film

Brief Encounter | 1946 | Celia Johnson, Trevor Howard

Adapted from Noel Coward’s one-act play Still Life," this romantic drama follows two married strangers who have a chance encounter in a London railway station. English housewife Laura Jesson (Johnson) is on her way home when a cinder catches in her eye and Dr. Alec Harvey (Howard) is nearby to remove it. They chat briefly and part but find themselves looking for each other in the same place a week later. Each week they meet and chat but eventually come to realize they are falling in love.

In addition to Brief Encounter, David Lean directed three other films from plays penned by Noel Coward, sharing directing responsibilities with him on the first, In Which We Serve (1942), which also starred Coward. The other two films were The Happy Breed (1944) and Blithe Spirit (1945). The films were Lean’s first four directorial efforts. Oscar-nominated for Best Director, Best Actress (Johnson), and Best Screenplay.

production details

UK | 86 minutes | 1946

Director: David Lean
Original Author: Noël Coward
Screenplay: Anthony Havelock-Allan, David Lean, Ronald Neame
Art Direction: Lawrence P. Williams
Assistant Art Director: Elven Webb
Director Of Photography: Robert Krasker
Additional Photography: Ronald Neame
Special Effects: George Blackwell
Sound Recordists: Desmond Dew, Stanley Lambourne
Additional Music: Percival Macker, Muir Mathieson
Assistant Director: George Pollock
Editor: Jack Harris
Additional Editorial Assistant: Margery Saunders
Assistant Editor: Winston Ryder
Producers: Ronald Neame, Anthony Havelock-Allan, Noël Coward
Sound Editor: Harry Miller
Adr & Dubbing: Peter T. Davies
Music Director: John Hollingsworth
Visual Effects: Charles Staffell

cast
Celia Johnson as Laura Jesson
Trevor Howard as Dr. Alec Harvey
Stanley Holloway as Albert Godby
Joyce Carey as Myrtle Bagot
Cyril Raymond as Fred Jesson
Everley Gregg as Dolly Messiter
Marjorie Mars as Mary Norton
Margaret Barton as Tea Room Assistant Beryl Walters
Wilfred Babbage as Policeman at War Memorial (uncredited)
Alfie Bass as Waiter at the Royal (uncredited)
Wallace Bosco as Doctor After Bobbie’s Accident (uncredited)
Sydney Bromley as Johnnie, the Second Soldier (uncredited)
Noël Coward as Train Station Announcer (uncredited)
Valentine Dyall as Alec’s Friend Stephen Lynn (uncredited)
Irene Handl as The Cellist and Organist (uncredited)
Dennis Harkin as Beryl’s Man Stanley (uncredited)
Avis Scott as Kardomah Waitress (uncredited)

 

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