The Astonished Heart: A study in failure

Conference item


Cottis, D. 2021. The Astonished Heart: A study in failure. Noel Coward: Past, Present and Future. University of Birmingham
TitleThe Astonished Heart: A study in failure
AuthorsCottis, D.
Abstract

While Noel Coward's two collaborations with David Lean, In Which We Serve and Brief Encounter, are rightly regarded as masterworks of British cinema, his third original screenplay, The Astonished Heart, is rarely discussed, and is generally regarded as something of an embarrassment, not least by Coward himself.
This is a little surprising, given the film's similarities with Brief Encounter - both feature Celia Johnson and Joyce Carey, and both are adapted from plays in the To-night at 8:30 sequence. This paper examines the reasons fro The Astonished Heart's failure, and what this can tell us about the earlier films, and Brief Encounter in particular - to put it at its most basic, what did that film do right that the Astonished Heart did so wrong?

Sustainable Development Goals4 Quality education
Middlesex University ThemeCreativity, Culture & Enterprise
LanguageEnglish
ConferenceNoel Coward: Past, Present and Future
Publication dates
Print16 Jun 2021
Publication process dates
Deposited19 Jun 2023
Accepted14 Jan 2023
Output statusPublished
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https://repository.mdx.ac.uk/item/8q6z6

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