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29 years after the first film version of Brief Encounter was made and made stars of Trevor Howard and Celia Johnson this television version with Richard Burton and Sophia Loren was done for British television. My same criticism stands, I would love to have seen Noel Coward and Gertrude Lawrence do Coward's original one act play for the screen.
Both versions are considerably expanded from Coward's stage play. But the 1945 version had a real sense of urgency about it. It was set in wartime where such things if not approved of, at least expected and somewhat tolerated. Updating the play was a mistake, both Loren and Burton in this setting treat their situation as more of an inconvenience.
Of course bringing it back to 1945 would have been impossible because British soldiers just did not bring back brides from the recent enemy's country and no way could Sophia Loren have played the part. And she had to because her husband Carlo Ponti was the producer.
This Brief Encounter is all right, but if you don't encounter it you won't miss all that much.
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