The Astonished Heart


Time Out says

Intriguingly schematic account (based on Coward's own playlet) of a psychiatrist's sexual obsession with a good-time girl (Leighton), and the effect it has on his devoted, self-denying, sexless wife (Johnson) as it ultimately drives him to self-destruct by throwing himself off a high building. In its way it crystallises and criticises the conventional attitudes towards sex prevalent throughout British cinema in the immediate post-war period, and which Fisher was to turn upside-down in his vampire movies, where the neurotic female altruism represented here by Celia Johnson is transformed by the cathartic presence of Dracula into ravening sexuality.


Release details

89 mins

Cast and crew

Terence Fisher, Antony Darnborough
Noel Coward
Noël Coward
Celia Johnson
Margaret Leighton
Joyce Carey
Graham Payn
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