Howard) meet accidentally at a New year's party and rekindle lost feelings. Trouble is she is married to a wealthy banker Howard Justin (Claude Rains) and Stratton's in a committed relationship. Justin discovers the affair however and puts an end to it. Nine years pass and they meet again while vacationing. Stratton is now married with kids but Howard thinks otherwise and files for divorce. Mary becomes desperate and suicidal.

With quality performances (especially Rains) from all of the leads The Passionate Friends is credible melodrama that overachieves with Lean displaying his superb grasp of film language, employing jump cuts, montage and juxtaposition for maximum effect. With a few Hitchcock like flourishes along the way he does an excellent job of keeping the audience guessing right up until the final minutes. It is this subtle triumph of form that makes The Passionate Friends a superior example of its genre.


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