Friday, October 23, 2009

1949 - THE PASSIONATE FRIENDS David Lean reworks Brief Encounter

One of the few David Lean films that is not especially well known. Lean reworked the script and took over direction from Ronald Neame the future director of The Poseidon Adventure which pretty much finished off their long friendship. 

Lean used a complex but confusing flashback structure to tell the story of a woman who cheats on her husband. The very British actor Ann Todd was a woman Lean eventually left his wife for and had a pretty intense relationship and marriage with.

Ann Todd looks good in any film I've ever seen her in.  But she always acts like she has a corn cob up her butt. Not a lot of fun at a party,  much less a woman to have a wild affair with. Claude Rains probably gives the best performance in the film as the pissed off husband, as pissed off as a husband can be in one of these "stiff upper lipped" British dramas.
The film is well made and good looking. David Lean always knew how to put a film together, but it's kind of a minor story compared to Great Expectations or Oliver Twist or even In Which We Serve .

 95 minutes.

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