This is my favorite British film of all time. Brilliant writing, fine acting, ecconomicaly concise production and inspired direction all combine to make a landmark movie and a defining moment in social history.
Celia Johnson is terrific! She is talented and beautiful. More than girlishly pretty, she has the deep resonant beauty of a full grown woman. Her eyes are huge and so expressive, as she copes with the guilt and sordidness of an extra-marital love. She narrates to move the story along in places. Her performance draws you in and holds you. A lesser actress could not have pulled it off so well.
Trevor Howard plays her illicit love. Their screen chemistry is electric. Stanley Holloway and Joyce Carey provide a light sub-plot, which compliments the main story.
The film was released in the Spring of 1945, just as World War 2 was ending in Europe. Whether on purpose or not, the film announced a return to peacetime morality. Speak to an old person who was there, and you will find out that all sorts went on during the war when couples were separated, and there was horrific stress.
The characters fall in love, but their love remains unrequited. Love is allowed, but the heart is not allowed to rule the head. The film is set in an unspecified time of peace with no blackout, no bombsites, and with cakes and chocolate freely available. There is a 'forward to the past' kind of message.
If you've never seen it, you are in for a rare treat. If you haven't seen it for a while, then it is well worth revisiting. My review title is a line from a Noel Coward type song. I thought it fitted since he wrote the screenplay, and the main setting is a railway station.