MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Up 740 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 22,381 users  
Reviews: 177 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 25 titles
created 22 Jul 2011
 
a list of 30 titles
created 28 Dec 2011
 
a list of 38 titles
created 27 Apr 2012
 
a list of 49 titles
created 12 Jun 2013
 
a list of 21 titles
created 1 month 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
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
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 7.9/10 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
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
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
Adventure | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Cultural mistrust and false accusations doom a friendship in British colonial India between an Indian doctor, an Englishwoman engaged to marry a city magistrate, and an English educator.

Director: David Lean
Stars: Judy Davis, Victor Banerjee, Peggy Ashcroft
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
Drama | History | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Set in the wake of the 1916 Easter Rising, a married woman in a small Irish village has an affair with a troubled British officer.

Director: David Lean
Stars: Robert Mitchum, Trevor Howard, John Mills
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
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:

Begegnung  »

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

This movie was David Lean's first Oscar nomination as director. 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: I had no thoughts at all, only an overwhelming desire not to feel anything ever again.
See more »

Connections

Spin-off A Profile of 'Brief Encounter' (2000) See more »

Soundtracks

Can't Get Along Without You
(uncredited)
Music by William Kernell
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
An excellent, charming, moving film.
22 November 2000 | by (Newcastle, Blighty) – See all my reviews

Have you really never seen Brief Encounter? What have you been doing all these years? You have a treat in store.

I have a great love for British films of the 1940s. There seems to have been a great flowering of creative talent then, and the films of the period look beautiful, and have such wonderful characters in them. David Lean is more famous for his huge Technicolor epics, like Lawrence of Arabia, or A Passage to India, but Brief Encounter is his most moving film. It is shot in atmospheric black and white, and tells the story of two people who fall in love, in mundane little England.

Celia Johnston plays Laura, a middle class woman who lives a happy but predictable life, who meets Dr. Alec Harvey, played by craggy Trevor Howard. There starts a doomed love affair, set to the sweeping romantic sounds of Rachmaninov's 2nd piano concerto. This single piece of music plays throughout the film, and stirs up exactly the right emotions. The film will make you want to own a recording of the music.

Such is the power and influence of this film, that it has been remade a few times, and spoofed on countless occasions. It created the archetype for the romantic farewell on a station platform, with steam hissing from trains, and an orchestra playing in the background. Though this has been copied often, it has never been bettered. The film involves a few scenes on railway platforms, and some of these are mundane, others joyous, or despairing, wretched. The director uses many deft tricks to heighten the emotion all along the way. A simple tilt of the camera, or contrasting mood of another character, serves to add tremendous power to the emotion of the scenes.

Times were different then. People were brasher, accents were stronger, and social attitudes to affairs quite different. The period of the film gives it much of its charm. It does not make it a cold study of a different culture, however. The film is very personal. The character of Laura's husband is hardly seen in the entire film, which means that we identify more with Laura's feelings. We see the affair and next to nothing else.

Celia Johnson brings a great deal to the film. She is so likeable, and so able to express the misery that her new love brings her. Her manner of speaking is quite alien to a modern ear. In the 1940s, it was quite normal to add a Y sound to many words. "Hat" became "hyat". The accents are not forced, though - they come across as quite natural, and very likeable.

This film would not be made this way today. The modern audience would demand younger stars, and nudity. See this film to witness how it was once possible to make films about love without bedroom scenes. Brief Encounter is very much stronger for lack of these. Stoicism and restraint are under-rated traits in modern cinema. Modern directors and writers would do well to remind themselves with this film, that a story can be given tremendous emotional power by techniques which seem to have been lost.


147 of 163 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Her husband knew and Doc was a cad nutritionist
Please, less hysteria toward Dr Harvey jdown-1
Favourite shot/moment? tonyhu
Why was Alec's friend mad? ilpr
Strange Coffee Percolator! christopher_sargeant
General comment john-morris43
Discuss Brief Encounter (1945) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page