Brief Encounter (1945, Trevor Howard, Celia Johnson)

Poster for the movie "Brief Encounter"
PG-13 86 min - Drama, Romance - 24 November 1945
Our rating:

David Lean's Oscar-nominated, Cannes-winning classic stars Celia Johnson as Laura Jesson, a middle-aged, middle-class suburban housewife who makes weekly trips to the nearest town to change library books, do a little shopping and take in a film. One day, by chance, in the station buffet, she encounters Dr Alec Harvey (Trevor Howard), who helps remove a cinder from her eye.

As the weeks go by, their chance encounters become more regular and formalised and a relationship grows that becomes love. But both, constrained by their marriages, realise that their passion can never be consummated and, in one of cinema's most dramatic moments, he tells her he is leaving for Africa and boards his train, leaving her knowing she will never see him again.

The film is largely told in flashback, as Laura and Alec's farewell is interrupted by her garrulous friend Dolly Messiter (Everley Gregg). Later, back at home with her staid husband Fred (Cyril Raymond), Laura tells him of the "affair" and the story proper begins. The couple's encounters are largely confined to the station buffet, where their reserve is superbly counterpointed by the banter between Myrtle (Joyce Carey), who runs the buffet, and rail worker Albert (Stanley Holloway), whom Lean pointedly makes clear come from a different class.

This was the fourth collaboration between Lean and Coward ( In Which We Serve , This Happy Breed and Blithe Spirit the preceding films) and was nominated for three Oscars, with Lean becoming the first British director to be nominated. Camforth Station, where the film was shot, was recently restored with the buffet being returned to its original glory.

Director:  David Lean
Writers:  Noël Coward
Producer:  Ronald Neame, Anthony Havelock-Allan, Noël Coward
Director of Photography:  Robert Krasker


Production Details

Production Companies:  Cineguild

Release Date:  24 November 1945

Running Time:  1 h 26 min

Genres: Drama, Romance
Country:   United Kingdom

Language:  English

Tagline: A story of the most precious moments in woman's life!

Budget and Box Office takings where known