Its one of those films that is always on, and it is a firm favourite of my mother’s. It is also one of those films that can be interpreted in many ways – is it a romance, or a case of a caddish doctor taking advantage of a gullible housewife?
The basic idea of the film is that a doctor, Alec, meets a housewife, Laura, at a train station after he helps her take some grit out of her eye. They meet up again shortly afterwards, and begin a quasi-affair, by which they usually have lunch together and watch a film afterwards. Laura has to struggle balancing being both a devoted housewife/ mother, with pursuing a relationship with Alec behind her husband’s back.
The affair ends when Alec receives a job offer overseas and he and Laura have to say goodbye hurriedly in the refreshment room at the station, before the intervention of Laura’s bossy friend makes a proper goodbye impossible.
This is a 1940s classic made by the legendary director, Noel Coward, and it has endured over 70 years with its train farewell scene transcending into popular culture and the film’s ability to be watched and discussed by audiences even today makes it unforgettable and timeless.
The two main actors are fantastic and the actor Stanley Holloway’s role as the train porter adds comic relief with his pursuit of the cafe manageress, Myrtle. Two simultaneous love affairs, each with different outcomes.