BRIEF ENCOUNTER (U)
D: David Lean
Cineguild/Eagle-Lion (Noel Coward)
UK 🇬🇧 1945
W: Noel Coward, David Lean & Anthony Havelock-Allan [based on the play "Still Life" by Noel Coward]
DP: Robert Krasker
Ed: Jack Harris
Mus: Sergei Rachmaninoff
Celia Johnson (Laura Jesson), Trevor Howard (Dr. Alec Harvey), Cyril Raymond (Fred Jesson), Stanley Holloway (Albert Godby), Joyce Carey (Myrtle Bagot)
Though David Lean's career became more famous for vast, sprawling epics like Lawrence Of Arabia and Doctor Zhivago, his earlier, more low-key works were equally, if not more dramatically compelling and visually splendid. Brief Encounter is amongst these earlier films.
A married woman is tempted by adultery when fate serendipitously brings a bachelor doctor into her life when they frequently meet at a railway station. The acting performances of both Celia Johnson and Trevor Howard are excellent as their short love affair develops, especially from the former, whose facial expressions deliver more intensity than the majority of entire screenplays.
The subject matter, considered hugely risqué in the 1940's for projecting sympathy on would-be adulterers, is not as scandalous by modern day standards, especially with sexuality hinted at with innuendo rather than gratuitous nudity.
Even though particular elements feel dated and the face of Britain has shifted since the 1940's, this is still a hugely important and massively influential piece of filmmaking, superbly directed by the late, great David Lean.
A true classic in every single sense of the word.