The Young Lovers (1954 film)

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. 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]

The Young Lovers
British release poster
Directed byAnthony Asquith
Produced byAnthony Havelock-Allan
Written byRobin Estridge
George Tabori
StarringOdile Versois
David Knight
Music byBenjamin Frankel
CinematographyJack Asher
Edited byFrederick Wilson
Distributed byGeneral Film Distributors
Release date
  • 24 August 1954 (1954-08-24) (UK)
  • 19 April 1955 (1955-04-19) (US)
Running time
96 min.
CountryUnited Kingdom


Ted Hutchens (Knight) 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 (Versois), and the pair fall immediately in love. The problem is that Anna is the daughter of the Soviet ambassador in London. It is made clear to both that their relationship cannot continue in such a political climate, and their movements are constantly monitored by surveillance units from both sides. However they continue to meet in secret, attempting to outwit both the American and Soviet surveillance services. Eventually, when Anna discovers she is pregnant, the couple decide that their love is stronger than the demands of political exigency, and make their escape together across a stormy English Channel. The film is open-ended, with no indication as to whether or not they succeed.

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



  1. British Film Academy Awards 1955 Retrieved 03-08-2010
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