Brief EncounterDirector: David Lean, Celia Johnson, Trevor Howard, Stanley Holloway
Based on Noël Coward's play "Still Life," Brief Encounter is a romantic, bittersweet drama about two married people who meet by chance in a London railway station and carry on an intense love affair. Sentimental yet down-to-earth and set in pre-World War II England, the film follows British housewife Laura Jesson (Celia Johnson), who is on her way home, but catches a cinder in her eye. By chance, she meets Dr. Alec Harvey (Trevor Howard), who removes it for her. The two talk for a few minutes and strike immediate sparks, but they end up catching different trains. However, both return to the station once a week to meet and, as the film progresses, they grow closer, sharing stories, hopes, and fears about their lives, marriages, and children. One day, when Alec's train is late, both become frantic that they will miss each other. When they finally find each other, they realize that they are in love. But what should be a joyous realization is fraught with tragedy, since both care greatly for their families. Howard and Johnson give flawless performances as two practical, married people who find themselves in a situation in which they know they can never be happy.
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- [B&W, Full Frame]
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Cast & Crew
|Celia Johnson||Laura Jesson|
|Trevor Howard||Dr. Alec Harvey|
|Stanley Holloway||Albert Godby|
|Joyce Carey||Myrtle Bagot|
|Cyril Raymond||Fred Jesson|
|Valentine Dyall||Stephan Lynn|
|Everley Gregg||Dolly Messiter|
|Margaret Barton||Beryl Waters|
|Marjorie Mars||Mary Norton|
|Nuna Davey||Mrs. Rolandson|
|George Pollock||Asst. Director|
1. Logos/Opening Credits [1:33]
2. Milford Junction Station [8:54]
3. Laura and Her Family [3:23]
4. Rachmanioff and Recriminations [3:50]
5. "I Happen to Be a Doctor" [1:46]
6. "You Could Never Be Dull" [5:57]
7. "Don't You Feel Guilty?" [1:54]
8. Falling in Love Over Alec's Ideals [6:42]
9. A Close Call [3:40]
10. Love on the Run [3:48]
11. Flames of Passion [6:28]
12. Laura's Fantasies [3:22]
13. A Lie Between Friends [3:51]
14. In Flagrante Delicto [5:04]
15. Saucy Upstart Soldiers [3:19]
16. A Friend's Apartment [3:54]
17. At the War Memorial [3:59]
18. "Could You Really Say Good-Bye?" [3:58]
19. "A Long Way Away..." [9:02]
20. Coming Back [1:30]
21. Color Bars [:00]
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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Two married people meet and fall in love. Brief encounter is an early David Lean movie that is one of the most touching love stores I've seen. Set in pre war London, the rendition of this Coward play is simply fantastic. Lean is in control on all the scenes and the plot's rendition uses flashbacks to situate events of this unconsumated love story between two married people who met accidentally in a train station tea shop and fell in love. This love cannot be consumated however, because both of them have families of their own.
Having become engrossed in the Original black and white movie on VHS (copied from the TV) I believe the DVD edition will have the same stunning empact as the original. A chance encounter while waiting the arrival of the train, a speck of grit in one's eye, quickly removed by a total stranger develops into a brief love affair. The dramatic effects of black and white film and Cecilia Johnson's thoughts, spoke during the film, entice the viewer to become one with the characters portrayed. The piano concerto, always present in the background, will always remind you of this classic film. Enjoy with a cup of Earl Gray!
Brief Encounter is a beautiful love story about a doctor and a housewife meeting by accident and falling in love. Both of them are married to other people. The story is universal and could have happened anywhere. Even so, it is very British and very good.
Celia Howard and Trevor Johnston turn in brilliant performances in this charming and sad little movie about a small friendship, that turns into romance, that breaks into tragedy. It was made in wartime England, and David Lean needed official permission from the British Government to use an entire train station during these dangerous times. Trevor Johnson himself was a former soldier injured in the war, and moved in to acting to support himself after being released by the Army. The original playwright also worked closely with David Lean on the movie, and some critics have speculated that the secrecy of the doomed affair reflects the playwright's own secrecy of his own homosexuality (but it's all hush-hush, didn't hear it from me!). Anyway, this is worthwhile viewing if you like old movies or b&w movies, and if you've seen romantic tragedy movies before, you'll recognize many of the things in those movies started here.
This is one of the most beautifully directed movies I have ever seen. The story line combined with marvelous cinematography and Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto No. 2, is totally breathtaking! This is a must have for anyone who truly has an appreciation of cinema and British classics.
David Lean directed a handful of films that went on to become classics but he never made a more perfect or satisfying movie than BRIEF ENCOUNTER. Long before the widescreen majesty of LAWRENCE OF ARABIA and DOCTOR ZHIVAGO there was this intimate story of two lonely , middle-aged people who meet by chance at a train station in a London suburb and start an unconsummated love affair that leads to a stunning dramatic conclusion. Celia Johnson and Trevor Howard were unforgettable as the furtive lovers and David Lean's direction lifted the film to artistic heights that made BRIEF ENCOUNTER the CITIZEN KANE of romantic movies. This World War 2 -Era love story, superbly photographed and mounted in black and white, features all the Lean trademarks that distinguished the great director's later masterworks: stunning cinematography, inventive use of editing and sound and an unforgettable background score (in this case much of the music from Rachmaninoff's Second Piano Concerto). BRIEF ENCOUNTER is one of the great films of the Twentieth Century.