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Brief Encounter 1945

David Lean adapts Noel Coward's heartbreaking tale of two ordinary people caught up in the extraordinary power of love. Laura (Celia Johnson) is a seemingly happy, middle-class housewife who meets the equally married physician Alec (Trevor Howard) at a London railway station, and so begins a chaste but passionate affair.

Starring:
Celia Johnson, Trevor Howard
Runtime:
1 hour, 22 minutes

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Product Details

Genres Drama, Romance
Director David Lean
Starring Celia Johnson, Trevor Howard
Supporting actors Stanley Holloway, Joyce Carey, Cyril Raymond, Everley Gregg, Marjorie Mars, Margaret Barton, Wilfred Babbage, Alfie Bass, Wallace Bosco, Sydney Bromley, Nuna Davey, Valentine Dyall, Irene Handl, Dennis Harkin, Edward Hodge, Jack May, Avis Scott, George V. Sheldon
Studio ITV
BBFC rating Parental Guidance
Purchase rights Stream instantly and download to 2 locations Details
Format Amazon Video (streaming online video and digital download)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Blu-ray
Do not listen to the person who said this is less than great despite the claims of being image-conscious. I've seen 35mm prints that weren't as good as this Blu-Ray. It's been lovingly restored and looks absolutely fantastic in every way. The negative must have been in very good shape, despite what Mr. Image Conscious says. In fact, it's a shame Mr. Image Conscious can't be specific - point out the specific things that he thinks are less than great - that would be illuminating. As it is, if you love the film I can't imagine you wouldn't be thrilled with the Blu-Ray. There is no extant DVD version of this film that comes within a country mile of this transfer - I'd advise a trip to the optometrist for anyone who tells you otherwise.
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Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
Pointless to review this classic film for its story, performances, and direction which are all superb. What one can certainly marvel at is the sensational quality of the restored print. On Blu Ray Brief Encounter emerges with such clarity of detail such beautiful gradations of the black and white spectrum, that one simply marvels at the transformation. The soundtrack is also refurbished and this adds greatly to ones enjoyment of the performances.Anyone who loves this film and would like to see it in all its splendour would do well to make the transition to Blu Ray, which seems fast becoming the industry standard.

I loved watching this favourite again and in Blu Ray it has found a worthy home for the future.
Comment 27 of 27 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: DVD
A simple tale of two strangers meeting in a railway station falling in love but who can never take it any further.

Some of the cinematography is beautifully done; the reflections from the train windows, the merging of the story being told in the past to the present when the narrative fades, and the symbolism of the speeding trains through the station can stand up to anything done today.

Its a well told story, with great performances by the lead actors. The self-sacrifice by each is something of an era that's gone, as we all too frequently see gratuitous sex portrayed in today's films (a reflection of the selfish society we live in).

You end up feeling for the characters, but also in a strange way relieved they did not commit adultery.
1 Comment 19 of 19 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: DVD
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.
Comment 43 of 44 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Classic British cinema; acted in a way that only British actors of that period can act (1945)! Superb, the children are frightful! And should be locked in their room with no supper!!! And what is that thing they are using to keep the coffee hot? This is 1945; how the other half lived!
The flash backs, the voice over, all add to the inner tension caused by the conflict of conscience. Shall I, shall I not. What if? What will be the consequences and did the husband guess all along? It is all frightfully middle class, yet they were travelling Third Class on the train, the likes of which will never be seen again. The characters are all very vivid from the lady behind the counter - "I do not know to what you are referring", the Station Master, and the irritating friend, "No sugar?".
Just classic cinema from an era now long gone and irretrievable, but never lost because we have the DVD!!!!
5 Comments 27 of 28 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
London in 1945 is a world of Watney's Brown Ale, Sunlight Soap and Capstan's Full Strength Cigarettes. There are usherettes in cinemas, sticky buns under glass, pigskin handbags and big-wheeled perambulators. And into the Refreshment Rooms of Milford Junction Train Station step a man and a woman catching the 5:40 to Churley and the 5:50 to Ketchworth who sip tea and say things like "rather" and "beastly" and "most awfully sorry". And into our romantic consciousness lodges David Lean's morality tale and cinematic legend..."Brief Encounter".

STORY/LOCATION:
Lean picked up the option on Noel Coward's 1935 short play "Still Life" and quickly extended and renamed it "Brief Encounter" with the help of Anthony Havelock-Allen and Ronald Neame. It was then decided by both its backers and the British Government to locate the shoot at Carnforth Train Station in Lancashire (the Second World War was winding down at this point in history, but night-bombing was still a very real threat in London). Filming began in February 1945 and was shot at night after the stations business day had ended. UK released in November 1945 (1946 in the USA), it received three Academy Nominations - Best Actress, Screenplay and Director (a first for a British Director).

ACTORS:
Cyril Raymond plays Laura's rather soppy husband Fred Jesson who on seeing Laura in distress offers to help her by inviting her to do the Times Crossword Puzzle with him. He is a nice man and they are a 'happily married couple' - but he is clearly unaware of the hurricane taking place in London every Thursday between his demure wife and a total stranger.
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