IMDb > Brief Encounter (1945)
Brief Encounter
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Brief Encounter (1945) More at IMDbPro »

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Overview

User Rating:
8.1/10   22,546 votes »
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Director:
Writers:
Contact:
View company contact information for Brief Encounter on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
24 August 1946 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
A story of the most precious moments in woman's life!
Plot:
Meeting a stranger in a railway station, a woman is tempted to cheat on her husband. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Awards:
Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 3 wins See more »
NewsDesk:
(226 articles)
Which is the greatest British film in history? No one seems to be in agreement
 (From Alt Film Guide. 11 October 2014, 5:32 PM, PDT)

Arts Alliance buys Park Circus
 (From ScreenDaily. 24 September 2014, 3:33 AM, PDT)

See Reddit users’ favorite movie from each year
 (From SoundOnSight. 2 September 2014, 12:56 PM, PDT)

User Reviews:
"Huge Cloudy Symbols Of A High Romance" See more (177 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)
Celia Johnson ... Laura Jesson

Trevor Howard ... Dr. Alec Harvey

Stanley Holloway ... Albert Godby
Joyce Carey ... Myrtle Bagot
Cyril Raymond ... Fred Jesson
Everley Gregg ... Dolly Messiter
Marjorie Mars ... Mary Norton
Margaret Barton ... Beryl Walters, Tea Room Assistant
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Wilfred Babbage ... Policeman at War Memorial (uncredited)
Alfie Bass ... Waiter at the Royal (uncredited)
Wallace Bosco ... Doctor at Bobbie's Accident (uncredited)
Sydney Bromley ... Johnnie, Second Soldier (uncredited)
Nuna Davey ... Herminie Rolandson, Mary's Cousin (uncredited)
Valentine Dyall ... Stephen Lynn, Alec's 'Friend' (uncredited)
Irene Handl ... Cellist and Organist (uncredited)
Dennis Harkin ... Stanley, Beryl's Man (uncredited)
Edward Hodge ... Bill, First Soldier (uncredited)
Jack May ... Boat Rental Man (uncredited)
Avis Scott ... Cardova Waitress (uncredited)
George V. Sheldon ... Clergyman, Train Passenger (uncredited)
Richard Thomas ... Bobbie Jesson (uncredited)
Henrietta Vincent ... Margaret Jesson (uncredited)

Directed by
David Lean 
 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Noel Coward  play "Still Life" (uncredited)
Anthony Havelock-Allan  uncredited
David Lean  uncredited
Ronald Neame  uncredited

Produced by
Noel Coward .... producer
Anthony Havelock-Allan .... producer (uncredited)
Ronald Neame .... producer (uncredited)
 
Cinematography by
Robert Krasker (director of photography)
 
Film Editing by
Jack Harris 
 
Art Direction by
Lawrence P. Williams  (as L.P. Williams)
 
Production Management
Anthony Havelock-Allan .... in charge of production
E.J. Holding .... production manager (as E. Holding)
Ronald Neame .... in charge of production
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
George Pollock .... assistant director
Victor Wark .... second assistant director (uncredited)
 
Art Department
G.E. Calthrop .... art supervisor: Noel Coward
William Kellner .... draughtsman (uncredited)
Elven Webb .... assistant art director (uncredited)
Herbert Westbrook .... draughtsman (uncredited)
 
Sound Department
Desmond Dew .... sound recordist
Stanley Lambourne .... sound recordist
Harry Miller .... sound editor
Peter Davies .... dubbing sound camera (uncredited)
 
Special Effects by
George Blackwell .... special effects (uncredited)
 
Visual Effects by
Charles Staffell .... back projection (uncredited)
 
Camera and Electrical Department
B. Francke .... camera operator
Jim Body .... focus puller (uncredited)
Alan Bryce .... clapper loader (uncredited)
Arthur Ibbetson .... focus puller (uncredited)
Ronald Neame .... director of photography: additional photography (uncredited)
E. Owen .... clapper loader (uncredited)
 
Editorial Department
Margery Saunders .... associate editor
John Cooke .... second assistant editor (uncredited)
Winston Ryder .... assistant editor (uncredited)
 
Music Department
John Hollingsworth .... associate musical director (uncredited)
Percival Mackey .... composer: additional music (uncredited)
Muir Mathieson .... composer: additional music (uncredited)
 
Other crew
Maggie Unsworth .... continuity (as Margaret Sibley)
Renée Glynne .... production secretary (uncredited)
T. Tomson .... location manager (uncredited)
 
Crew verified as complete


Production Companies
  • Cineguild (as A Noel Coward - Cineguild Production)
DistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
86 min
Country:
Language:
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Western Electric Recording)
Certification:
Argentina:Atp | Australia:G | Finland:K-16 | Hong Kong:I | Ireland:(Banned) | Netherlands:AL | South Korea:15 | Spain:13 (DVD rating) | Sweden:15 | UK:A (original rating) | UK:PG (tv rating) | UK:PG (video rating) (1986) (1990) (2005) | USA:Not Rated | USA:Approved (PCA #11819, Adult Audience)
Company:

Did You Know?

Trivia:
Laura borrows books from the Boots Lending Library. Such Lending Libraries were an offshoot of Boots Pharmacies. Boots is a major pharmacy chain in the UK. It was founded in 1849 and still exists, although in a much different, more diversified form. The Lending Libraries were started in 1898.See more »
Goofs:
Revealing mistakes: When Laura buys a brandy for herself late in the film she hand over a single coin which the girl throws into the register without giving change. We later see that she rang up 10d, the price stated earlier in the film for the same drink. The was no 10d coin.See more »
Quotes:
Laura Jesson:I wish you were dead! No I don't, that's silly.See more »
Movie Connections:
Featured in Brick Lane (2007)See more »
Soundtrack:
Let The Great Big World Keep TurningSee more »

FAQ

How much sex, violence, and profanity are in this movie?
Is "Brief Encounter" based on a novel?
Why was "Brief Encounter" initially banned in Ireland?
See more »
43 out of 53 people found the following review useful.
"Huge Cloudy Symbols Of A High Romance", 7 August 2000
Author: Michael Coy (michael.coy@virgin.net) from London, England

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?

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