Brief Encounter

  • PG
  • David Lean (1945)
  • UK
  • 83 min
Film Review
Reviewed By
5 out of 5

Co-adapted by Noël Coward from his own one-act play Still Life, this is one of the finest films ever made in Britain. What makes the illicit love between doctor Trevor Howard and housewife Celia Johnson so memorable is their sheer ordinariness - they really could be anybody sitting in the dark of the cinema or in the comfort of their armchair. That's why Falling in Love, the unofficial Hollywood remake, fell so flat - Robert De Niro and Meryl Streep simply weren't ordinary enough. Romancing to the strains of Rachmaninov's Second Piano Concerto, the leads are outstanding, but credit should also go to the forgotten Cyril Raymond, whose decent dullness as Johnson's husband makes those stolen Thursdays seem so special.

Plot Summary

Classic romantic drama starring Celia Johnson and Trevor Howard. A chance meeting in a suburban railway station brings together Laura Jesson, a happily married woman, and Dr Alec Harvey who is also married. They fall in love, but their secret happiness is marred by the furtive way they must carry on the affair and the realisation that eventually a choice must be made.

Cast and crew


Laura Jesson
Celia Johnson
Dr Alec Harvey
Trevor Howard
Fred Jesson
Cyril Raymond
Albert Godby
Stanley Holloway
Myrtle Bagot
Joyce Carey
Dolly Messiter
Everley Gregg
Beryl Waters
Margaret Barton
Dennis Harkin
Stephen Lynn
Valentine Dyall
Mary Norton
Marjorie Mars
Irene Handl


David Lean

Other Information

Black and White
Theatrical distributor: 
Park Circus
Available on video, DVD and BluRay
Released 6 Nov 2015
Certificate PG