Brief Encounter (1945)

Brief Encounter



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Movie Info

On a cafe at a railway station, housewife Laura Jesson meets Dr. Alec Harvey. Although they are already married, they gradually fall in love with each other. They continue to meet every Thursday on the small cafe, although they know that their love is impossible

Rating: Unrated
Genre: Drama, Romance, Classics
Directed By:
Written By: David Lean, Anthony Havelock-Allan, Ronald Neame, Noel Coward, Coward Lean
In Theaters:
On DVD: Sep 7, 2004
Universal Pictures


as Alec Harvey

as Laura Jesson

as Myrtle Bagot

as Fred Jesson

as Albert Godby

as Dolly Messiter

as Beryl Waters

as Stephen Lynn

as Mary Norton

as Mrs. Rolandson

as Organist

as Johnnie

as Policeman

as Waitress

as Boatman
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for Brief Encounter

Friend Ratings

No Friends? Inconceivable! Log in to see what your friends have to say.


Critic Reviews for Brief Encounter

All Critics (32) | Top Critics (5)

Sheer perfection-the gold standard of tragic romances whose influence can still be seen to this day.

Full Review… | October 9, 2012
Time Out
Top Critic

Cyril Raymond manages to invest the stodgy character with a lovable quality.

Full Review… | November 6, 2007
Top Critic

Rarely rises above the level of the old women's magazines.

Full Review… | November 6, 2007
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

Some films don't age well, and no doubt Brief Encounter had more of an emotional effect in the social climate of post-war Britain.

Full Review… | February 9, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

An uncommonly good little picture -- and one which is frankly designed to appeal to that group of film-goers who are provoked by the 'usual movie tripe.'

Full Review… | May 20, 2003
New York Times
Top Critic

... still embraced as one of the most romantic films ever made, and it has earned its reputation.

Full Review… | May 4, 2012
Turner Classic Movies Online

Audience Reviews for Brief Encounter


A delicate and tearful romance that offers a surprisingly honest look into extramarital love given the time in which it was made, my sole objection being intrusive scenes involving secondary characters which interfere sometimes with the focus and tone of the main plotline.

Carlos Magalhães

Super Reviewer

Boring. I just didn't care for the relationship or the characters. There's also no story, just multiple scenes of the romance developing (I guess you can call that the story, an uninteresting one at that. Only for romance fans). The movie's running time is less than 90 minutes, but trust me, it feels as if it's over two hours. It never goes anywhere interesting thus making it a dull film.

Market Man
Eric Shankle

Super Reviewer

Two strangers meet in a train station waiting area, both happily married yet magnetically drawn to each other in spite of that. David Lean's adult question, set to Sergei Rachmaninoff's yearning 2nd Concerto, simply wonders what we may want once we have everything we want and has endured for its grown up (if dramatic) consideration of the same.

Kevin M. Williams

Super Reviewer

Brief Encounter Quotes

There are no approved quotes yet for this movie.

Discussion Forum

Discuss Brief Encounter on our Movie forum!