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   22,800 votes »
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Down 4% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
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 »
User Reviews:
An excellent, charming, moving film. See more (178 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:
"A Brief Encounter" - International (English title) (reissue title), UK (reissue title), USA (reissue title)
See more »
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:
Use of the Second Piano Concerto by Sergei Rachmaninoff was chosen for the film's soundtrack by Noel Coward.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:
Soundtrack:
BoleroSee 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 »
150 out of 166 people found the following review useful.
An excellent, charming, moving film., 22 November 2000
Author: Lloyd-23 from Newcastle, Blighty

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.

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