Friday, June 9, 2017

Brief Encounter 1945

      This film is an adaptation of a one-act play titled Still Life from 1936 by Noel Coward.  In the latter months of 1938 every Thursday Laura Jesson goes by train to a nearby town for stopping in at the library, shopping and attending the cinema for a matinee.  When she’s finished, she returns to Milford by another train.  She is married with a young son and daughter.  Laura often has lunch at the tea-shop by the railway.  Laura gets piece of coal in her eye when she steps out to watch the train.  A doctor quickly comes to her aid and she’s very grateful.  Even though Dr. Alec Harvey is also married, they agree to meet again on the next Thursday.  It happens quickly and takes them both by surprise when they fall in love. 
      This film is very good and you feel the dilemma of Laura and Alec.  Laura would never want to hurt her husband or children.  Alec’s life is based on healing and not causing pain.  They find themselves in an impossible situation but love is a powerful force.  4* (I really liked this movie)

86 min, Drama directed by David Lean with Celia Johnson, Trevor Howard, Stanley Holloway, Joyce Carey, Cyril Raymond, Everley Gregg, Majorie Mars, Margaret Barton.

Note:  Imdb 8.1 out of 10, 89% critic 91% audience on Rotten Tomatoes, Amazon 4.6* out of 5* with 230 reviews, TCM Leonard Maltin 4* out of 4*.
Special Note:  Filmed in Cumbria, Buckinghamshire, Lancashire and London, England, UK.  A lot of scenes were shot at Carnforth Railway Station in Lancashire.  At that time, it was a junction on the London, Midland and Scottish Railway.  Local destinations included Leeds, Bradford, Morecambe and Lancaster.  Production began in early 1945 before WWII ended.  Carnforth Station still has many of the period features and it has become a place of pilgrimage for film fans.  Some scenes were done at Denham Studios.  Voted one of the 10 greatest films ever made in two separate critics’ polls of 1952.  Celia Johnson was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress.  David Lean was nominated for Best Director and Best Adapted Screenplay along with writers Anthony Havelock-Allan and Ronald Neame.  There is remake from 1974 starring Richard Burton, Sophia Loren and Jack Hedley.

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