MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Down 528 this week

Brief Encounter (1945)

 -  Romance | Drama  -  24 August 1946 (USA)
8.1
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 8.1/10 from 23,033 users  
Reviews: 180 user | 107 critic

Meeting a stranger in a railway station, a woman is tempted to cheat on her husband.

Director:

0Check in
0Share...

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Amazon Instant Video

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 30 titles
created 12 Dec 2010
 
a list of 43 titles
created 15 Dec 2011
 
a list of 42 titles
created 23 Jan 2012
 
a list of 40 titles
created 12 Jun 2012
 
a list of 21 titles
created 4 months ago
 

Related Items

Search for "Brief Encounter" on Amazon.com

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: Brief Encounter (1945)

Brief Encounter (1945) on IMDb 8.1/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Brief Encounter.

User Polls

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

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A humble orphan suddenly becomes a gentleman with the help of an unknown benefactor.

Director: David Lean
Stars: John Mills, Valerie Hobson, Tony Wager
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Noel Coward's attempt to show how the ordinary people lived between the wars. Just after WWI the Gibbons family moves to a nice house in the suburbs. An ordinary sort of life is led by the ... See full summary »

Director: David Lean
Stars: Robert Newton, Celia Johnson, Amy Veness
Blithe Spirit (1945)
Comedy | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Adapted from a play by Noel Coward, Charles and his second wife Ruth, are haunted by the ghost of his first wife, Elvira. Medium Madame Arcati tries to help things out by contacting the ghost.

Director: David Lean
Stars: Rex Harrison, Constance Cummings, Kay Hammond
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

The Passionate Friends were in love when young, but separated, and she married an older man. Then Mary Justin meets Steven Stratton again and they have one last fling together in the Alps.

Director: David Lean
Stars: Ann Todd, Trevor Howard, Claude Rains
Madeleine (1950)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

The middle-class family of a young woman cannot understand why she delays in marrying a respectable young man. They know nothing about her long-standing affair with a Frenchman.

Director: David Lean
Stars: Ann Todd, Norman Wooland, Ivan Desny
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

This "story of a ship," the British destroyer HMS Torrin, is told in flash backs by survivors as they cling to a life raft.

Directors: Noel Coward, David Lean
Stars: Noel Coward, John Mills, Derek Elphinstone
Brief Encounter (TV Movie 1974)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.3/10 X  

Two strangers, both married to others, meet in a railroad station and find themselves in a brief but intense affair.

Director: Alan Bridges
Stars: Richard Burton, Sophia Loren, Jack Hedley
Drama | Romance | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Fictionalized story of British aerospace engineers solving the problem of supersonic flight.

Director: David Lean
Stars: Ralph Richardson, Ann Todd, Nigel Patrick
Summertime (1955)
Romance | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A lonely American woman unexpectedly finds romance in Venice, Italy.

Director: David Lean
Stars: Katharine Hepburn, Rossano Brazzi, Isa Miranda
Oliver Twist (1948)
Adventure | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

Based on the Charles Dickens novel Oliver Twist is about an orphan boy who runs away from a workhouse and meets a pickpocket on the streets of London. Oliver is taken in by the pickpocket ... See full summary »

Director: David Lean
Stars: Robert Newton, Alec Guinness, Kay Walsh
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

Henry Hobson runs a successful bootmaker's shop in nineteenth-century Salford. A widower with a weakness for the pub opposite, he tries forcefully to run the lives of his three unruly ... See full summary »

Director: David Lean
Stars: Charles Laughton, John Mills, Brenda de Banzie
Comedy | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

A distant poor relative of the Duke of D'Ascoyne plots to inherit the title by murdering the eight other heirs who stand ahead of him in the line of succession.

Director: Robert Hamer
Stars: Dennis Price, Alec Guinness, Valerie Hobson
Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
Celia Johnson ...
...
...
Joyce Carey ...
Cyril Raymond ...
Everley Gregg ...
Marjorie Mars ...
Margaret Barton ...
Edit

Storyline

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

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

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

Genres:

Romance | Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

24 August 1946 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Brief Encounter  »

Box Office

Budget:

£170,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

On her first trip to Milford after meeting Dr. Harvey, Laura walks past a bookstore window. On display are a range of books published in 1944/45, including "Something in my Heart" by Walter Greenwood, "A Showman Goes East" by Carroll Levis, "The End of the Mildew Gang" by S. Fowler Wright, "Capri Moon" by Kelman Dalgety Frost, "Winter's Tales" by Karen Blixen, "Triple Mirror" by Kathleen Wallace, "Once a Jolly Swagman" by Montagu Slater, and "Grand Barrage" by Gun Buster (aka John Charles Austin). 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

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.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Truly Madly Deeply (1990) See more »

Soundtracks

March Militaire
(uncredited)
Music by Franz Schubert
(Performed by James Whitebread on Wurlitzer organ at the Metropole Cinema. Mimed by the organist at the Palladium)
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

"Huge Cloudy Symbols Of A High Romance"
7 August 2000 | by (London, England) – See all my reviews

Steam ... cut-glass accents ... Rachmaninov's 2nd Piano Concerto ... the refreshment room at Milford Junction ... "the shame of the whole thing - the guiltiness, the fear ..." - it all adds up to David Lean's famous film treatment of the Noel Coward tale of love blossoming and withering at a suburban railway station. Laura Jesson is a complacent middle-class housewife who gets a piece of grit in her eye one day and is helped by Doctor Alec Harvey, and the romance begins.

Coward's screenplay is characteristic of his oeuvre. There is the neat precision of the circular plot, beginning and ending with the brainless intrusion of Dolly Messiter, and the matching sub-plot of the Albert-Mrs. Bagot courtship. There are tongue-in-cheek self-references (on the cinema screen, "Flames Of Passion" coming shortly) and the trademark Cowardian grounding in exaggerated Englishness ("One has one's roots, after all"). Most typical of all is that overwrought cascade of middle-class vocabulary (" ...so utterly humiliated and defeated, and so dreadfully, dreadfully ashamed"). Coward patronises working-class people abominably. Albert and Mrs. Bagot amble effortlessly through their romance because, bless them, they are simple folk. Alec and Laura suffer torments, having so much more sensitivity, and, you see, they have reputations to lose ("the furtiveness and the lying outweigh the happiness").

Having made the transition from editor to director in 1942, Lean was at the helm for the fourth time for "Brief Encounter", all four films being Coward projects - and a highly creditable job he made of this one. The scene in which Alec explains coal-dust inhalation and Laura falls in love is a model of sensitive direction. Reflections of Laura's face in the train window and the make-up mirror suggest in visual terms the existence of her 'other self', the id to her ego. Thundering steam trains and Rachmaninov stand for the irrepressible sexual urge. Stephen Lynn's flat, with its bachelor urbanity, contrasts cleverly with Laura's safe, staid home and safe, staid husband Fred ("I don't understand!") Alec's silent hand on Laura's shoulder is wonderfully poignant, the suppressed emotion eclipsed by stupid Dolly Messiter, her face filling the screen and 'wiping out' the great moment.

Sex has to be dealt with obliquely, but it is very much the driving-force of the film. "If we control ourselves, and behave like sensible human beings ..." offers Laura hopefully but hollowly. Neither man nor woman is capable of restraint, at least until after the climax in Stephen's flat. The boathouse and the little bridge hint furtively at sexual union. Other reviewers have declared the liaison to be 'unrequited' or 'unconsummated', but I am not so sure. In the grammar of 1940's cinema, the return to the love-nest of tousle-haired, hatless Laura is the equivalent, I would suggest, of our modern bedroom scene. Isn't that why Alec suddenly decides to take the job offer?


43 of 54 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Her husband knew and Doc was a cad nutritionist
Favourite shot/moment? tonyhu
Why was Alec's friend mad? ilpr
Please, less hysteria toward Dr Harvey jdown-1
Strange Coffee Percolator! christopher_sargeant
Have you noticed... Monica_M_C
Discuss Brief Encounter (1945) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page