Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.

Sunday, March 2, 2008


BRIEF ENCOUNTER (1945/British). Director: David Lean. Written by Noel Coward from his play Still Life.

Superb drama is one of the finest romantic films ever made. A married woman (Celia Johnson) meets a married man (Trevor Howard) at a train station, and the two soon realize they've found the soul mates that they haven't found in their spouses, whom they nevertheless love. Will they find a way to find happiness with each other or face a certain bleak reality? A sort of secondary love story is played out between the station agent (Stanley Holloway) and the lady who runs the tea shop (Joyce Carey) where the other two lovers first meet. Beautifully directed, acted and photographed, with appropriate background music from Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto # 2, this is no mere soap opera but but a finely realized and uncompromising adult drama. The supporting cast is excellent right down to the smallest roles.

Verdict: A poignant, not-to-be-missed masterpiece! ****.


Pekkala said...

I agree. An absolute masterpiece....this is my favorite David Lean film.

William said...

Yes, I'm due to take another look at this great movie soon. Don't think I could stand to watch the remake.

Thanks for your comment!

Pekkala said...

I cry just a little bit more every time I watch this film. I fell in love with Trevor Howard in this movie. It's been written that he wasn't traditionally handsome "but the look in his eyes when he falls passionately for Celia Johnson in Brief Encounter contains a male beauty that continues to define cinematic love today." How true.

William said...

Howard wasn't considered conventionally handsome by any means but he was certainly a romantic figure in this movie. Nice quote!