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Brief Encounter

 (1,237)
8.01 h 22 min1946X-RayPG
David Lean's best known film about forbidden love starring Trevor Howard & Celia Johnson. When a bored housewife & a married doctor meet by chance on station platform, something passionate ignites between them. But is their relationship doomed? 1945
Directors
DAVID LEAN
Starring
Celia JohnsonTrevor HowardStanley Holloway
Genres
DramaRomance
Subtitles
English [CC]
Audio Languages
English

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More details

Supporting actors
Joyce Carey
Studio
Cineguild
Purchase rights
Stream instantly Details
Format
Prime Video (streaming online video)
Devices
Available to watch on supported devices

Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars

1237 global ratings

  1. 87% of reviews have 5 stars
  2. 6% of reviews have 4 stars
  3. 4% of reviews have 3 stars
  4. 1% of reviews have 2 stars
  5. 1% of reviews have 1 stars
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Top reviews from the United Kingdom

David WelfordReviewed in the United Kingdom on 17 December 2018
5.0 out of 5 stars
Still after 70 years a Great Film
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I showed this highly acclaimed romantic drama ‘Brief Encounter’ Blu-ray to a group of friends; this restored version has superb picture quality and looked great using a HD video projector onto a large screen. What really struck me is how well this film of a very different age has stood the test of time so well; everyone really enjoyed it. The extensive use of Rachmaninov's Piano Concerto No 2 is perfect for the mood/romance of the film. The audience laughed in places that they would not have done so seventy years ago. In the Railway Station Café Celia orders a large Brandy and it costs ten old pence; Stanley Holloway knocks a plate full of cakes on the floor that are promptly scrapped off the floor and put back on the plate and returned to the counter for the next customer. These days Health and Safety would have gone into meltdown! Stanley Holloway would be arrested these days for saucily smacking the Cafes Proprietress’s bottom and that’s not mentioning the inappropriate dialogue. Back home in the evening at Celia’s home we see her husband sitting in his armchair dressed in an immaculate Office Suit and tie and he’s doing the crossword (no TV in those days)! There is of course much humour in the film that is still amusing. When Trevor takes Celia on one of their afternoons together, rather than go to a Cinema they go back to one of his friend’s flat for a close encounter of another kind; the restrained morality of the way they behave is not what is expected of today’s couples! Wonderful film/disc and an extra about the making of, highly recommended.
10 people found this helpful
JKReviewed in the United Kingdom on 22 January 2017
5.0 out of 5 stars
Enigmatic, poignant tale of illicit love in the 1940s - fabulous.
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Originally written by Noel Coward, taken to the screen by the brilliant David Lean, Brief Encounter thoroughly deserves the title of one of the most romantic films of all time.

In Brief Encounter two seemingly happily married people, Celia Johnson as Laura Jesson and Trevor Howard as Doctor Alec Harvey, are bought together in the now iconic scene in which Laura has a painful speck of dirt in her eye and is rescued by the handsome Doctor. From that point the couple develop a deep love for one another and David Lean made an exceptional job of portraying their moral dilemma as they fight to repress their growing feelings for one another.

Brief Encounter has a brooding tension but also moments of comedy, tragedy and tenderness. The closing scene between Laura and her husband. Cyril Raymond as Fred, is one I still find genuinely moving. Worth watching out for also are the scenes between Stanley Holloway, Albert Godby, and Joyce Carey, Myrtle Bagot, as they begin their own quirky romance in the 'Refreshment Room'.

I particularly enjoy the backdrop of the 1940s English railway system with the huge steam trains arriving and departing and the scenes filmed on railway platforms, inside train carriages and at the station cafe (Refreshment Room) which are an absolute delight and a real piece of social history.

Fabulous film and I'm more than happy to recommend.

The details;

Musical score; Rachmaninov's Piano Concerto No 2.
Re-mastered DVD released in 2008.
1 x disc inside plastic sleeve.
Running time approx. 86 mins.
Format: Black & White, Full Screen - PAL.
English language with English subtitles.
Suitable for viewing in Region 2 (Europe).
Classification PG - general viewing - some scenes may be unsuitable for young children.

Extras;
Documentary “A profile of Brief Encounter”.
Stills gallery.
Theatrical Trailer.
Brief Encounter restoration.
20 people found this helpful
Robert M RobinsonReviewed in the United Kingdom on 30 October 2019
5.0 out of 5 stars
Celia Johnson’s eyes
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Quite simply one of the best films ever, heartbreakingly intense at times and with one of the great screen performances by Celia Johnson. She conveys the joy and the turmoil of a married woman in love with another man and the conflict raging inside her superbly, and it’s all there in her big soulful eyes. Of course there’s more to the film; the script, the direction, the music, the cinematography, and of course Trevor Howard’s performance all add up to a classic. I watch this film once a year, every year and I never tire of it. Gets me every time.
5 people found this helpful
Antonio RobertReviewed in the United Kingdom on 22 May 2018
5.0 out of 5 stars
Classic pre-war romance from England
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Essence of British life in the years shortly before WWII adorned by one of the most famous love stories never to be fulfilled. In the capable hands of director David Lean, the movie that may elicit smirks of disdain from cynics remains a gem in a league of its own. In a brilliantly developed, although a very simple story, burgeons an eternal conflict between emotion and reason, risk and responsibility. Celia Johnson and Trevor Howard are subdued yet shining in their starring roles. If you like David Lean not just as director of grand epics (Lawrence of Arabia, Doctor Zhivago, The Bridge on the River Kwai), check out another bittersweetly profound romantic vehicle of his - the 1955 movie Summertime with Katharine Hepburn and Rossano Brazzi.
Although depicting the life before WWII, the picture was released when the war was freshly over and struck the chord in connection with morality being shaken during the armed conflict.
5 people found this helpful
ElleppiReviewed in the United Kingdom on 11 October 2015
5.0 out of 5 stars
An epitome of romantic drama, but most of all a splendid example of great cinema with few elements. Best Lean
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A splendid and classic drama which became a masterpiece for its perfect balanced storytelling and style, both moving and essential.
I definitely love and prefer Lean's early masterpieces like this (and Great expectations, Oliver Twist) to his more famous blockbusters (except for Bridge over river Kway, and some moments of Lawrence of Arabia, which still maintain his artistic and personal touch).
Brief Encounter is almost experimental in its subject ad structure: one night, one place, an innovative yet discreet use of flashbacks. It looks like theatre in its defining elements, but it's in essential and basic structure like this, where you must move within a very small room, that you can prove to be a great director.
And he did.
Blu ray is not exceptional but B/W looks pretty good anyway. I wish it included more extra
8 people found this helpful
Lawrence D. FreitasReviewed in the United Kingdom on 11 December 2020
5.0 out of 5 stars
One of the best British films of the 20th Century.
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Great film, though for some reason the UK has a different code to play than those DVD players here in the US. On a trip to the UK I left it off with some friends who put me up for a few nights in the West Midlands. Thankfully, Criterion Films here in the US has copies with the right code. Why can't the UK makes DVDs that play here in the US? Weren't we allies in the two world wars? Anyway, great story, and anyone should be able to relate to the main character played by Celia Johnson, as many people have been tempted to break their vows, or have fallen for someone who really wasn't available.
2 people found this helpful
John MooreReviewed in the United Kingdom on 16 August 2011
5.0 out of 5 stars
Truely A Cinema Great
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Brief Encounter is most certainly to be and remain to be one of Britain's great cinema films. the acting is so superb and has a very good storyline that keeps you watching right to the very end. the old black & white filming make this film so special and this special edition by watching it you would think the film was only made yesterday! that's how good the quality of the film is. the story is a romance between a married woman (Johnson) and a doctor (Howard) there meeting starts as (Johnson) gets a piece of dirt in her eye and is removed by the doctor. what turns out of a chance meeting soons develops into a romance whereby both these two persons adore each other and long to be together all the time. (Johnson) is telling you the story as the film goes along. I find this film in parts quite sad and as you watch it you yourself get more deeper involved with the pair and have feelings for them. (Johnson) cofesses her guilt to her husband. he is a very quiet man it is the ending of the film that moved me more then anything else. (Johnson's) husband says to her "You have been away for a long time. thank you for coming back to me" it does give a tear in your eye and I thought NO film would ever do that to me. this one most certainly did. it deserves all it's 5 gold star rating a true masterpiece of cinema history. the film was later re-made also called Brief Encounter and starred Sophia Loren And Richard Burton. I always wanted to know where was the station that this was filmed at? in the special edition of this film it was revealed to be filmed at Carnforth Station. as, since this film was made during the war and London railway stations were either blacked out or blitzed in the bombing Carnforth apparently recieved little damage and so the lights could be kept on and you had express trains rushing through the station. the re-make that I mentioned was filmed at Brockenhurst Station in Hampshire. I live in Poole Dorset. and the main railway line goes through Brockenhurst to Southampton. so, I have now travelled through a film set!
4 people found this helpful
CharlotteReviewed in the United Kingdom on 03 June 2022
1.0 out of 5 stars
Badly dated,
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The over dramatic music and Celia Johnson's permanently startled expression were too much for me. It might have helped if I could find Trevor Howard even remotely good or sincere looking.
I thought CJ's husband was rather a sweet old softy-an infinitely better choice.
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