8.0/10
35,154
229 user 135 critic

Brief Encounter (1945)

Not Rated | | Drama, Romance | 24 August 1946 (USA)
Trailer
3:04 | Trailer
Meeting a stranger in a railway station, a woman is tempted to cheat on her husband.

Director:

David Lean
Reviews
Popularity
1,625 ( 6,274)
Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 3 wins. See more awards »

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Photos

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
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 Marjorie Mars ... Mary Norton
Margaret Barton Margaret Barton ... Beryl Walters - Tea Room Assistant
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Storyline

At a café on a railway station, housewife Laura Jesson (Celia Johnson) meets Dr. Alec Harvey (Trevor Howard). Although they are both already married, they gradually fall in love with each other. They continue to meet every Thursday in the small café, although they know that their love is impossible. Written by Mattias Thuresson

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

A chance meeting between two happily married strangers. Two people who met by accident, and fell in love. See more »

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The boating lake Alec hits the bridge in is actually in Regents Park London. See more »

Goofs

In several frames, Celia Johnson is missing her hat then has it back on again. See more »

Quotes

Laura Jesson: It's awfully easy to lie when you know that you're trusted implicitly. So very easy, and so very degrading.
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Connections

Featured in Tabloid (2010) See more »

Soundtracks

Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto No.2.
Written by Sergei Rachmaninoff (uncredited)
Played by Eileen Joyce with The National Symphony Orchestra
Conducted by Muir Mathieson
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User Reviews

Ignore That First Review. This Is A Classic
30 December 2003 | by gbtbagSee 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.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English | French

Release Date:

24 August 1946 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Brief Encounter See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

GBP170,000 (estimated)

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$107,384
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Cineguild See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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