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Quotes for
Laura Jesson (Character)
from Brief Encounter (1945)

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Brief Encounter (1945)
Laura Jesson: It's awfully easy to lie when you know that you're trusted implicitly. So very easy, and so very degrading.

Fred Jesson: You've been a long way away.
Laura Jesson: Yes.
Fred Jesson: Thank you for coming back to me.

Laura Jesson: [speaking about Dolly to herself] I wish you'd stop talking. I wish you'd stop prying and trying to find things out. I wish you were dead - no I don't mean that. That was silly and unkind. But I wish you'd stop talking.

Laura Jesson: [thinking to herself while looking at her husband, Fred] Fred, dear Fred. There's so much that I want to say to you. You're the only one in the world with enough wisdom and gentleness to understand. If only it was somebody else's story and not mine. As it is, you're the only one in the world that I can never tell. Never never. Because even if I waited until we were old, old people and told you then, you'd be bound to look back over the years and be hurt. And my dear, I don't want you to be hurt. You see, we're a happily married couple and let's never forget that. This is my home. You're my husband. And my children are upstairs in bed. I'm a happily married woman - or I was, rather, until a few weeks ago. This is my whole world, and it's enough, or rather, it was until a few weeks ago. But, oh, Fred, I've been so foolish. I've fallen in love. I'm an ordinary woman. I didn't think such violent things could happen to ordinary people.

Dr. Alec Harvey: I love you. I love your wide eyes, the way you smile, your shyness, and the way you laugh at my jokes.
Laura Jesson: [whimpers] Please don't.
Dr. Alec Harvey: I love you. I love you. You love me too. It's no use pretending it hasn't happened cause it has.
Laura Jesson: Yes it has. I don't want to pretend anything either to you or to anyone else. But from now on, I shall have to. That's what's wrong. Don't you see? That's what spoils everything. That's why we must stop, here and now, talking like this. We're neither of us free to love each other. There's too much in the way. There's still time, if we control ourselves and behave like sensible human beings. There's still time.
[She is overcome with tears]

Fred Jesson: [playing the crossword puzzle] You're a poetry addict. See if you can help me over this. It's Keats. 'When I behold, upon the night's starr'd face / Huge cloudy symbols of a high _______.' Something that's seven letters.
Laura Jesson: Romance, I think. I'm almost sure it is. 'Huge cloudy symbols of a high romance.' It will be in the Oxford Book of English Verse.
Fred Jesson: No, it's right I'm sure. It fits in with 'delirium' and 'Baluchistan.

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.

Dr. Alec Harvey: I do love you, so very much. I love you with all my heart and soul.
Laura Jesson: I want to die. If only I could die...
Dr. Alec Harvey: If you'd die, you'd forget me. I want to be remembered.

Laura Jesson: [Secret thoughts] I had no thoughts at all, only an overwhelming desire not to feel anything ever again.

Dr. Alec Harvey: Could you really say goodbye? Never see me again?
Laura Jesson: Yes, if you'd help me.
Dr. Alec Harvey: I love you, Laura. I shall love you always until the end of my life. I can't look at you now cause I know something. I know that this is the beginning of the end. Not the end of my loving you but the end of our being together. But not quite yet, darling. Please. Not quite yet.
Laura Jesson: Very well. Not quite yet.

Laura Jesson: Isn't it awful about people meaning to be kind?

Laura Jesson: Do you know, I believe we should all behave quite differently if we lived in a warm, sunny climate all the time. We shouldn't be so withdrawn and shy and difficult.

Laura Jesson: [Secret thoughts] Having committed the crime, I suddenly felt reckless and gay.

Laura Jesson: [Secret thoughts] We had such fun. I felt gay and happy and sort of released.

Laura Jesson: [Secret thoughts] I felt suddenly quite wildly happy.

Laura Jesson: [Secret thoughts] We were very gay during lunch and talked about quite ordinary things.

Dolly Messiter: Have you any brandy?
Myrtle Bagot: I'm afraid it's out of hours.
Dolly Messiter: Oh surely, if somebody's feeling ill?
Laura Jesson: I'm alright, really.
Dolly Messiter: Just a sip of brandy will buck you up.
[to Myrtle]
Dolly Messiter: Please.
Myrtle Bagot: Very well.
Dolly Messiter: How much?
Myrtle Bagot: Ten pence, please.

Laura Jesson: You're both very naughty. You should have been asleep hours ago!

Fred Jesson: Come and sit by the fire in the library and relax. You may help me with the Times crossword.
Laura Jesson: You have the most peculiar ideas of relation.

Dr. Alec Harvey: I'm just saying you're not complicated.
Laura Jesson: I suppose it's a good thing to be uncomplicated, but it does sound a little dull.
Dr. Alec Harvey: You could never be dull.

Laura Jesson: How can you be so silly?

Dr. Alec Harvey: Would you mind, very much, if I came to the pictures with you?
Laura Jesson: Well, eh...
Dr. Alec Harvey: I could sit downstairs and you could sit upstairs.
Laura Jesson: Upstairs is too expensive.

Laura Jesson: [Secret thoughts] I had no premonitions. But, I suppose I should have had. It all seemed so natural and so innocent.

Laura Jesson: I see.
Dr. Alec Harvey: I'm afraid you don't.
Laura Jesson: Ha-ha. I was trying to be intelligent.

Laura Jesson: Its been so very nice. I've enjoyed my afternoon enormously.
Dr. Alec Harvey: I'm so glad. So have I. I apologize for boring you with long medical words.
Laura Jesson: I full dull and stupid not to be able to understand more.
Dr. Alec Harvey: Shall I see you again?

Laura Jesson: [Secret thoughts] I looked hurriedly around the carriage to see if anyone was looking at me - as if they could read my secret thoughts. No one was. Except a clergyman in the opposite corner. I felt myself blushing.

Laura Jesson: How can I possibly say that? "Don't hurry, I'm perfectly happy." If only it were true. Not I suppose that anybody's perfectly happy, really. But, just to be ordinarily contented. To be at peace.

Laura Jesson: It seems an eternity since that train went out of the station, taking him away, into the darkness. I was happy then.

Laura Jesson: [Secret thoughts] I imagined him holding me in his arms. I imagined being with him in all sorts of glamorous circumstances. It was one of those absurd fantasies, just like one has when one is a girl being wooed and married by the idea of ones dreams.

Laura Jesson: [Secret thoughts] I starred out of that railway carriage window into the dark and watched the deem trees and the telegraph posts slipping by. And through them I saw Alec and me. Alec and me, perhaps a little younger than we are now, but just as much in love and we have nothing in the way. I saw us in Paris, in a box at the opera. The orchestra was tuning up. Then we were in Venice, drifting along the Grand Canal in a gondola with the sound of mandolins coming to us over the water. I saw us traveling far away together. All the places I've always longed to go. I saw us leaning on the rail of a ship, looking at the sea and stars. Standing on a tropical beach, in the moonlight, with the palm trees sighing above us. Then the palm trees changed into those pallided willows by the canal, just before the level crossing. And all the silly dreams disappeared. And I got out at Ketchworth and gave up my ticket and walked home as usual. Quite soberly and without wings. Without any wings at all.

Laura Jesson: [Secret thoughts] That week was misery. I went through it in a sort of trance. How odd of you not to have noticed that you were living with a stranger in the house.

Laura Jesson: [Secret thoughts] I went into the high street and found a tobacconist and telephoned you. Do you remember?

Laura Jesson: [Secret thoughts] I walked for a long while. Finally, I found myself at the war memorial. You know, it's right at the other side of town. It'd stopped raining all together and I felt stiflingly hot. So, I sat down on one of the seats. There was nobody about and I lit a cigarette. I know how you disapprove of women smoking in the street. I do too, really, but - I wanted to calm my nerves and I thought it might help.

Dr. Alec Harvey: Forgive me?
Laura Jesson: Forgive you for what?
Dr. Alec Harvey: For everything. For meeting you, in the first place. For taking the piece of grit out of your eye. For loving you. For bringing you so much misery.
Laura Jesson: I'll forgive you if you'll forgive me.


Brief Encounter (1974) (TV)
Anna Jesson: Loving each other isn't enough. Other things matter. Decency. Self-respect. It all seemed so innocent to start with.