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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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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: 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.
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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.
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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!!!!
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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.
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Format: DVD
It is easy to see why this film is one of the most known romance films ever made, first of all the tear inducing performances of the British ensemble, second the almost essential black and white noir wartime lighting, and thirdly the music that is now synonymous with the film and romance. For those of you who do not wish to read on the film is a simple tale of a woman torn between loyalty to her husband and an exciting affair. The film uses the great performances to personalise us with the main character and have to make the same decisions she does, while using a looped narrative to bring the story to a conclusion as we interpret the feelings of the woman in the first scene.
David Lean worked with Noel Coward to produce this cinematic masterpiece from the stage to live forever in the great history of British film. The direction is constant and reliable with effective close ups and steady paced editing throughout. The effect of this is that we recognise the feelings of the characters and always feel somehow depressed throughout the film to personalise us with the main character, there is little heart pumping adrenaline in the film. The down beat mood is backed up by the thriller film signifiers of rainy streets, undesirable locations and dark noir lighting. One of the first shots in the film contains chiaroscuro lighting as the camera looks down the station at the incoming train, this shot is masterfully placed at this point as if to say that the outside world is so different to the world within the train station, the world that the main character would love to escape but knows she cannot. Most of the film is shot in the small cafe in the station where the main character played by Celia Johnson first falls in love with Trevor Howard.
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