In the 1940s, the wit of playwright NoŽl Coward and the craft of filmmaker David Lean melded harmoniously in one of cinemaís greatest writer-director collaborations. With the wartime military drama sensation In Which We Serve, Coward and Lean (along with producing partners Ronald Neame and Anthony Havelock-Allan) embarked on a series of literate, socially engaged, and enormously entertaining pictures that ranged from domestic epic (This Happy Breed) to whimsical comedy (Blithe Spirit) to poignant romance (Brief Encounter). These films created a lasting testament to Cowardís artistic legacy and introduced Leanís visionary talents to the world.
After a chance meeting on a train platform, a married doctor (Trevor Howard) and a suburban housewife (Celia Johnson) enter into a muted but passionate, ultimately doomed, love affair.
In Which We Serve
In the midst of World War II, the renowned playwright NoŽl Coward engaged a young film editor named David Lean to help him realize his vision for an action drama about a group of Royal Navy sailors (roles that would be filled by Coward himself, Bernard Miles, and John Mills, among others) fighting.
This Happy Breed
David Lean brings to vivid emotional life NoŽl Cowardís epic chronicle of a working-class family in the London suburbs over the course of two decades.
David Leanís delightful film version of NoŽl Cowardís theater sensation stars Rex Harrison as a novelist who cheekily invites a medium to his house to conduct a sťance, hoping the experience will inspire a book heís working on.
- New high-definition digital transfers of the BFI National Archiveís 2008 restorations, with uncompressed monaural soundtracks on the Blu-ray editions
- Audio commentary on Brief Encounter by film historian Bruce Eder
- New interviews with NoŽl Coward scholar Barry Day on all of the films
- Interview with cinematographer-screenwriter-producer Ronald Neame from 2010
- Short documentaries from 2000 on the making of In Which We Serve and Brief Encounter
- David Lean: A Self Portrait, a 1971 television documentary on Leanís career
- Episode of the British television series The Southbank Show from 1992 on the life and career of Coward
- Audio recording of a 1969 conversation between Richard Attenborough and Coward at Londonís National Film Theatre
- PLUS: A booklet featuring essays by Ian Christie, Terrence Rafferty, Farran Smith Nehme, Geoffrey OíBrien, and Kevin Brownlow