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Brief Encounter PG rating

Noël Coward’s tale of a love affair, thrillingly played out with tight British reserve.

Romance 1946 86 mins

Director: David Lean


Noël Coward's classic tale of a passionate affair is all the more thrilling for being played out with British reserve of the tightest order. Laura (Johnson) encounters the handsome Dr Alec (Howard) in a train station tearoom after her weekly shopping trip.

In a scene now infamous, he removes some grit from her eye but ignites a spark that burns deeper with every passing week that they meet. Both married, however, they know their romantic liaisons cannot continue. Boosted by fine supporting character actors, the film also contains comical moments one recognises as having influenced a young Victoria Wood, while the unrelenting use of Rachmaninov’s lyrical second piano concerto perfectly embodies all the fervent desire the fated pair have to contain. Restoration supported by The David Lean Foundation