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The Young Lovers (1954 film)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Young Lovers
British release poster
Directed byAnthony Asquith
Written byRobin Estridge
George Tabori
Produced byAnthony Havelock-Allan
StarringOdile Versois
David Knight
Joseph Tomelty
CinematographyJack Asher
Edited byFrederick Wilson
Music byBenjamin Frankel
Distributed byGeneral Film Distributors
Release date
  • 24 August 1954 (1954-08-24)
Running time
96 minutes
CountryUnited Kingdom

The Young Lovers (U.S. Chance Meeting) is a 1954 British Cold War romantic drama film directed by Anthony Asquith and starring Odile Versois and David Knight. The film was produced by Anthony Havelock-Allan, with cinematography from Jack Asher and screenplay by George Tabori and Robin Estridge. It was shot at Pinewood Studios with sets designed by the art directors John Box and John Howell. At the 1955 British Film Academy Awards, The Young Lovers picked up the prizes for Best Screenplay and Most Promising Newcomer to Film (David Kossoff).[1]

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Ted Hutchens is a code expert working in intelligence at the American Embassy in London. On a night out to the Royal Ballet at Covent Garden he meets a young woman named Anna , and the pair fall immediately in love. The problem is that Anna is the daughter of the ambassador in London of a country which is not named but it is implied that it is part of the Warsaw Pact. It is made clear to both that their relationship cannot continue in such a political climate, and their communications and movements are monitored by surveillance units from both sides. However, they continue to meet. Eventually, when Anna discovers she is pregnant, the couple decide that their love is more important to them than the demands of political exigency, and on a stolen yacht they make their escape together into a stormy English Channel. The film ends with a distant shot of the boat sailing off into an uncertain future.

The Young Lovers was noted in its time for its relatively frank depiction of a sexual relationship between an unmarried couple, and was praised for its even-handedness in presenting Anna's father in a sympathetic manner, as a man torn between his political beliefs and the desire for his daughter's happiness.



Producer Tony Havelock Allen wanted Mark Robson to direct and Jimmy Stewart to star. He said:

The Rank Organisation said they didn’t have the money for an American star and wanted me to use the young American, David Knight. Puffin [Anthony Asquith] was the wrong director for it; it should have been made in that stark, realistic style the Americans were so good at, but Rank wanted to use Puffin. I hadn’t made a film for some time and was getting lazy, so I agreed to do it as Rank wanted. It was a perfectly good film but it lacked guts; it didn’t have that hard edge to it which it needed. It was intended as a blast against McCarthyism, and was written by a noted anti-Fascist, George Tabori.[2]


  1. ^ British Film Academy Awards 1955 Retrieved 03-08-2010
  2. ^ McFarlane, Brian (1997). An autobiography of British cinema : as told by the filmmakers and actors who made it. Metheun. p. 293. ISBN 9780413705204.

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This page was last edited on 27 March 2024, at 03:15
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