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Brief Encounter (1974)

Not Rated | | Drama | TV Movie 12 November 1974
Two strangers, both married to others, meet in a railroad station and find themselves in a brief but intense affair.


Alan Bridges


John Bowen (screenplay), Noël Coward (play) (as Noel Coward) | 1 more credit »

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Richard Burton ... Alec Harvey
Sophia Loren ... Anna Jesson
Jack Hedley ... Graham Jesson
Rosemary Leach ... Mrs. Gaines
Ann Firbank ... Melanie Harvey
Gwen Cherrell Gwen Cherrell ... Dolly Messiter
Benjamin Edney Benjamin Edney ... Alistair Jesson
John Le Mesurier ... Stephen
Jumoke Debayo Jumoke Debayo ... Mrs. Harris
Christopher Benjamin ... Porter
Madeleine Hinde Madeleine Hinde ... Grace (as Madeline Hinde)
David Cook David Cook ... Schoolmaster
Marco Orlandini Marco Orlandini ... Dominic Jesson
Patricia Franklin Patricia Franklin ... Beryl Walters
Jacki Harding Jacki Harding ... Ilse


On one of their usual weekly commutes into the city, two perfect strangers--Dr Alec Harvey, an esteemed suburban doctor, and Anna Jesson, a middle-class housewife--will inadvertently find love, when a bit of dirt enters Anna's eye and the good doctor comes to her rescue. Despite both being married to others, this fleeting but powerful interaction will prepare the ground for an unforeseen erotic but unconsummated love affair, as one clandestine rendezvous leads to another. Where is this intense emotional infidelity heading? Written by Nick Riganas

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

1970s | 70s | marriage | train | commute | See All (44) »


A chance meeting... A love to risk everything for... See more »




Not Rated | See all certifications »



UK | Italy



Release Date:

12 November 1974 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Hallmark Hall of Fame: Brief Encounter (#24.1) See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


(edited for TV)

Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Remake of David Lean's 1945 movie starring Leslie Howard and Celia Johnson. See more »


Anna Jesson: Loving each other isn't enough. Other things matter. Decency. Self-respect. It all seemed so innocent to start with.
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Edited into Hallmark Hall of Fame (1951) See more »


Written and Performed by Cyril Ornadel And His Orchestra
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User Reviews

Should Have Been Briefer...
1 March 2010 | by xerses13See all my reviews

Remakes (and sequels) have been a staple of Cinema from the beginning of the media. It is pretty much a hit or miss venture though. If you take what's good of the original and build upon it and update key features too current standards, you can have a success. Note, such films like THE THIEF OF BAGDAD (1924/1940) or KING KONG (1933/2005) succeeded in their attempts. Others like KING KONG (1976) fail, miserably.

BRIEF ENCOUNTER (1945) is the template for this film. It is as perfect as could be made on such a subject and we rate it IMDb**********Ten. The story is simple, Love, innocently found by accident and tragically lost. Why, it just happened for the two (2) principals involved at the wrong time. These are portrayed in a convincing and sensitive manner by TREVOR HOWARD and CECILIA JOHNSON. Neither are conventionally leading Star material, but quality Character Actors. For the details watch the film.

Now what went wrong? A T.V. Movie, remade practically scene for scene with name actors RICHARD BURTON and SOPHIA LOREN should have at least scored IMDb******Six. Both actors though appear disinterested, just showing up to punch their time-clocks and pick up their checks. Neither are involved with their characters or with each other. You do not believe they are in Love or when they finally separate it is any great loss to either of them. That should not be and that's why it fails in its intent. Sometimes it is just better to leave things alone.

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