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Brief Encounter (1945)

 -  Romance | Drama  -  24 August 1946 (USA)
8.1
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Ratings: 8.1/10 from 22,526 users  
Reviews: 177 user | 107 critic

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

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Title: Brief Encounter (1945)

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

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Cast

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

 »
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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
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Old Arabic Love Poem on Persian Rug: when Laura comes to see Alec at his friend's flat, there is a Middle Eastern rug hung on the wall. The style of the rug itself confirms it is Persian, however, the beautiful calligraphy is Arabic. It is from a 9th century love poem by the Arab poet Ali Bin Salwa Al-qusari. it reads from right-hand corner of the rug and going anti-clockwise: The Utterance of Passion - In My Eye - Speaks To You. See more »

Goofs

When Laura is running away from Dr. Lynn's apartment in the rain, her book is next to her body, under her purse. Halfway down the street, the angle changes on the still-running Laura, but now the book is outside her purse. And it never gets wet! See more »

Quotes

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.
See more »

Connections

Featured in 50 Years of Bad Sex (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

Let The Great Big World Keep Turning
(uncredited)
Music by Nat Ayer
Lyrics by Clifford Grey
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Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Ignore That First Review. This Is A Classic
30 December 2003 | by (Los Angeles) – See all my reviews

The person who wrote the first review of this movie must be either a complete moron or has an acute lack of appreciation for what constitutes great moviemaking.

"Brief Encounter" is the perfect encapsulation of a very specific time in both women's and British history. The immediate post-WW 2 era in the UK was a period that saw Brits struggling with the disppearance of traditional social mores that had endured for over a century and the new world order that came about at the conclusion of the war. (For another, beautifully crafted cinematic example, see Neil Jordan's exquisite movie "The End of the Affair.")

Food rationing was still in place in postwar Britain. Women were having to deal with getting to know their menfolk again, after their years of absence at war. Like their American "Rosie the Riveter" counterparts, British women had enjoyed newfound and unfamiliar independence during wartime, working for the war effort. And, like their US "sisters", they were expected to relinquish those jobs to returning men.

"Brief Encounter" is, in many ways, a metaphor for the struggle that men and women were going through, stuck with having to conform to social expectations while bursting to escape to the greater independence glimpsed fleetingly and pleasurably during the war, when everything and everyone were turned upside down.

Being the work of Noel Coward, that master observer of and commentator on English manners, "Brief Encounter" frames this struggle as a torrid love story bubbling under the surface of British reserve, which demands maintaining appearances at all costs, regardless of the personal pain involved.

This passionate pair, who never even exchange a kiss, are constrained and ultimately kept apart by expectations--of their families, of their social positions, of Great Britain.

When Alec puts his hand on Laura's shoulder at their final, unexpectedly truncated meeting in the station snack bar/waiting room, it's as erotic and far more touching than just about every sex scene you'll see in movies.

The first reviewer completely missed the point and the relevance of this movie in film history and, especially, in British cinema history.


132 of 164 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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