🎥 Brief Encounter – 1945
The Story …
Laura Jesson, a respectable middle-class Englishwoman in an affectionate but rather dull marriage, tells her story while sitting at home with her husband, imagining that she is confessing to him.
Like many women of her class at the time, Laura visits a nearby town every week for shopping and a matinée film. Returning from one such excursion to Milford, and waiting in the railway station’s refreshment room, she is helped by another passenger who removes a piece of grit from her eye.
The man is Alec Harvey, an idealistic general practitioner who also works on Thursdays as a consultant at the local hospital.
Both are in their late thirties or early forties, married, and with children (although Alec’s wife Madeleine and their two sons are unseen) …
The two accidentally meet again the next week outside Boots the Chemist, and then on a third meeting share a table at lunch. Then, both having free time, they go to an afternoon performance at the Palladium Cinema. They are soon troubled to find their innocent and casual relationship developing into something deeper, approaching infidelity.
They meet openly until they run into friends of Laura’s one day and the need to deceive others arises. The second lie comes more easily when needed. They eventually go to a flat belonging to Stephen, a friend of Alec’s and a fellow doctor, but before they can make love they are interrupted by Stephen’s unexpected and judgmental return.
Humiliated and ashamed, Laura runs down the back stairs and into the street. She walks and walks, and sits on a bench for hours, smoking, until a concerned policeman encourages her to get out of the cold. She arrives at the station just in time for the last train home.
The recent turn of events makes the couple realise that an affair or a future together is impossible. Understanding the temptation and not wishing to hurt their families, they agree to part. Alec has been offered a job in Johannesburg, South Africa, where his brother lives.
Their final meeting occurs in the railway station refreshment room, now seen for a second time with the poignant perspective of their story. As they await a final parting, Dolly Messiter, a talkative acquaintance of Laura’s, invites herself to join them and begins chattering away, oblivious to the couple’s misery.
As they realise that they have lost their chance for a final goodbye, Alec’s train arrives. With Dolly still chattering, Alec departs without the passionate farewell for which they both long. After shaking Dolly’s hand, he discreetly squeezes Laura on the shoulder and leaves.
Laura waits for a moment, anxiously hoping that Alec will walk back into the refreshment room, but he does not. As the train is heard pulling away, Laura is galvanised by emotion, and, hearing an approaching express train, dashes out to the platform. The train’s lights flash across her face as she conquers a suicidal impulse. She then returns home to her family.
Laura’s kind husband, Fred, shows that he has noticed her distance, though whether he has guessed the reason is not clear.
He thanks her for coming back to him and she cries in his embrace …
- Directed by David Lean
- Written by Noël Coward, Anthony Havelock-Allan, David Lean and Ronald Neame
- Based on Still Life 1936 play by Noël Coward
- Produced by Noël Coward, Anthony Havelock-Allan and Ronald Neame
- Cinematography : Robert Krasker
- Edited by Jack Harris
- Music by Sergei Rachmaninoff
- Distributed by Eagle-Lion Distributors
- Release Dates : 13 November 1945
- Celia Johnson as Laura Jesson
- Trevor Howard as Dr Alec Harvey
- Stanley Holloway as Albert Godby, the ticket inspector
- Joyce Carey as Myrtle Bagot, the cafe owner
- Cyril Raymond as Fred Jesson
- Everley Gregg as Dolly Messiter
- Margaret Barton as Beryl Walters, tea-room assistant
- Marjorie Mars as Mary Norton
- Alfie Bass (uncredited) as the waiter at the Royal
- Wallace Bosco (uncredited) as the doctor at Bobbie’s accident
- Sydney Bromley (uncredited) as Johnnie, second soldier
- Noël Coward (uncredited) as the railway station announcer
- Nuna Davey (uncredited) as Hermionie Rolandson, Mary’s cousin
- Valentine Dyall (uncredited) as Stephen Lynn, Alec’s friend
- Irene Handl (uncredited) as cellist and organist
- Richard Thomas (uncredited) as Bobby Jesson, Fred and Laura’s son
- Henrietta Vincent (uncredited) as Margaret Jesson, Fred and Laura’s daughter
Film Information Source :
Copyright Protected :
ALL RIGHTS TO THIS MOVIE REMAIN WITH THE OWNERS