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The Astonished Heart (1950, Margaret Leighton, Noël Coward) 



Based on a short play by Noel Coward The Astonished Heart is an intriguing story of psychiatrist Christian Faber (Noel Coward) who becomes infatuated with his patient Leonora (Margaret Leighton), a girl who knows how to enjoy herself, unlike his wife (Celia Johnson) who, despite her devotion to him, is distinctly sexless.

Torn by his desires, desperate to reconcile his 10-year-old marriage seemingly at the end of its life, and wracked with jealousy for the wandering Leonora, with his life in turmoil, the result is self-destruction, providing a powerful assault on the prevailing morality and self-censorship of British cinema in the post-war period. The ending still has the power to surprise and Coward’s bitter brittle view of the world is never better, with the added benefit of a score from him as well.

production details
UK / 85 minutes / 1950

Directors: Terence Fisher, Antony Darnborough
Writers: Noël Coward,

Celia Johnson as Barbara Faber
Noël Coward as Dr. Christian Faber
Margaret Leighton as Leonora Vail
Joyce Carey as Susan Birch
Graham Payn as Tim Verney
Michael Hordern as Ernest
Amy Veness as Alice Smith
Ralph Michael as Philip Lucas

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