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Brief Encounter (reissue)


Stars: Celia Johnson, Trevor Howard, Stanley Holloway, Cyril Raymond, Joyce Carey, Margaret Barton

Director: David Lean

Amazingly atmospheric, touchingly understated love story adapted by Noel Coward and others from Coward's play Still Life.

Married Laura Jesson (Johnson) meets a young doctor (Howard) on her weekly shopping trip to town, and their friendship gradually ripens into a love that they know has no future.

Director Lean never puts a foot wrong, and neither do his two principal actors, the agony of their frustrated feelings etched on their faces for all to see.

Brilliantly, atmospherically photographed by Robert Krasker, especially in the railway station scenes, the film also has deft supporting playing from Holloway, Carey, Raymond and young Barton.

The final scene involving Johnson and a career-best Raymond as her husband is particularly poignant and speaks volumes with almost no dialogue. Strangely, the film was not an especially popular success in its time.

David Quinlan

UK 1945. UK Distributor: Park Circus (originally General Film Distributors). Black and white.
86 minutes. Not widescreen. UK certificate: PG.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 0, Violence/Horror 0, Drugs 0, Swearing 0.

Review date: 03 Nov 2015