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Brief Encounter (1945)

Not Rated | | Drama, Romance | 24 August 1946 (USA)
Meeting a stranger in a railway station, a woman is tempted to cheat on her husband.

Director:

David Lean
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Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 3 wins. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Celia Johnson ... Laura Jesson
Trevor Howard ... Dr. Alec Harvey
Stanley Holloway ... Albert Godby
Joyce Carey ... Myrtle Bagot
Cyril Raymond ... Fred Jesson
Everley Gregg ... Dolly Messiter
Marjorie Mars Marjorie Mars ... Mary Norton
Margaret Barton Margaret Barton ... Beryl Walters - Tea Room Assistant
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Storyline

At a café on a railway station, housewife Laura Jesson (Celia Johnson) meets Dr. Alec Harvey (Trevor Howard). Although they are both already married, they gradually fall in love with each other. They continue to meet every Thursday in the small café, although they know that their love is impossible. Written by Mattias Thuresson

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

1940s | love | train | shopping | housewife | See All (29) »

Taglines:

A story of the most precious moments in woman's life! See more »

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English | French

Release Date:

24 August 1946 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Brief Encounter See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

GBP170,000 (estimated)

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$71,643
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Cineguild See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Features Celia Johnson's only Oscar nominated performance. See more »

Goofs

In the middle of the film the refreshment room owner pours milk into Albert's tea twice, once just before and again just after the point of view changes. See more »

Quotes

Laura Jesson: [Secret thoughts] This can't last. This misery can't last. I must remember that and try to control myself. Nothing lasts really. Neither happiness nor despair. Not even life lasts very long. There'll come a time in the future when I shan't mind about this anymore, when I can look back and say quite peacefully and cheerfully how silly I was. No, no, I don't want that time to come ever. I want to remember every minute, always, always to the end of my days.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in At the Movies: On the Sunny Side of the Screen (1994) See more »

Soundtracks

Let The Great Big World Keep Turning
(uncredited)
Music by Nat Ayer
Lyrics by Clifford Grey
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
A Romantic's Vision Is A Romance Beyond Belief
19 February 2007 | by Det_McNultySee all my reviews

Sir David Lean has left a genuine mark on cinema; he remains one of the most renowned and most celebrated directors in cinema. Some argue that he is the finest British director of all-time. He is a director who has made some of the finest classics ever, including the likes of, Bridge on the River Kwai, Great Expectations, Lawrence of Arabia, Doctor Zhivago and Oliver Twist. That is just to name a few, yet people always forget the outstanding and underrated delight, Brief Encounter.

Brief Encounter is a momentary story, however a film of which generations of film aficionados and the average film-viewer hold dear to their hearts. It was one of David Lean's first films and remains one of the most "British" films of all-time. It follows the story of Laura Jesson (Celia Johnson) who by chance meets Dr. Alec Harvey (legendary British actor Trevor Howard) and it quickly becomes obvious that they have fallen in love, which swiftly develops into a full-blown affair. The film remains sympathetic towards the two main characters, both actors wonderfully act out the guilt they feel for deceiving their marriages. Yet, the both of them can not retain from showing their love for one another; the film revolves around the infamous set-piece of a train station and tea-room.

Brief Encounter was a highly controversial film upon release, even becoming banned in Ireland. Some may wonder why a film like Brief Encounter was controversial, there's no questionable content whatsoever and there is not one single explicit scene in film. Yet, the film does hold a beautiful sexual tension and shows sums up the "guilt-ridden love" which the protagonists feel for one another.

Brief Encounter is beautifully shot, evenly paced and forcefully depressing, while remaining beautifully layered in charm and wit. The characters are splendidly scripted and then crafted with elegance. Brief Encounter is a film that has prowess; a classic piece of film-making and a film that has "classic" written all over it. Brief Encounter is heart wrenchingly honest when showing emotion and being open on the phrase "love is a force beyond the power of nature". Brief Encounter is bittersweet and poignant, without being soppy, sloppy or over-sentimental.

Brief Encounter is a film that even today gets hailed as a classic of British cinema. It is also certainly a film in which the British Film Institute and British public hold dear to their classic cinema traditions. A highly recommended film and a romance that beats the cheesy, modern-day blockbuster romances, of which the market is horribly cluttered with.


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